Sussex County, Del., Market on the Move!

NAI Emory Hill Lewes office is located on Coastal Highway
March 2, 2015
 Not only is spring on the horizon in Sussex County, Delaware; so is an increase in commercial real estate growth according to broker Ann Bailey, CCIM of NAI Emory Hill’s Lewes office.
“We are experiencing a rise in rental rates in both the office and retail sector, not only along the Route 1 tourist corridor but along the east-west arterials as well,” Bailey said. “Steady economic growth in the region is driving this increase as more people of all ages continue to move to our coastal area. “
The announcement of the Bayhealth Medical network expansion in Milford and the probability of the Beebe Healthcare expansion in the Rehoboth-Lewes area demonstrate a growing need for medical and healthcare facilities and personnel.  
The need for quality office space is increasing as demonstrated by the low vacancy rate of approximately 6-7% along the Route 1 corridor.  Rental rates vary based on age and location, and generally new space is renting in the $18-$22/SF range.  
Sussex County also saw not only more seasonal, summer visitors than ever before this past year, but an increasing amount of visits during the fall and spring “shoulder” seasons.    The attraction continues to be seaside relaxation and recreation, low real estate taxes, affordable living costs, and no sales tax.    
The east-west arterials on Route 9, Route 24 and Route 26 are also growing as the population further west continues to expand.  Infrastructure and services, however, are slower to keep up.    Those residents relocating to communities in western Sussex County also visit the coast to enjoy entertainment, the beach, boardwalk, restaurants and charitable and social events. Growth poses challenges, and from May until October there is increased traffic not only on Routes 1 but on Route 9, 24 and 26.   However, DelDOT road improvements are taking place with sidewalk construction on Route 1 and road widening on Route 26.
Retail development is also increasing, with more activity along the Route 1 corridor from the Nassau Bridge to Dewey Beach.  Rental rates remain solid and range from $18-$23/SF, again, depending on age and location.  
“Look for more national retailers to enter our market, another sure sign of positive growth,” Bailey said.  
Ann Bailey is a broker with NAI Emory Hill, which represents NAI Global in Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland and is a division of the Emory Hill Companies, which provides Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region with commercial real estate brokerage, construction, property management, maintenance and residential real estate sales. 
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