The retail real estate industry has been rocked by the dismal economy and challenging credit conditions. Consumer spending has all but dried up, driving down retail sales and leading to a spate of closings and bankruptcies. The industry is seeing steep gains in vacancies and flat-lining rents. Today, concessions are the most frequent topic of conversation between tenants and landlords. Despite these conditions, however, there are enterprising firms that are proving to be exceptions. They are forging ahead despite the dismal reality. Lenders that believe in retail are trolling the market for deals. Investors that don't want to wait for cap rates to rise further are buying. Retailers set up to thrive in a down economy are expanding. And there are even places where new development is warranted and new projects are coming on-line. The following package of stories will explore these exceptions to the prevalent retail real estate rules.

  • Bright Spots
    Amid retailer closings and bankruptcies, value-oriented chains shine...

  • Money Talks
    Regional and local banks, private equity players and foreign financial institutions still have money to lend for retail real estate...

  • Bottoms Up
    Investors savor higher cap rates and a lack of competition....

  • Building Confidence
    Some developers find ways to build in a down market...