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The State of the Market: Commercial Real Estate in Salem,OR


October 2021

Article written by Amanda Zentz, CBCRE MarCom Director


We’re excited for the opportunity to be the first to share our observations on Salem’s commercial real estate market with the Salem Business Journal. As leaders in Salem’s commercial real estate community, we believe the City of Salem is on the brink of a great opportunity to create a safe, clean, interactive and inclusive city for its businesses and residents. Making it a prime opportunity to rethink and redevelop the city of Salem for the future.


As the state capital, Salem has the stability of government employment, while being moderate in size. This stability allows for pointed change to be made. This includes the Our Salem Project - a massive rezoning, part of Salem’s Comprehensive Plan, aimed to better understand Salem and how the community wants to grow over the next couple decades. This project brings many opportunities for potential buyers and sellers by implementing a more flexible zoning code to many of Salem’s existing buildings, as well as bare land. One of the goals is to encourage Mixed Use along the main public transportation corridors and allow neighborhood “Hubs”. This is a huge undertaking by the city; it effects thousands of properties and will shape what the community will be for the next 20 years.


Redeveloping Salem


Major redevelopment plans have already begun. Within the last two years there has been a global shift in the way we work and purchase goods, which directly impacts local brick and mortar real estate. The former Nordstrom at Salem Center has plans for being transformed into multi-family housing. This is exciting as it will bring more people into downtown and create opportunities for the retail and hospitality industries. Along with the city’s desire to encourage more affordable housing, comes the opportunity for walkable retail and commercial spaces in those communities. In South Salem, at Kuebler and 27th, the soon to be developed Costco, single-family and multi-family housing units, will pave the way for national, regional and local grocery, retail and recreational anchor tenants to move in.


Challenges in the Market


As we emerge from the pandemic with opportunities, challenges have also risen for landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers of commercial real estate. Challenges such as supply chain restraints, consultant and professional service delays, and permitting process obstacles, have slowed (due in part to the adjustment of working from home) the negotiation process and closing timelines of many commercial real estate transactions; not to mention the current global pandemic we are emerging from.


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Yet, interest rates remain low and with the Feds speculating on interest rate hikes, it’s a prime time to invest. As a Buyer, having your financials in order, and as a Seller, having your property information in hand, will make for a smoother transaction. This is where responsible real estate brokering and good communication between all parties is key. With our expertise, knowledge and connections, we at Coldwell Banker Commercial, are poised to guide our clients through any process and help bring Salem into the future of opportunity.


Insights contributed by CBCRE Brokers, Alex Rhoten, Jeff Miller, Shadya Jones and Pam Rushing.

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