Chuck Ruhl has seen more activity in all commercial real estate sectors in the Quad Cities, five cities straddling the Iowa/Illinois border.
But Ruhl, president of Davenport, Iowa-based NAI Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial Company, said that developers and brokers in the Quad Cities are looking for one more bit of good news: They’d like to see more land sales brokered.
Land sales have always been an important part of commercial real estate brokerage in the Quad Cities, a slice of the Midwest that includes the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline and East Moline in Illinois.
Land sales, though, have been down since the start of the recession. Once they bounce back, Ruhl says, the Quad Cities will benefit from an even bigger economic and real estate rebound.
“During the second half of this calendar year, demand for land is going to improve,” Ruhl said. “Thanks to the recovery in commercial real estate, we are seeing much of our existing inventory of buildings get absorbed. The selection of properties is getting smaller, the supply of existing inventory is reducing.”
Ruhl predicts that the Quad Cities will finally see new construction later this year, as available space becomes less common in the quality office, industrial and retail areas of the Quad cities.
“People are starting to look at land again,” Ruhl said. “Lenders are starting to look at commercial lending and new construction again. So we do anticipate that we will see positive absorption of land during the next 12 months.”
And that, of course, is good news for anyone working the commercial real estate market in the Quad Cities.
— Dan Rafter