Downtown Houston retail space is not as readily available, or as cheap, as it was just a few years ago.
Downtown Houston retail space is not as readily available, or as cheap, as it was just a few years ago.

For a time, businesses that acquired Houston retail space for lease did so without much competition and benefited from the city's relatively unnoticed rebound from the recession.

Now, more people are starting to take notice of Houston.

And it's not just business professionals who are making the move to the city. The Fox Business Network is sending one of its chief anchors, Melissa Francis, to Houston next week to host her "Money" program live on-location.

"You guys are making hay while the rest of the country is struggling," Francis said in an interview with the Houston Business Journal. "And people don't understand how much Houston has branched out. There's so much oil and gas industry concentrated there, but so much more going on. I wanted to get out there and look at someplace that is doing it right and getting ahead."

Part of the optimism circling Houston stems from the fact that its new jobs numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are leading the nation - and it's not even that close. In the five years since July 2007, Houston has added 18,900 retail jobs, which is more than twice the 9,300 new jobs posted by the second city on the list, New York City, in that time period.

As you consider Houston retail space for lease, keep these cost concerns in mind. You should always assume that all or part of a lease agreement is negotiable. It may even be to your benefit to work with an expert well-versed in negotiating leases, in addition to your attorney. The more eyes that review a lease, the more likely you'll get the best possible deal.

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