By Carol Kinsley

The mantra, “location, location, location” still bears true in real estate, and a hot location right now is Delaware’s beach area, particularly Rehoboth Beach, where President Joe Biden owns a home in the community of North Shores, overlooking Cape Henlopen Park. Access is restricted, making the home a nice place for a beach get-away for the First Family. The Bidens have enjoyed biking, strolling through town and stopping for ice cream and other treats.

“There will be a bump in the economy because of the president having a second home here,” predicted Ann Bailey, associate broker at NAI Emory Hill, the commercial real estate division, of Emory Hill Companies. Emory Hill Companies have been providing comprehensive real estate services including commercial brokerage, construction, property management maintenance, and residential real estate services to Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic since 1981.

“We are seeing a lot of renewed retail and hospitality establishments in town, partly because word is out that Biden has a home here. Some of the hotels in town are seeing increased bookings because of news media outlets agreeing to take blocks of rooms for certain periods of time.

“We’re hearing the Secret Service has rented houses close to his. Even if he’s not here, they have to watch the house. They shop here and eat here. They’re contributing to the local economy,” she added.

The adage, “timing is everything,” also holds true.

“Interest rates are at an all time low,” Bailey said “If you want to buy in the commercial, industrial or retail market, if your credit is good, you won’t have any trouble getting a loan.”

However, you may have trouble finding property to buy or rent, which is why you’ll want an experienced agency like NAI Emory Hill representing you. NAI Emory Hill has offices in Rehoboth Beach and New Castle, allowing them to effortlessly serve all of Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic.

Bailey noted, “Along with residential properties, the commercial market is really tight.” 

According to CoStar Analytics, there is very little construction ongoing in Sussex County in the three asset classes of industrial, office and retail. Vacancy rates for industrial sites are at 11.4 percent and falling, with market sale price currently at $64 per square foot and rental prices at $5.77 per square foot.

The office vacancy rate is at 4.3 percent, with market sales price at $127 per square foot and rental rates at $19.56 per square foot.

Retail locations have a vacancy rate of 5.1 percent and rising. Market sales rates are at $165 per square foot, with rental rates at $16.60 per square foot.

Bailey continued, “Of the three product classes, retail has shown ‘negative’ absorption, with increases in vacant space as a result of businesses closing during the pandemic. There are pockets of positivity, especially in Coastal Sussex, where product in all categories along the Route 1 corridor are scarce and in demand. The expression ‘location, location, location’ continues to be the most important decision in anyone’s search for commercial real estate today.”

While the retail sector is suffering, especially restaurants, the industrial sector is doing well. Bailey said she has gotten calls from business owners who, after spending time at the Delaware beach last year, perhaps at a secondary home, now want to relocate their business here. “Things are much easier here, close to the beach. It’s a different lifestyle,” Bailey said. 

These business owners are looking for industrial sites either geared for manufacturing, assembly and/or distribution. 

“Fortunately, we have the airport at Georgetown,” she noted. “Businesses can have goods and parts shipped in to the airport. That area has seen a real bump up in activity.”

Georgetown also has a county industrial park next to the airport, which is served by modern highways and a direct rail link to Norfolk Southern Railroad.

“If you relocate your business to that park, there are some good economic and tax incentives for your business,” Bailey added.

Bailey is also getting inquiries about buying existing buildings, larger than 5,000 square feet, within an hour of Lewes. That’s not something you’ll find except in Bridgeville, Seaford or Laurel, she said.

“We also get a lot of calls looking for office space on the Route 1 corridor. Right now there’s limited space available, so these folks may need to go to space on a secondary road or rent in a retail center.”

NAI Emory Hill stayed busy throughout 2020, completing just under 100 transactions and providing advisory services on over a billion dollars’ worth of commercial real estate. The NAI Emory Hill team also works seamlessly with the Emory Hill Companies which have built and developed over 15 million square feet with a value of more than $600 million. This dynamic growth is the direct result of the company’s philosophy of quality and personal service. Whether the job requires the construction of a large corporate operations center, or solving the intricate security problems of a small high-tech research firm, Emory Hill staff members respond quickly and intelligently to the needs of clients, treating each one like a partner.

We’re definitely in a seller’s/landlord’s market — and something you don’t want to tackle alone, whether you are buying, renting or selling. Get Emory Hill on your side. Contact Ann Bailey, CCIM, at (302) 827-4940 or by email at If in town, stop in at the office at 20256 Bay Vista Road, unit 205, in Rehoboth. Find more information at