Buoyed by the growth of electronic commerce, commercial real estate markets in long-established cities will prosper next year, but according to investment bankers at Sonnenblick-Goldman Co., second-tier cities in the South and Southwest face some risk of a downturn.

John I. Bralower, president of Sonnenblick - a boutique firm in New York that arranges financing for property investors and developers - noted a "widening gap" between "primary and secondary markets." The primary markets, which include Boston, New York, San Francisco, and others with 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week economies, "continue to grow at rates that are astounding even the bulls," he said. Much of the growth is driven is by Internet companies, which have created a need for new kinds of warehouse and office space.

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