The Future is So Bright, Retail Has to Wear Shades in Florida

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Excerpt by Ian Ritter, Read the Full Story

The Palms at Town & Country in Miami, Florida

The Palms at Town & Country in Miami, Florida

It’s hard to make a blanket statement about the climate of retail real estate in the state of Florida because its regions are so diverse. You are going to find a completely different consumer in the Panhandle area than you will in Miami and Dade County, says John Lambert, JLL’s Florida Retail Market Lead

As far as overall performance goes, though, South Florida is the leader. “The focus is Miami simply because it’s a gateway city,” Lambert says. “We’re seeing an influx of foreign capital going into South Florida, and foreign retailers have also taken note. Chains from Europe and South America are looking to Miami-Dade as their entry into the state, and in some cases, the country.”

“Miami has significant retail developments underway, supported by the return of the housing market,” says Lambert. He estimates that there are about 10 projects going up around Miami, totaling $10 billion.

One of the new developments going up is Brickell City Centre, a 5.4 million-square-foot mixed-use project being developed in the financial district by Swire Properties that is planned for a 625,000-square-foot shopping center. Lambert also points to tenants seeking space in the Design District, as well as South Beach and even suburban Kendall, where JLL has done leasing at the Palms at Town & Country, a 700,000-square-foot open-air lifestyle development, which has a tenant roster that includes Kohl’s, Dick’s and Nordstrom Rack.

Central Florida, heated up by Orlando, is also looking bright. Lambert points to the area’s strong tourism draw as the main driver of the market’s growth. He cites data that project 57 million tourists to visit Metro Orlando this year, up from 55 million in 2013. Hotels and apartment complexes are going under development there to support the growth, and that means more consumers for retailers to target.

To learn more about the Florida retail market, and how the grocery sector is heating up in the full story on

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