Excerpted from Tampa Bay Business Journal story.
When it comes to retail, there’s a lot of current conversation about its demise.
“Is it going away?” asked Andrew Wright, CEO at Franklin Street during the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Economic Outlook on Jan. 9. “Nowhere close.”
“Are buying patterns evolving? Do businesses have to evolve what they’re doing? Yes. But you’re still going to stores to buy stuff. That’s not changing,” he said.
The demand for experiences — getting out to look, feel and be involved in shopping — isn’t going away any time soon. That’s primarily done in the community and neighborhood centers, not in the big power center malls or urban mixed-use deals, he said.
Overall supply is about 41 million square feet. Wright believes a healthy retail market will continue.
“I don’t see that slowing down,” Wright said. Vacancy rates are low on newer product. On some of the area’s aging retail properties, “not so much,” he added. There is a big disparity between new building rents that can be upward of $40, $50 a foot. “‘80s vintage centers are going to be more in the mid-teens.”