The old adage of “retail follows rooftops” is holding true for Northeast Florida as more new residents move to the First Coast.
Ricky Ostrofsky and Abby Walsh with Franklin Street in Jacksonville say there are a couple of areas in particular that are seeing an explosion of retail activity, and they are largely following development of new homes.
“For future growth, areas you’ll see really explode, it’s St. Johns County all day,” Ostrofsky said.
He mentioned specific areas in the county like the Durbin Park area, the corridor of County Road 210 and World Golf Village as ones that are thriving.
And those are relatively new areas, compared to some of the well-established retail nodes in Jacksonville.
“St. Johns County would have been a third or fourth location for a retailer when we were touring a few years ago, one we would look at after established markets,” Walsh said. “Now, Durbin and others are one of the first things to look at.”
The population of St. Johns County has more than doubled in the last two decades. And just since 2010, the number of residents has gone from 190,000 to 273,000 in 2020.
Walsh, who works on the tenant representation side of the retail business, said activity is picking up. She said retailers, some of them new-to-market concepts, are looking for locations here.
“The pure amount of projects coming out of the ground with different developers is just staggering in St. Johns County,” Ostrofsky said. “There’s nowhere else in town that you’re seeing this density of new development, and we’re seeing healthy rents in these developments as well.”