Commercial Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Leasing & Management

Sunshine State Feeds on New Retail Activity

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Franklin Street's leasing experts explain how population growth, tourism are driving retail demand in Florida.

Excerpted from August 2018 issue of Southeast Real Estate Business.

Whitney Butler, director of retail leasing for Franklin Street in the company’s Jacksonville office, agrees that budding markets can provide great benefits to tenants.

“While it is still a challenge to get retailers to think out-of-the-box and outside traditional retail hubs, emerging markets are viable markets, often with more cost-effective rents than in the well-established retail markets,” she says.

As shopping habits change and customers search for more variety in their grocery options, the need for specialty grocers is exploding and Florida is reaping the benefits.

“People go to Sprouts for their fresh vegetables, Trader Joe’s for their prepared meals, and end up at Publix for their meats and subs,” says Alex Wright, senior director of Franklin Street in the firm’s Tampa office. “It’s very different that it was a decade ago, when you would just go to one store to get everything you need.”

“The landscape has changed with the number of grocers out there,” says Brian Bern, senior director of Franklin Street in the firm’s Tampa office. “Specialty grocers have really turned the table on what was traditional, and a s a result you’re seeing everyone try and adjust to accommodate.”

Health, fitness and wellness are also becoming key categories to fill retail space and large anchor boxes as they become available, says Butler of Franklin Street.

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