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Inside The Related Group’s retail strategy for Icon Central in downtown St. Petersburg, from the historic bank building to inline storefronts

Excerpted from Tampa Bay Business Journal story.

A long-blighted block of St. Petersburg’s Central Avenue is within months of becoming one of the most vibrant spots in the city — if a Miami developer’s bet on a historic building pays off.

The Related Group’s Icon Central, a 368-unit apartment building with street-level retail, welcomed its first residents in July. Icon Central wraps around a historic bank building, and Related envisions the space becoming a destination, home to a high-end restaurant with a rooftop space that’s magnetic enough to draw people not only from around the city, but all of Tampa Bay.

Before Related broke ground on Icon Central, the 800 block of Central Avenue was a dead zone in an otherwise thriving retail corridor. And while the apartments are thriving — Related vice president of development Jessica Melendez said the building is leasing about 30 units a month and is 45 percent leased. But it’s the storefront and activation of the long-vacant bank building that will bring more vibrancy and foot traffic to Central Avenue.

Apartment rents range from $1,760 for a studio to under $4,000 a month for a three-bedroom apartment.

“We’ve been able to connect the Edge district and the Arts district and fill in that block,” Melendez said.

Related has taken the bank building down to its bones, leaving behind only the exposed brick and original architectural details. Alex Wright, senior director with Franklin Street in Tampa, is marketing the retail space for Related. Melendez said the developer is in active negotiations with two restaurant groups for the bank building, and an announcement could be as imminent as 30 to 60 days away.

For full story, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2019/12/26/inside-the-related-groups-retail-strategy-for-icon.html

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Austin Center to be transformed into Westshore City Center

Excerpted from Tampa Bay Business Journal story.

The owner of Westshore’s original office park has revealed a renovation plan that will transform the property into a cool, walkable campus.

Ally Capital Group — the private equity group controlled by Franklin Street founder and CEO Andrew Wright — will spend more than $10 million modernizing the Austin Center’s office space, facades and common areas. The renovation will add a sidewalk that connects all five buildings in the park and improve the traffic flow and arrival experience. A large mural from Tampa artists Illsol will be painted on the side of one of the buildings.

It will be rebranded Westshore City Center. Two new restaurant spaces will be added to the property, in the annex buildings on the southern end of the park. Those buildings could be torn down to make way for new ones, Wright said, or renovated for restaurants, depending on the city’s approval process.

For full story, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2019/12/12/exclusive-austin-center-westshores-original-office.html

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Franklin Street closes DSW retail lease in Fayetteville, Georgia

ATLANTA – Franklin Street arranged a 23,370-square-foot lease for the opening of a new DSW footwear store at the Fayette Pavilion retail center in Fayetteville, Ga., which is situated 22 miles south of Atlanta. Franklin Street’s agency leasing team has signed 117,532 square feet of new retail space at Fayette Pavilion this year, increasing the occupancy rate to 93%. Over the past three years, Franklin Street has brokered $163 million in retail landlord transactions nationwide.

The new tenants include Hopebridge Autism Therapy Center, Burlington Coat Factory, BurgerIm, Shoppers World, T-Mobile and DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse. Franklin Street’s Sam Krueger represented the landlord in the transactions.

“DSW’s new store shows that big-box retailers are still doing deals in the Metro Atlanta area,” said Krueger, senior associate at Franklin Street’s Atlanta office. “This is Franklin Street’s third big-box lease at Fayette Pavilion and our sixth deal of the year overall for the shopping center.”

For full story, visit https://thecitizen.com/2019/12/16/franklin-street-closes-dsw-retail-lease-in-fayetteville/

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Murals, pianos & more: New art projects aimed at luring businesses to urban core

Excerpted from Orlando Business Journal story.

Downtown Orlando has seen renewed retail interest in recent months. For example, a climbing gym, a retail and grocery store and Taco Bell Cantina all have revealed plans to open in the urban core.

That said, more full-time downtown residents ultimately will shape the region’s retail landscape, said Terrence Hart, senior director at Franklin Street of Orlando, who handles retail leasing and isn’t involved with the art effort. Construction recently started on yet another downtown apartment project — Memphis-based apartment investor Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc.’s (NYSE: MAA) 11-story, 368-unit Orange and Robinson Apartments at 336 N. Orange Ave. “Multifamily is going to drive retail,” Hart said.

For full story, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2019/12/06/murals-pianos-more-newart-projects-aimed-at-luring.html

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First Watch restaurant expanding in Northeast Florida, adding bars

Excerpted from Jax Daily Record story.

First Watch, The Daytime Cafe, is adding two Northeast Florida locations next year in addition to the six open in Duval and St. Johns counties — and they will have bars, or at least partial ones.

The Riverside restaurant at 192 Riverside Ave. was the first in the company to sell and serve alcohol when it opened in October 2017, renovating and moving into a former Corner Bakery Cafe.

First Watch intends to open by early summer in OakLeaf Crossing and about a month after that in Nocatee Town Center, said Eleni Kouvatsos, the company’s public relations and communications manager.

“Both these new restaurants will have a bar and serve our crafted brunch cocktails,” Kouvatsos said.

“As a 36-year-old company, we’ve learned throughout the years that in order to stay relevant, we must evolve, try new things, ask our customers and friends what they want, and respond accordingly,” she said.

Kouvatsos said the signature cocktails and brunch classics will be the same at all locations, but the beer, wine, kombucha and hard seltzer options might vary or not be offered at some restaurants.

“We’ve been testing the concept closely and slowly rolling it out in certain new restaurants, modifying the menu, figuring out the larger strategy around the program,” she said.

A Jacksonville bar menu includes four signature cocktails, three brunch classics (bloody mary, mimosa and champagne) and hard cider and kombucha on draft.

The signature cocktails are vodka-, tequila- and rum-based.

The city is reviewing a construction permit application for a 3,656-square-foot First Watch at 9680 Argyle Forest Blvd., No. 1, in OakLeaf Crossing in Southwest Jacksonville. 

Plans show a restaurant with 114 inside seats and 32 on the patio. It is replacing Gator’s Dockside, which will move to a free-standing building nearby in Oakleaf Station.

TWT Restaurant Design, Construction & Development Co. of Tampa is the contractor for First Watch.

Kouvatsos said Monday First Watch has a fully executed lease for an end unit at OakLeaf.

Carrie Smith, managing director with the Franklin Street commercial real estate firm, represented First Watch in negotiating the deal, Kouvatsos said.

She said the Nocatee location will open at 295 Pine Lake Drive, Unit C105, in Ponte Vedra in St. Johns County. Smith also negotiated that deal.

Each new restaurant will have about 30 employees, she said.

For full story, visit https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/first-watch-restaurant-expanding-in-northeast-florida-adding-bars

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‘Front Porch’ Mixed-Used Project Pledges Equitable, Sustainable Development For Sweet Auburn

Excerpted from What Now Atlanta story.

The developers of Studioplex on Auburn, Dynamic Metal Lofts, and most recently the Haugabrooks Event Space on Auburn Avenue, will add a new mixed-used project to their growing Sweet Auburn District “equity project” portfolio in fall 2021 called The Front Porch.

Atlanta’s Historic District Development Corporation, in collaboration with the Partnership for Southern Equity, is developing The Front Porch mixed-used center in the residential neighborhood of Sweet Auburn, between Hilliard Street and Jackson Street.

The Atlanta Streetcar aligned project features 13,000 square feet of apartment rentals, an additional 18,600 square feet of multifamily space for sale and 38,000 square feet of rentable retail space on Auburn Avenue.

Franklin Street has been tapped to lease the retail space.

For full story, visit https://whatnowatlanta.com/front-porch-mixed-used-project-pledges-equitable-sustainable-development-for-sweet-auburn/

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Renderings: How a mixed-use destination could sprout in historic Sweet Auburn

Excerpted from Curbed Atlanta story.

A significant piece of historic Sweet Auburn’s aging retail corridor is poised for an update that promises a mix of new retail and residential offerings—and possibly new ridership for the Atlanta Streetcar.

According to officials with New York-based developer Hart-Lyman, the piece of Auburn Avenue nestled between Hilliard and Jackson streets is expected to be redeveloped in a way that maintains some of the neighborhood’s historic character

Dubbed “The Front Porch at Auburn Avenue,” the proposal would comprise 38,000 square feet of retail space, 13,000 square feet of apartments, and 18,600 square feet of for-sale residential offerings.

Hart-Lyman and Franklin Street are managing the leasing efforts for the retail component, and Syntony Design and Cole Hil are heading up architecture work.

For full story, visit https://atlanta.curbed.com/atlanta-development/2019/12/2/20990694/atlanta-historic-sweet-auburn-avenue-mixed-use

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Small business, big impact: Keeping Jax’s holiday shopping local

Excerpted from Jacksonville Business Journal story.

On a statewide level, business owners remain positive about both their own business and the local economy. In a PNC Economic Outlook survey, 55 percent of business owners felt optimistic about their own business and 46 percent felt optimistic about the local economy. Earlier this year, WalletHub named Florida the No. 6 best state to start a business in.

Although optimism may be high, risks are too. For the greater Jacksonville area, rents have risen 12 percent year-over-year. CBRE Florida Research Manager Scott Brien, in a previous interview with the Business Journal, said the primary cause of the increase is Jacksonville’s 2 percent annual population growth rate. Construction costs are up too, according to Franklin Street Managing Director Carrie Smith in a previous interview with the Business Journal, with costs being passed on to tenants in the process.

For full story, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2019/11/27/small-business-big-impact-keeping-jax-s-holiday.html

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Exclusive: Medical marijuana firms eye former liquor store sites

Excerpted from Orlando Business Journal story.

New Apopka dispensary
Meanwhile, Toronto-based Trulieve Cannabis Corp. plans to open a 4,500-square-foot location at 2121 W. Orange Blossom Trail in Apopka in a former ABC store, said Terrence Hart, senior director of leasing with Franklin Street of Orlando, who represented ABC in the deal. ABC plans to demolish its current 10,200-square-foot building and construct two, 4,500-square-foot buildings on the 7-acre site. Cabot Jaffee, a senior associate member at CBRE Group Inc. (NYSE: CBRE), represented Trulieve in the lease negotiations.

For full story, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2019/11/19/exclusive-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-eye-i.html

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Ask the Expert: Where are retail real estate investors looking for deals?

Ask the Expert: Where are retail real estate investors looking for deals?  

“Investors are looking for deals in areas of population growth. Outside of institutional investors, many retail investors are getting priced out of in-town deals in major markets.  Retail investors, in turn, have chased deals in large metro suburbs or top-tier coastal markets.  The common consensus is that we likely have plateaued on CAP rate levels. So, for value-added investors to pull the trigger on deals in this market, they are looking for projects where there may be leasing upside via filling vacant space or raising below-market rents.  Fully leased deals with rent levels at the top of the market have become harder for sellers to move. The reason is that the buyer pool for those deals has continued to shrink.”
  
Bryan Belk
Senior Director, Retail Investment Sales
Franklin Street
Bryan.Belk@FranklinSt.com 
D: 404.832.1251