As the demand for retail space in neighborhoods around Jacksonville continues to grow, experts point to an increase in retail and restaurant concepts and shopping center development.
When a restaurant or retailer enters a market, they look at the area based on a number of items, including demographics and co-tenancy, said Whitney Kantor, director of retail leasing at Franklin Street. “Most come in with a multistore strategy seeking locations at St. Johns Town Center first and then expanding into surrounding markets.”
The success of St. Johns Town Center continues to help draw new retail to the area and allows for others such as Ulta to expand and open additional stores in areas like the Beaches.
The Mandarin market is also seeing a great deal of activity, Kantor said, with retailers seeking locations but being stymied by low vacancy rates.
The North Florida market continues to be stable, showing growth in occupancy and rental rates, Kantor said.
“That makes today’s retail market poised for the redevelopment of shopping centers,” she said. “Shopping centers are no longer just a location of stores, they are a shopping experience. The shopping experience is enhanced with new and growing retail concepts. North Florida is a healthy market and is well positioned for shopping center owners to take advantage of this trend and offer quality shopping experience.”
Restaurants also continue to be active, said Katy Figg, a broker associate at Franklin Street.
“Restaurant expansion is a trend throughout the country. Consumers are spending a significant portion of their discretionary income on dining out,” Figg said. “The fast casual market continues to grow with the area seeing an uptick in new concepts coming to the market.”