TAMPA, FL—Redevelopments are taking over the Tampa Bay area, with several shopping centers either beginning or wrapping up projects this year. From strip centers to malls, all kinds of retail properties are being redeveloped, but the lion’s share of activity is focused on non-performing assets located in key corridors. So says Brian Bern, a senior director at Franklin Street.
“Several anchor tenants and big box chain stores have exited the market, leaving behind spaces that are too big to backfill,” Bern tells GlobeSt.com. “Landlords are being forced to reposition their assets as size requirements and anchors have changed.”
As Bern sees it, with little new product under construction redevelopment is a strategic way for landlords to attract new tenants to their centers. Since less class A space is available, he says, it’s important for class B and C properties to have attractive landscaping, signage, and facades to attract new tenants. By completing even minor improvements, landlords can increase sales and boost traffic at centers.
Bern points to Publix as a good example of a retailer that has been actively redeveloping a large portion of its stores in Florida. Publix acquired 49 Albertsons stores in Florida in 2008. Since then, the grocery store chain has slowly been redeveloping the properties to the Publix layout, including a more modern design that makes room for the added services many of its stores now offer.
“Publix also has been renewing its leases at centers the chain is currently located in, closing temporarily to redevelop the stores and reopening within the year,” Bern says. “For example, Publix renewed its lease in December 2013 at Indian Rocks Shopping Center, located in Largo. The store closed last month for a 45,000-square-foot redevelopment, and will re-open this fall.”
Here’s the backstory: After the store decided to renovate, RMC Property Group, the owner, moved to redevelop the entire strip center. The 100% occupied retail center will get new facades, signage, and an additional 3,000 square feet of new space for lease. Bern says he chain of events is not uncommon for Publix-anchored centers, as landlords realize the importance of access and a good layout to retain and attract tenants. Download PDF