A walking tour of Broward County retail
To really know what’s going on in the world, there’s nothing like lacing up your sneakers and taking to the streets to find out first-hand.
Avison Young researchers did just that recently in Broward County, Florida, home to Fort Lauderdale. They visited 590 centers sized 20,000 sq. ft. and larger, counting vacated boxes, “coming soon” signs, and construction crews to gather some quality insights.
• Publix rules in Broward. The legendary Florida-based supermarket chain fields 82 stores, laying claim to half he grocery anchored centers in the county. The banners of 22 different grocers top the remaining 91 supermarkets, but that doesn’t mean business is spotty for them. “Specialty grocers do well here. Sprouts and Lucky’s are both looking to expand their presence,” said Avison Young senior associate Joshua Ladle.
• Forty-seven big boxes and 34 junior boxes are vacant, but many are quickly being turned to other uses. “Coming Soon” signs were observed in windows of stores adding up to 280,000-sq.-ft. of retail space that, when open for business, will lift Broward County’s occupancy rate back to the 90.9% it posted a year ago. “Many are being transitioned to new uses like town homes and charter schools,” Ladle said.
• Twenty-six centers are in various stages of redevelopment and nine new centers are being built, ranging in size from 30,000 sq. ft. to 320,000 sq. ft. This plus the new tenants coming online presents a positive outlook for retail in Broward, according to Avison Young.
“A 90% vacancy rate is pretty average, and new construction numbers are in line with local standards. We don’t envision an over-building situation,” Ladle said.
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Wilder acquires centers in Connecticut and Pennsylvania
The Wilder companies announced its acquisition of two market-leading retail centers that added more than 800,000 sq. ft. to its portfolio.
Silver Spring Square in Mechanicsburg, Pa., contains the only Wegman’s supermarket in the Harrisburg trade area. The 570,000-sq.-ft. center is shadow-anchored by Target and Kohl’s.
The Marketplace at Hamden in Connecticut, features one of the highest-volume Stop & Shop locations in the New England, along with T.J. Maxx, Old Navy, Petco, Pier One Imports, and TGI Fridays. The 235,000-sq.-ft. center was purchased in partnership with an institutional real estate fund and Silver Peak Real Estate Partners.
“With these acquisitions we are expanding our presence in Connecticut and are pleased to re-establish ourselves in Pennsylvania,” said Shelley Anderson, Wilder’s director of new business development.
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Where are brick-and-mortar’s best retail experiences?
That’s what we want you to tell us.
Chain Store Age is now accepting nominations for its “Top 10 Retail Center Experiences” feature to be published in the July/August issue. We invite retailers to tell us about the centers that build meaningful traffic for them with compelling experiences, and we invite owner/operators to clue us in to unique customer draws they’ve installed in specific properties.
“Unique is the operative word here,” said CSA real estate editor Al Urbanski. “We want a list of centers doing things no other center in the country is doing. It could be something that runs throughout an entire center, or it could be one incredibly innovative feature.”
In last year’s list, for instance, No. 1 Mall of America was recognized for the entirety of experience, while No. 2 Brickell City Centre was singled out for its architecturally and ecologically unique Climate Ribbon roof.
You can make nominations for this year’s list here. Every retail property — from a necessity-based center to the retail portion of a master-planned community — will be considered. Final selections will be made by a panel of CSA editors.
We feel our Snow Heights Promenade should be Featured (www.snowheightspromenade.com). Michael Sapir, CEO, Sapir Real Estate Development.