Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s (SVNIC) 2014 Top Markets to Watch Reports assess the current state of the national commercial real estate market, and identify micro-trends within specific geographic regions and industries for 2014. Today we are delving into the 2014 Top Retail Markets to Watch. Not the largest or the most actively contested markets, the 2014 Retail Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that are driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.
TOP RETAIL MARKET TO WATCH : Florida Tech Corridor – Orlando to Tampa
In addition to boasting some of the top tourist destinations in the United States, Central Florida has cultivated a thriving technology cluster in a 23-county region spanning the breadth of the state. Joint programs by regional universities and community colleges cover a wide range of technology fields, from microelectronics to biotechnology, modeling and robotics, aerospace, wireless technology and digital media. The growing workforce of highly skilled, young professionals is attracting tech employers and fostering startups, adding a significant and expanding source of well-paid residents to help drive retail sales. Tampa and Orlando share a similar overall retail vacancy rate of about 9.5 percent, but Tampa’s malls have outperformed with a vacancy rate below 4 percent and average mall rents of $25 or more per square foot. In Orlando, mall vacancy is 200 basis points higher and average rent is closer to $15. Tampa’s weak spot since the recession has been excess vacancy at strip and neighborhood centers, but falling rents in those subsets showed signs of flattening in late 2013. Orlando in particular has benefited from resurgent tourism that will increase as the economic recovery takes a firmer hold in U.S. markets this year. Investor confidence in Central Florida’s outlook has driven strong demand for net-leased retail since 2011, and would-be buyers are now showing greater interest in multi-tenant properties with below-market rents that offer good upside potential.
To read more on the Florida Tech Corridor, and other top retail markets, download the full version of the Top Retail Markets to Watch report below.
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