With more than 4,500 attendees the floor was buzzing at this years Florida Conference and Deal Making in Orlando and it marked the largest Florida ICSC in more than a decade. Representatives from our Boston and Charlotte offices joined the Florida team at the show and here were a few of their takeaways.
Positive earnings have everyone in a good mood
We’re right on the heels of two weeks of great news coming from retailers. Performance in the 2nd Quarter beat many estimates and for some it was the best they have seen in a decade. While a good chunk of this performance came from improving their omnichannel platforms, they also saw a huge benefit from reinvesting in existing stores and developing real estate strategies to reach more customers. That factor was key and gave an air of optimism throughout the conference.
The Florida economy is on a growth track and retail is keeping pace
Duane Stiller, CEO of Woolbright Development, gave a lively and entertaining discussion on the state of new retail development in Florida. One of the (many) notable takeaways; based on Florida’s current population growth, demand for retail space will increase roughly 4,000,000 SF per year and 75% of that demand will be met from existing inventory.
Residential growth has been quite noticeable
In addition to strong retailer performance, our brokers heard repeated observations on the rapid residential growth Florida has experienced over the last 18 months, and the numbers bear it out. According to government estimates since 2016, Florida’s population has increased 1.7% annually, among the fastest in the country over that time, and it recently passed New York as the 3rd most populous state in the nation. Additionally, per Zillow research, the median home value in Florida has risen 9.2% in the past year and is projected to move even higher in the coming year.
Retail and Industrial are on a collision course (in a good way)
Ecommerce, click-to-brick, and traditional retailers are devoting an increasing amount of time and resources to finding solutions to the challenge of the “Final Mile.” Traditional industrial real estate, while still in high demand, doesn’t always meet the needs of emerging omnichannel platforms who are looking to get products to consumers in 2 hours rather than 2 days. Retail real estate, with its proximity to both highway infrastructure and population can offer a solution in some circumstances and help return an obsolete site to productive use.