What area is your expertise?
• Orlando/Central Florida
What trends do you see presently in retail development in your area?
• Orlando is still very much on an upward trend for retail development. With the population growth we have experienced over the past few years, the need for consumer services still exists which is being met by numerous local and national developers.
What type of retail product is doing well in your area?
• Big box with some smaller in line space centers are doing very well along with smaller strip centers ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 square feet that have a majority of regional national tenants. Some owners of older shopping centers are also doing well because they have committed funds to major capital improvements, which have given their dated centers a facelift to compete with newer retail. They remain competitive by having a good-looking product, but at a lower rental rate.
What retailers are new to your area?
• Two of the most promising and innovative retailers are Dagwood’s Sandwich Shoppes and Teriyaki Experience. Both of them are franchises that will see major growth throughout Central Florida in the next 1 to 2 years. They truly offer a competitive alternative to existing retailers and give the consumer something new.
Who are the active retail developers in your area?
• National developers: Sembler and Weingarten
• Local developers: Century Retail, Hessburg Carlson Companies and Real Property Specialists
Please name one or two significant retail developments in your area.
• Lake Nona Medical City — This is the new home of the Burnham Institute and UCF College of Medicine. With this addition to Orlando, it will draw companies from all over the nation to set up offices. Tavistock Group is the driving force behind this project and has plans for major retail developments that will service the surrounding communities and office parks.
Where is the majority of development taking place? Why is this area doing well?
• Development is occurring everywhere in Central Florida.
What area do you expect to be the next big retail development market? Why?
• I expect Orlando as a whole to keep growing with retail development. The tertiary cities that surround Orlando will experience some booms as we move into the next five years.
Please describe the retail leasing activity in your area.
• New projects are still pre-leasing, but at a slower rate than just a year ago. With the slow down of the residential market and tightening of funds from lending institutions, retail has experienced some of the fall out. With the New Year approaching, retail leasing will regain momentum and projects will push forward out of the ground.
— Submitted by Jeff Streep, associate — retail investments and leasing with the Orlando, Florida office of Carter.