Monday, April 28, 2008

Miami-Dade Real Estate: Why Home Developers Are Temporarily Turning Their Sights To Retail Market Projects

The Miami-Dade area is a famous tourism, business and recreation hub in the state of Florida.
This area, which is renowned for being called as the “Gateway to the Americas”, and for being “Americas Playground”, has a lot to offer tourists, business and real estate investors, and young families as well as retirees. The residential markets so far still continues to rise up after reeling from the previous US mortgage slump.

The Area Is Also Seeing Lower Retail-Market Rentals

The South Florida retail market, according to economists, is experiencing record-high rents and record-low vacancies. In Miami-Dade, which is being seen as the most underserved by retail of the three large South Florida counties, average rents on stores here has risen by 41 percent in 2006, from $21.52 to $30.45 per square foot. Broward and Palm Beach counties have seen similar trends.

Along with robust population growth, job growth and consumer spending, the sharp upturn follows limited development of new retail outlets from 2000 to 2004, when most of the funds were generally diverted into into condo developments. These days, developers and investors are setting their sights on retail development, and an estimated 6 million square feet of retail space is under construction in South Florida for delivery in 2007 and 2008

Why Most Property Developers Are Temporarily Shifting To Commercial Projects

According to real estate market analysts, a lot of developers are turning to commercial projects as a temporary shift, or deviation from the residential markets.

While most of the area's retail venues, which range from strip shopping centers to the traditional enclosed mall, are faring quite well, a large segment of the new funding is going into something that could seem out of place in sprawling South Florida. These days, mixed-use developments, which are also called lifestyle centers or town centers, are being built to meet the preferences and demands from consumers and local government units, for old-fashioned downtowns.

According to retail market observers, the average household income is about $130,000 in this region, which many say is quite above the national norm, and every shopping center or department store chain in the country sees this as an opportunity, and there's been a lot of interest from restaurants and the fashion business.

Retail market analysts also have noted that the average stay in a regional shopping mall 10 years ago was two hours,but now it's under 50 minutes. So from a new product standpoint, the mixed-use, shop-work-live" setup is seen as the retail market's future. It also gives developers flexibility during the long build-out process.

If the residential market seems to be going the wrong way, you have the ability to swap it out with offices, says the retail market observers. For instance, an ambitious shopping development project is planned for the City of Doral in western Miami-Dade County.

The builder, Flagler Development Group, is developing Downtown Doral, a 120-acre mixed-use community which houses 2,840 condominium apartments and townhouses, totaling almost 800,000 square feet of office space, has 180,000 square feet of retail, a new city hall, a new elementary school and 3 acres of parks and green space. The project will be developed in phases in the over the next seven to 10 years.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor
Aventura Condos 

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