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South Florida's Downtown Miami, Southwest Broward Submarkets Leading the Way for New Retail Development

Analyst: Industry is Changing, But It's Not Dead
May 2, 2018

Source: CoStar Market Analytics.

South Florida developers aren’t buying the “retail is dying” mantra.

Three major shopping centers are in development across downtown Miami and Southwest Broward, ranking those areas as the leading submarkets for retail construction in the tri-county region, according to CoStar data.

Miami Worldcenter and MiamiCentral, both 5-Star projects, account for more than three-quarters of the downtown’s 807,578 square feet in the pipeline, the data shows.

The mixed-use Worldcenter, between Second and Miami Avenues to 11th Street, will have 300,000 square feet of retail in its first phase, which is expected to open in spring 2020, said Nitin Motwani, managing principal of Miami Worldcenter Associates. The developer also is planning a 150,000-square-foot second phase, though details have not yet been released.

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The developer of Miami Worldcenter in downtown Miami promises a diverse group of retailers.   Courtesy of Miami Worldcenter Associates.

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s originally were announced as anchor tenants, but both department store chains pulled out before groundbreaking, when the development team changed the format from an enclosed mall to an open-air center.

Still, Motwani promises a diverse group of retailers to include food halls, restaurants and fashion boutiques, which will serve 11,000 residential units and 4,000 hotel rooms slated for the downtown corridor.

“It’ll be transformative for the area,” Motwani said. ‘”These will be places you want to visit 10 times a month versus one time a year.”

Also in the downtown core, MiamiCentral offers 180,000 square feet at 200 NW 1st Ave. The project is being developed by All Aboard Florida, the parent company of the new Brightline commuter train service in South Florida.

Meanwhile, Southwest Broward is second only to downtown Miami in the market, with 511,152 square feet of retail currently under construction. Most of that belongs to the 4-Star Pines City Center, which will bring 300,000 square feet to 10200 Pines Blvd. in Pembroke Pines, FL, at the corner of Pines Boulevard and 106th Avenue.

The first phase includes Publix Super Markets, Cooper’s Hawk and Outback Steakhouse, all of which opened recently. The rest of the first phase will be ready within the next few months, according to Jim Zaydon of the Courtelis Co., the Miami-based firm leasing the project.

Hobby Lobby will anchor the second phase, which is due to be delivered by early next year. A movie theater also was proposed, but the developer, Terra Group, is still considering its options, Zaydon said.

A hotel and a self-storage facility are part of the project’s third phase.

“It’s a very dynamic project, and we’ve put some strong tenants in there,” Zaydon said. “The vision of the city commissioners and the planners was to have a downtown area for Pembroke Pines.”

The first phase of Pines City Center in Pembroke Pines is expected to be complete in the next few months.   Courtesy of The Terra Group.

Miami, Hialeah Gardens and West Palm Beach round out the top five markets for retail construction, according to CoStar Market Analytics. Miami has 342,136 square feet in development, while Hialeah Gardens and West Palm have 314,129 and 206,597 square feet, respectively.

Retail has been hit hard in recent years, with stalwarts JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Kmart, Toys R Us and other big names closing stores or going out of business due to lackluster sales as consumers increasingly shift to shopping online.

Still, only about 10 percent of all U.S. shopping is done online, and that figure likely won’t eclipse 30 percent anytime soon, said Katy Welsh, senior vice president of retail for Colliers International South Florida.

Merchants may have to reinvent themselves by offering consumers an experience in their stores, but Welsh insists brick-and-mortar retail has plenty of life left.

“People say to me, ‘Oh my gosh, you must be worried,’” she said. “And I say, ‘No, it’s the best time.’ We’re evolving. It’s exciting.”

Paul Owers, South Florida Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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