Florida Retail and Real Estate in the $1 Trillion Economy

05 September, 2018

Randy Smith Bohler Director Tampa, FL

Event Recap: ICSC Florida Conference and Deal Making

Last week’s annual ICSC Florida Conference and Deal Making gathering can be easily summarized: demand will continue for a long time – but so will the increasing costs of labor, land and materials. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the clients and brand working in Florida refer to the market as being “on fire,” and reference that even with the unprecedented development occurring today, we are not ready to meet the needs of the migrating population, retiring Boomers and aging infrastructure.

As if that isn’t a big enough conundrum, retail has another layer of complexity in the changing expectation of consumers related to globalism, technology, experiential retail and significant disruption. One constant for brands and the developers that support them is the Florida economy. A few highlights I took from the presentations and conversations include:

  • Florida’s economy hit the $1 trillion mark earlier this summer as predicted. Additionally, migration shows no signs of stopping based on job growth and the GDP is growing by nearly $3 billion each day. Of all the places to look for opportunity, Florida has something for every brand and program.
  • Those with the best team win. With the first bullet being no major surprise, those development programs with veteran professionals, strong partners, dynamic networks and open minds will capture the flag and cut through the challenges associate with the rising costs of doing deals. The talent market is tight, but the investment in the right people to bring the expertise and relationship will differentiate.
  • Everything is not what it seems. The well-positioned retailers and investors are buying land and properties, but not always for that quick return. In some cases, to hedge future land costs and to keep competition boxed out of prime locations, we are now seeing developer buying and holding for future anticipated growth.

Another great resource that came out last week was the Colliers International: The Retail R/Evolution report – focused on the Florida markets and offering a strong, long-term position on the state’s retail trends.

Learn more about Bohler’s Florida offices, our team of professionals and how we can help with your development needs.

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