South Florida is in the midst of a retail gold rush, and nowhere is that trend more evident than in Miami. There are seven projects totaling over 1.5 million square feet of retail space already under construction – and another 2 million square feet planned – in some of the most high-profile developments the city has ever undertaken. What’s even more significant is where they’re occurring and the retailers they’re attracting. For decades, Bal Harbour Shops in Aventura was the unchallenged champion of the high-end, luxury retail sector. Today, however, high street retail is flocking to Miami’s downtown neighborhoods as the “urbanization” of Miami accelerates.
Take the Design District, for example, where once-gritty warehouses are now gleaming with ultra-luxury goods by retailers like Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Prada. Although tenants have not been announced yet, it’s likely that Brickell City Centre, a $1.05 billion, 5.2 million-square-foot development in Miami’s financial district, will also attract many comparable high-end retailers. Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have already signed leases at Miami World Center, another mixed-use development in downtown Miami that will include 750,000 square feet of retail. And those are just a few of the projects underway.
What’s driving Miami’s retail boom? Population growth – the Miami MSA is expected to grow almost 7% by 2018 – Florida’s strong tourism industry, and the rebounding housing market are all important drivers.
But an even more compelling reason might be found in Miami’s expanding cultural-entertainment sector. Thanks to Art Basel, the new, world-class Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), and David Beckham’s proposed soccer stadium, Miami is now considered an equal among other cultural capitals of the world. As far as retailers are concerned, there’s no question that Miami has “arrived” and is a luxury brand in its own right – and we couldn’t agree more.
By: Ken Krasnow
Managing Director | CBRE South Florida
Ken Krasnow is the Managing Director for CBRE’s South Florida offices. In 2013, his region executed over 1000 transactions – 175 sales, and 825 leases – with an aggregate value exceeding $2.8 billion. In addition, CBRE South Florida completed over 1,400 valuation and advisory assignments and $600 million in loan originations.