The Trend of Retail in Charlotte County
I’m just back from the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) Florida Conference and Retail in Florida is strong and tertiary markets like Charlotte County are on the Retailer Map.
The face of retail is changing with the growth of Amazon and other online retailers but brick & mortar is alive and well. Retail is evolving and giving the consumer a more diverse experience with a mix of restaurants, entertainment and healthcare in the retail space.
One of the bigger booths at the show was GBT Realty Corp, the national company who acquired the 75 year ground lease on the 9 acre Kmart property in Port Charlotte. GBT is marketing Port Charlotte as being halfway between Sarasota and Naples, an area prime for the expansion of national retail brands and they are bringing retailers who have not been in Charlotte County before. With the announcement of HomeGoods & Burlington last fall, they have now added a 58,000 SF phase II expansion and added Lucky’s Market, a Skecher shoestore and Ross Dress for Less to the mix.
As we look at big box conversion, it’s an economical way for developers to get into a good trade area with high visibility. It will be interesting to see the mix of service retail, restaurants and possibly entertainment that they will bring in to enhance the consumer experience.
Many other developers are gearing up for retail: Sunseekers Resort, the 22-acre development on Charlotte Harborand Private Equity Group with its development on Peachland Boulevard and at Murdock Village. Lost Lagoon Development LLC at Murdock Village has modified its development plans with a more retail slant - a Town Center with an Old Florida Feel and is delaying the Water Park for a few years.
Charlotte County Statistics for Retail:
Vacancy Rates are Down to 3.7%
Market Rent is Up, Averaging $14.83 psf Annually
Rent is Growing at 1.5%
Market Cap Rate is at 8.0%
Average Sales Price is $143.00 psf
Heather Rideout, CCIM
Rideout Commercial Group
KW Commercial, Peace River Partners