Oct 7, 2022 - Business

Miami-Dade real estate signals retail's resurgence

A storefront window with mannequins in Versace clothes.

A shopper in Miami's Design District. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Miami-Dade's retail real estate is booming again.

What's happening: Stores are being leased by tenants, and the vacancy rate stands at just 3.5% across the county, according to data from global real estate firm Colliers.

The big picture: Nationwide, retail real estate has made a comeback, with the vacancy rate dropping to just 6.1% — the lowest in about 15 years — in this year's second quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports.

What they're saying: Around Miami, space is primarily being filled by restaurants, health and fitness companies and medical services — rather than sellers of dry goods, Dave Preston, executive managing director for retail services at Colliers, told Axios.

  • Busy areas include Coral Way, where the vacancy rate is just 0.8% but asking rents are relatively cheap at $27.57 per square foot. In Aventura, the vacancy rate is just 1.2% even though asking rents are a pricey $64.70 per square foot.

The vacancy rate was highest in downtown Miami: 17.5%. Preston attributed that to massive construction along Flagler Street that's been underway for years.

  • Once street improvements are done, Preston said, the Flagler corridor will look "closer to what Brickell is" because of new residential buildings and changes to I-95 that will allow better ingress and egress from the highway.

Between the lines: "Miami Beach has been steadily coming back from a bit of a down cycle," Preston said. Asking rents beach-wide are highest in the county, at $83.15 per square foot. The vacancy rate is 4.8%.

  • Once-booming Lincoln Road has been plagued by empty storefronts for years. Preston said rents peaked around $400 per square foot but have come down to about $200. "Deals are getting done. ... It's just going to take awhile."
  • Preston added that the months-long closing of Miami Beach's convention center had a "major impact" on the area.
  • Yes, but: New, trendy hotels such as the Goodtime and the Moxy are drawing tourists to the beach, Preston said.

What we're watching: Preston cautioned that "some signs of a slowdown" have emerged, which he says are most likely caused by interest rates.

  • But some analysts say they expect retail to remain strong, even with recession fears rising, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • "Everybody's keeping an eye on macro trends right now," Preston said.

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