Sales of Shopping Centers Doubled in Florida

December 23, 2010 / Elizabeth Buckley, Commercial Property Analyst

The market of shopping centers in Florida was not lively last year, one of the markets hit by the shaky economy, but this year, investors had gobble up huge shopping centers across the state. Shopping centers’ sales doubled this year, increasing to 40 from 16 in 2009.

Sales of Shopping Centers Doubled in Florida

According to commercial real estate experts, several factors resurfaced this year that boost the economy and encouraged investors to acquire commercial properties, not just in Florida but in other states as well.

Economists said there is a better rate for return investment this year, plus an improving economy with more eager banks and lenders to loan money, while experts agreed that large commercial shopping centers are considered as safe investments because its draws major consumers compared to stand-alone buildings and strip centers.

Jim Michalak, co-managing associate of Plaza Advisors, a commercial real estate advisory firm that specializes in the investment sale of retail shopping centers said that in recession, the people’s main priority is food, which is why groceries hold well than most retail stores.

Larry Richey, from Cushman & Wakefield in Tampa, Florida, a commercial real estate brokers and consultants said big store sales in 2009 froze because of the distressed financial market, but it will remain as a highly-priced asset in 2011.

Large commercial centers in prime locations will be receiving lots of offers when they enter the commercial market.

About 28 of the 40 shopping centers sold in Florida this year have at least 60,000 square feet of space. Most of the shopping centers had grocery stores as major tenants.

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