Demand surges from Latin America, Europe for limited Doral retail space
By Marilyn Bowden
With a growing, high-income residential base and dense daytime traffic from West Dade's office and industrial parks, the Doral retail market is thriving.
At an International Council of Shopping Centers, or ICSC, meeting held in Orlando last week, "there were lots of deals getting done, and many Doral owners were there meeting with tenants," said Adam Tiktin, vice president in investments and director of the National Retail Group at Marcus & Millichap and chair of ICSC in Miami-Dade County.
"But there's not a lot of space," he said. "At about 99% occupancy, Doral is one of the tightest retail markets in the county and the state."
In Doral's 77 retail buildings, he said, 21 spaces are available, at rents ranging from $24.50-$40 a square foot.
"In many centers there are tenants waiting for space," he said, "which is something we haven't seen in a few years."
In particular, restaurants favor Doral, said Michael Weiss, senior vice president for the South Florida market at SRS Real Estate Partners, which specializes in the retail trade.
"It's a healthy, strong restaurant market," he said, "due to the combination of affluence and a strong office daytime population.
"Ale House and Hooters are two of the restaurant chains that say Doral is their top location within the state."
The Dolphin Mall, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is adding four fashion retailers to its lineup, said General Manager Pete Marrero. Juicy Couture, Versace and Puma Outlet have already opened; Semilla Principato Seborga, an Italian chain specializing in footwear and leather accessories, has plans to launch early in the fourth quarter.
They come on the heels of Lord & Taylor Outlet Store, Cole Haan, Chico's Outlet and U.S. Polo Association, all recent additions. Ed Hardy Apparel has been announced for the fall.
"We see a lot of demand from outside the country," Mr. Marrero said. "Interested parties are predominately from Latin America, but we also see some from Europe who want to come into the market."
Dolphin Mall didn't decline during the recession years, he said. "We continued our double digit growth throughout that entire period.
"One of our biggest issues is we have more demand than space — and we have demand from existing tenants who want to expand."
Miami International Mall also continues to add tenants. Recent arrivals include the French perfume and cosmetics chain Sephora, Spanish jeweler Tous and Australia's Cotton On, as well as Francesca's Collections, Best Buy Mobile and Bijoux Terner, said General Manager Maria Prado.
The mall's restaurant offerings recently expanded with the additional of Johnny Rockets and Arturo's — Miami International Mall is the first US location of the popular Venezuelan fast-food chain.
Kohl's Department Store and contemporary jeweler Pandora will come on board in September, Ms. Prado said. Also expected to open this fall are Croc's footwear and Camille La Vie, which sells formal clothing.
"In addition to our growing retail mix," she said, "Miami International Mall prides itself on offering Latin American visitors a home away from home."
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