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Front Page » Business & Finance » Malls at capacity, seek to add on

Malls at capacity, seek to add on

Written by on October 23, 2013

Occupancy in Miami-Dade’s larger malls is at full capacity and some have undergone or are planning for expansions, supported by improving economic trends.

“We’re fully leased,” said Maria Prado, general manager at Dadeland Mall, which has torn down a structure and built a new 102,000-square-foot wing.

The ground floor has already opened, said Ms. Prado of the two-story addition that is bringing in new tenants such as Tommy Bahama, Hugo Boss, Microsoft, Stuart Weitzman, PUMA, Donald J Pliner, Porsche Design, Vince Camuto, Free People, Urban Outfitters, Express, Original Penguin, Tesla, Fit2Run, Everything But Water, babycottons, Luggage & More and ALO Diamonds.

“We have the second floor partially open, both Urban Outfitters and Express have opened their second stories,” she said.

Texas de Brazil has signed up to be one of the restaurants to open in that upper level and it’s expected to move in next spring. “We’ll offer terrace dining,” Ms. Prado said.

It will join other restaurants in the second level such as Aoki Teppanyaki, Balans, Bobby’s Burger Palace, and Earl’s Kitchen + Bar.

“We change with the demand and we decided to have this expansion. It was a natural fit for the market,” Ms. Prado said.

The 2012-2013 Miami-Dade County Retail Report released by Terranova said that Dadeland Mall in Kendall was adding a new wing of more than 100,000 square feet, and Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour plans an expansion of 200,000 square feet. The latter submitted expansion plans to the village last month.

Ann Briggle, marketing manager at Bal Harbour Shops, said that in terms of occupancy, the stores are always full.

Several stores increased their space within the shopping center in the past few months. “This year, there were newly expanded store locations for Chanel, Audemars Piguet, Brioni, Loro Piana and Prada,” she said.

Etro, Grisogno, Scoop and Nest have opened new stores during 2013 and others are still expected before the year comes to an end, such as Lalique, Maje and The Webster, which would open its second shop in the luxury mall, Ms. Briggle said.

Occupancy has remained steady in the tight North Miami and the Beaches retail submarket, while average asking rent increased 8.4% to $27.50, up from $25.37 at the end of 2011, according to Terranova’s report.

“Improving economic trends are supporting a strong retail property sector in Miami-Dade County,” states the Retail Research Market Overview of the year’s third quarter, released by Marcus & Millichap. “The market’s strong consumer demand keeps Miami retail operations as one of the tightest in the nation with overall vacancies averaging under 5%.”

The report places countywide mall vacancy at about 4.4% and said the rate was relatively unchanged over the past six months.