The Real Deal Miami

Shopping centers getting emptier

February 03, 2010 10:42AM

South Florida’s shopping plazas continue to lose tenants with consumer spending at a relative standstill. Parkland shopping centers like Riverstone Shoppes and Waterways Shoppe, a pair of adjacent plazas, are now largely empty. Signs on 13 of 32 storefronts in Meadows Square, an older center along Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach, read “Space Available.” Business is down for the shops that stay open, said Ruben Sarkisian, co-owner of a shoe repair shop inside the Meadows Square, and this is especially true in plazas that have lost their anchor tenants. Waterways general manager Peter Citrin said a large anchor tenant prompt shoppers to come to the plaza in the first place, whereas smaller businesses tend to benefit from incidental spending once a customer is nearby. Among the 260 shopping centers larger than 50,000 square feet in Palm Beach County, the vacancy rate was 12.8 percent at the end of 2009, up from 10.6 percent at the end of 2008, according to Woolbright Development of Boca Raton. [Sun Sentinel]