The troubled Palm Beach County retail market has gotten a boost with more than 28,220 square feet of leases and renewals as of late, according to announcements from Palm Beach Gardens-based Reichel Realty.
While it continues to struggle like the rest of South Florida’s retail market, the region has seen some improvements, especially with help from large retailers like Publix and Walmart Stores.
In the summer, Walmart announced it would be scouting new locations in Palm Beach County, including a 77,000-square-foot location on Federal Highway in Delray Beach.
“The retail market has been challenging; it’s certainly a tenant’s world out there,” said Bill Reichel, president of Reichel Realty. “There are still some deals getting done. We’re renewing tenants, we’re working with tenants any way we can. We’re very progressive as far as any renewals — trying to get those tenants early.”
In the town of Palm Beach, the grocery chain got approval for a number of variances it needed from the town council for an expansion of the chain’s 40-year-old location. Publix has been making the largest retail splash in the county recently. It will open a new 54,340-square-foot location at the Garden Shops in Boca Raton Saturday, after a year of renovations, along with breaking ground on a location in Lake Worth late last month.
One of the recent deals last month was a one-year lease renewal by Quest Diagnostics in the Publix-anchored Nassau Square center, for 2,000 square feet.
“Publix has always led the way as far as quality properties, and I think they’re looking at situations with the opportunity for expansion where other [big-]boxes have gone out,” Reichel said. “When you have a Publix [in a retail center], it’s usually worth at least about a 20 percent bump in base rental rate.”
Also in Lake Worth, pool product store Pinch-A-Penny renewed its 3,600-square-foot lease at Jog Plaza, located at 3818 Jog Road in Lake Worth.
Last week, analytics firm Trepp announced that of 97 delinquent loans of more than $1 million in South Florida, the most — 27 — were on retail properties. Of those, nine were in Palm Beach County, led by the Palm Beach Mall, which is more than 90 days delinquent on its $49.2 million loan, along with the PGA Plaza Shopping Center in Palm Beach Gardens, which is also more than 90 days late on its $33.4 million loan. Also on the list are the Shoppes of Wellington Greene, currently in foreclosure on a $30.75 million loan.