From left: Tom Prakas and a stretch of Atlantic Avenue in Delray BeachRetail brokers are working to sell businesses on the allure of South Florida’s various downtown areas. The Palm Beach Post reported that the revival of downtown areas was the central theme of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Florida Conference held last week in Palm Beach County.
The ICSC is an organization that lobbies for retail issues, and the event brought together developers, owners, retailers and brokers to network and discuss downtown neighborhoods.
Because of the availability of space and parking, suburban shopping areas have dominated the South Florida retail scene in recent years, but with the thousands of downtown residential and commercial units built in the last decade, the ICSC wants the retail sector to focus on those areas.
Thanks to that ramped up density the transformation is already underway.
The Post cited restaurateur Tom Prakas, who has moved businesses into Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue, where a busy restaurant row is forcing businesses to side streets and cultivating a neighborhood that encourages visitors to park their cars and window shop. Combine that vibe with the aforementioned increased population in city centers throughout the state, and the conditions are ripe for more retailers to flood downtown areas, attendees said. [Palm Beach Post]