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The Real Deal Miami

Consumers, builders choose outdoor centers over shopping malls

March 01, 2012 03:45PM

From left: Delray Marketplace, Promenade at Coconut Creek and the Shops at Pembroke Pines

Both shoppers and retail developers throughout the U.S., and especially in South Florida, are increasingly eschewing indoor malls for outdoor shopping centers, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Outdoor centers allow consumers to drive through and scan stores quickly, rather than walking through a maze of outlets, and they can park nearest the stores they choose to frequent. Parking is usually easier in outdoor malls because of the series of small lots they utilize over the large garages favored by malls. Further, consumers like the fact that outdoor complexes provide a “downtown” setting to suburban communities and developers prefer the flexibility they offer to attract an array of tenants.

“The trend is to incorporate a tenant mix of retailers, restaurants and entertainment in an area accessible to neighborhoods,” said Jason Samreny, vice president of leasing of Kite Realty Group, which is developing the forthcoming outdoor Delray Marketplace.

While retail construction is down overall since the crash, outdoor complexes opened in 2007 and 2008 in South Florida in the Shops at Pembroke Gardens and the Promenade at Coconut Creek. Further, aforementioned Delray Marketplace and the Palm Beach Mall replacement are coming in the next year.

Meanwhile, no new enclosed mall has been built in South Florida since the Mall at Wellington Green in 2001, and nationwide there hasn’t been a new such structure since 2006.