After blowout deal and peak rents, Lincoln Road is on edge

Industry pros say the leasing market has softened along Miami’s popular retail road
By Ina Cordle | October 26, 2016 08:45AM

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From the fall issue: A year after Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega made a record-shattering purchase on Lincoln Road — paying $370 million for an entire block — some of the enthusiasm for the retail district has waned.

“Two years ago, we were showing space on Lincoln Road every day,” said Stephen Bittel, chairman of Terranova, the largest retail property owner on the street. “Now it’s twice a week.”

Justin Greider, a vice president at JLL, echoed the sentiment, saying that vacancies are taking longer to get leased up, with some spaces sitting empty for up to 15 months. And some lingering vacancies remain, particularly on the east end of the popular retail street.

Owners have been dropping asking rents, which have declined to about $275 to $325 per square foot, down from $350 to $450 at the start of the year, according to Greider. That followed a long streak of rising rents dating back to 2010.

“If anything, supply is greater than demand right now,” said Drew Schaul, an executive vice president at RKF who represents several properties on Lincoln Road.

For the moment, though, there’s still plenty of money pouring into the fashionable Miami Beach shopping district. The area is still a very attractive location for retailers, said Manny De Zarraga, an executive managing director at HFF. He ranked it among the top shopping, dining and entertainment districts in the world because of the volume of visitors.

“Ten million people may walk Lincoln Road a year,” he said. “It’s tough to find even regional malls that come close to that traffic.” [more]