Northeast Florida commercial real estate: Retail stable but facing challenges

Here is what Avison Young, CBRE, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, Foundry Commercial and JLL are saying about the market at the close of 2023 and the start of 2024.

St. Johns Town Center is a hub for commercial real estate activity.
St. Johns Town Center is a hub for commercial real estate activity.
Photo by Monty Zickuhr
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Jacksonville’s retail market remains stable with low vacancy and solid leasing activity, reported Colliers.

But there is a note: Landlords seem to be backfilling spaces more frequently than they were a couple of years ago, meaning tenants are leaving spaces more quickly.

“This isn’t due to bankruptcies, which would indicate extreme distress. Instead it tends to stem from a simple failure to thrive,” Colliers said.

Deals are taking longer “as permitting and financing delays abound.”

That leads to upended deals, Colliers wrote, “which means it is critically important to have backup offers for all available spaces until a lease is signed and contingencies waived.”

Colliers reported that rental rates seem to be stabilizing after years of strong growth, and landlords are becoming more flexible with build-out periods.

“But that doesn’t mean tenants can breathe easy,” Colliers said.

Inflation, insurance and real estate taxes are increasing expenses.

Multitenant retail development also remains a challenge because of higher construction and financing costs.



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