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Team Beck attended the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) Florida Conference & Deal Making with ten of our incredible team members representing all four divisions, with Beck Partners being the only local Real Estate and Insurance firm to represent the area specifically. We are sharing the key takeaways specific to Florida derived from this retail-specific real estate conference.
The event itself was an overall success for the team, but what we really walked away with was excitement for strong growth in our markets and the state of real estate development in Florida. This allows us to properly advise our clients on the right opportunities at the right time to ensure successful futures for our clients and the company.
Many new exciting projects underway in Florida shows strong economic development throughout the state. Good examples of this are Lake Nona and the Creative Village. Investment from national and regional retail owners are continuing to be made in Florida. Developers and owners alike see the state as being an effective venture due to the market value of property compared to the larger metro markets. Cap rates and profitability on quality assets are still more favorable than the costlier metro markets.
Mixed-use projects are still the popular choice in latest developments. Take the Cascades Park project from North American Properties as a recent example of this in Northwest Florida. These types of development are very desirable to the public. This could be due to marketable walkability and access to amenities for residences, increased foot traffic for businesses and reduced risk to the investor through diversification. This urban lifestyle that caters to accessibility and a sense of community is trending among all age groups.
Retailers are continuing to seek space in the growing markets, especially in the food service department. Restaurant spending has increased and is expecting to increase more in the coming year. Retailers, specifically grocers, are getting more and more creative on providing on-the-go type products to reach growing requests for faster service.
Unique experiences that are memorable and can be easily shared are gaining more momentum in retail. People are looking for higher levels of entertainment that is more experienced based. This is pushing the envelope for retailers to be more creative and intentional with their new concepts.
The brokers also walked away with some prospecting tips for all types of deal-making. One speaker explained how their firm utilized LinkedIn solely for making appointments at the conference. The response rate was drastically more effective than using traditional email methods. With changing technology, traditional forms of communication and prospecting are being put to the test with the need for creativity being more prevalent.
Our new addition to the Tallahassee office, Fletcher Dilmore, was quickly acclimated to the retail landscape with this exciting conference. Chris Cobb excelled at his first ICSC event and Shawn Maxey was able to gain valuable insights and make new connections. The retail team (Justin Beck, Stacy Taylor and John Fifer) did what they do best, connected with people and made deals! Our Director of Property Management, Brice Pelfrey, was able to represent our comprehensive management and facility maintenance services. There was a lot of buzz around the Commercial and Personal Line Insurance services. Luckily, our smart and fearless leader, Reid Rushing, was there to answer questions and advise on possible solutions.
Look for Beck Partners at ICSC Florida 2018!