Retail Heats Up as Summer Cools Down

The economy is starting to show significant signs of improvement, but many are hesitant to say so. Perhaps they don’t want to jinx it! Not included in this hesitant group were attendees of the 2014 International Council of Shopping Centers Conference, which took place last week in Kissimmee. This mega-conference of commercial real estate heavy weights was brimming with optimism, and this attitude is not unfounded.

Let’s take a look at the numbers. Consumer spending in Florida grew by nearly 6 percent, which may be attributed to unprecedented job growth that outpaced the national average. This rebounding strength will be followed by higher rental rates, experts predict. According to CBRE, in the coming years markets such as Miami may witness upwards of a 37 percent increase in retail rents. Here’s the kicker; of all retail development in Q2 of this year, a whopping 30 percent took place in Florida! Investors and developers alike have taken notice. Everywhere you look, retail real estate is being developed, redeveloped or fully leased.  


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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