Real Estate

Miami Is Running Out of Retail Space

Thanks mostly to tourists with fat wallets, the retail sector in Miami has reached an all-time high, and retailers are scrambling to get a piece of the action.

Retail space vacancy rates have hit 3.8 percent, and the average rent in the third quarter of 2014 was $45.18 per square foot. That's up a whopping $4.83 per square foot and $7.43, year over year.

This is according to a new report from CBRE, a commercial real estate services firm as reported by Miami Today.

Though a rebounding local economy has something to do with it, the ever-increasing demand of foreign tourists is really what's driving the retail craze. And those tourists have fancy taste. Vacancies for areas that attract luxury retailers are even lower.

That shouldn't be much of a surprise considering another recent report named Miami as the fourth biggest luxury retail market in America right now, far ahead of even Los Angeles, and only behind New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas. In fact, together, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, and San Francisco now are home to 40 percent of the total luxury retail locations in all of America.

Miami was also third in 2013 for luxury sales per square foot. So at least high-end retails are getting more than their money back for those pricey per-square-foot rents.

As we all know, developers are keeping up with demand. The Design District is completing its transition into luxury shopping destination. Aventura and Bal Harbour have plans to expand, and new developments with a heavy focus on retail like Brickell City Centre are under construction.

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Kyle Munzenrieder