Retail planned near Orlando Eye

Retail planned near Orlando Eye (Unicorp National Development / August 25, 2014)

Orlando’s downtown population has grown at a faster rate than other downtown areas in Florida, according to the 2014 Florida Retail Report, released Monday in Orlando.

In general the report said Florida’s recovering economy, tourism sector and employment rates are supporting growth in retail. Residential growth in an area often leads to more retail development. While that hasn’t been the case yet in downtown Orlando, the trends are real, according to the report.

From the report: According to U.S. Census data from 2000 to 2012, the population in Orlando’s city center grew the most of the largest five metro areas of Florida, increasing 34.2% over the period. Tampa’s city center had the second-fastest rate of population growth at 14.5%, followed by 14.2% in Miami and then 13.7% in Jacksonville. But the increase in Florida urban populations has not come at the expense of the suburban population.

The report was presented at the International Council of Shopping Centers Florida conference, held at the Gaylord Palms Resort.

Other highlights of the report:

--Florida retail sales: During the 12-month period ending June 2014, sales totaled $6.1 billion, 8 percent higher than the total as of June 2013. In terms of the number of properties, sales increased 10 percent. Recently, the velocity of sales has increased. $1.6 billion in retail sales occurred during Q2 2014 alone, an increase of 9 percent relative to the prior quarter.

--Tourism impact: Retail sales received a big assist from record tourism. In 2013, Florida retail sales increased to $76.1 billion, and 2014 is turning out to be another record year. In the first quarter of 2014, a record 26.7 million tourists visited Florida, an increase of 524,000 people over Q1 2013.

--Housing recovery: Florida is leading the nation in home sales to international buyers, according to the National Association of Realtor’s 2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity for the 12-month period ending in March 2014.

--Boomers and seniors: Florida’s senior population will increase from approximately 3.3 million in 2010 to 5.7 million in 2030 as the baby boom generation retires and many choose to relocate to the state. But spending on entertainment and consumption by today’s boomers will decline as they get older. However, growth in Florida’s senior population will more than make up for the collective impact of the decline in individual consumption spending that accompanies aging.

--Urban projects now: Most urban projects in Florida are in Miami. But Orlando’s new new I-Drive entertainment complex made the report as an urban project. The complex includes the Orlando Eye and I-Shops, currently under construction by Unicorp National Development,

--Orlando Market stats: Orlando has one of the fastest-growing economies in Florida. The total vacancy rate for the Orlando retail market held steady with the previous quarter at 7.2 percent. In Q2 2014, the average asking rental rate was $13.95 sq. ft.