Need a big box? Four empty PBC retail spaces fit the bill

Article by Jeff Ostrowski – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Entrepreneur Hannah Wickins scoured Palm Beach County for space suitable for the indoor pet park that she calls “Disney World for dogs.” She settled on the long-empty Home Depot Expo at Woolbright Road and Interstate 95 in Boynton Beach. Wickins signed a bargain lease for 20,000 square feet for her Dog Activity World Group.

“It was a very desolated plaza,” Wickins said. “But the location had potential. I knew it was only a matter of time before that plaza turns around.”

Indeed. The former Home Depot Expo space has sat empty for nearly a decade. But in a recent flurry of activity, Wickins leased the 20,000 square feet at the south end of the property, and Illinois-based retailer Camping World this spring bought the other 88,000 square feet for $8.25 million.

Wickins hopes both tenants will open for the 2018 holiday season.

One empty big box has been filled, but other merchants’ struggles have emptied big boxes in Palm Beach County. Some call it “retail Armageddon.” The closing of a Sam’s Club and the collapse of the Gander Mountain and Toys R Us chains have vacated hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail space with tens of millions of dollars of taxable value in Palm Beach County alone.

As Wickins’ dog park and daycare illustrates, many of the new tenants for retail space aren’t traditional retailers. A trampoline park is moving into a former HHGregg electronics store in Wellington. Elsewhere, churches, charter schools, gyms and co-working spaces have filled empty stores.

“A lot of these boxes will become more focused on entertainment,” said commercial real estate broker Bill Reichel of Reichel Realty in Palm Beach Gardens.

Even as Amazon has decimated many merchants, Palm Beach County’s retail vacancy rate remains in the single digits. After Sports Authority closed its locations in 2016, its Palm Beach County spaces were filled by such retailers as Rooms to Go, HomeGoods and Burlington Coat Factory.

The return of homebuilding is buoying Palm Beach County’s retail market, said Bruce Corn of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman.

“They’re building again – and they’re building a lot,” Corn said. “With residential comes retail.”

CLICK HERE to view the full article and see which spaces are available.

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PRESS RELEASE: NAI/Merin Hunter Codman Takes Six CoStar Power Broker Awards

West Palm Beach, Fla. – NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Inc., Palm Beach County’s leading commercial real estate services firm, takes Six 2017 CoStar Power Broker Awards. Each year commercial real estate firms and professionals who achieve the highest volume of sales and leases are recognized with prestigious power Broker Awards by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ — CSGP). For the past 15 years NAI/Merin Hunter Codman has been consecutively recognized in CoStar’s Power Broker Awards, this year’s awards include:

  • Top Sales Firm
  • Top Leasing Firm
  • Top Leasing Broker – Chairman, Neil E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM
  • Top Leasing Broker – Principal, Jason L. Sundook, SIOR
  • Top Industrial Broker – Principal, Jason L. Sundook, SIOR
  • Top Retail Leasing Broker – Managing Director, Bruce Corn

Jordan Paul, CEO of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman said, “We are proud that NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, its partners, and many of our outstanding brokers have been consecutively recognized as industry leaders by CoStar. This recognition reflects our market expertise and dedication to providing the highest quality service for our South Florida clients. Congratulations to Neil, Jason and Bruce on their much-deserved recognition.”

CLICK HERE to view the full press release.

Press Releases

NEWS PICK-UP: Jeff Greene set to break ground for West Palm’s first new office space in a decade

“The Palm Beach Post reported that billionaire Jeff Greene is ready to hire a general contractor to build a 30-story office, hotel and apartment complex in West Palm Beach.

Neil Merin, chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, told the Palm Beach Post that Greene and Related Cos. will need at least five years to lease the office space at both One West Palm and 360 Rosemary if they open simultaneously.”

CLICK HERE to view the full article link | CLICK HERE to view as PDF

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NEWS PICK-UP: Related plans new office tower at CityPlace’s north end

The Related Cos. plans to build an 18-story office building on the north end of CityPlace, a move that could boost efforts to link the West Palm Beach mixed-use center to the rest of downtown and further develop the city’s core urban district.

360 Rosemary is slated to rise at the corner of Rosemary Avenue and Evernia Street, the first in a series of steps designed to expand and update CityPlace, a shopping, dining and residential center built by Related.

The 285,000-square-foot tower will be across from Publix. The supermarket was courted for the ground floor space, but a Related official said this week that Publix is staying put at CityPlace. The office tower instead will feature another retailer.

“It’s a big building for our market,” said Neil Merin, chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman in West Palm Beach.

Related tried to build another office tower next to CityPlace a few years ago, but it was unable to obtain enough tenants willing to pre-lease space in the project, dubbed Gateway Tower.

In 2014, Related pulled the Gateway Tower plan. The next year, it unveiled a different idea: The Restoration Hardware furniture gallery, which opened last year.

Merin said Related, at some point, will need to decide whether it’s going to rely on pre-leasing to clinch a decision to build 360 Rosemary, “or if they’re going to build it anyway.”

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

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EVENT: Honda Classic Broker Luncheon

Tacos, cold drinks, good company and the Honda Classic – what better way to spend a Friday afternoon? NAI/Merin Hunter Codman and Fairway Office Center hosted the Honda Classic Broker Luncheon, a highly anticipated annual event, on February 23rd. Guests enjoyed a delicious catered lunch while rubbing elbows with other top area brokers. After lunch, brokers are bused to the course and receive Bear Trap access.

The event showcases available space at Fairway Office Center, a 224,000 SF office park consisting of three Class-A office buildings situated on a 16-acre campus within the PGA National Resort and Spa Community. The buildings provide first-class amenities, ample parking and security. Click here for more information and to view current availability.

Events

EVENT: 951 Yamato Road – Mardi Gras Broker Lunch

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman’s Richard Brockney and Jay Grossman welcomed the area’s top brokers to 951 Yamato on February 15th for a Mardi Gras themed lucheon, boasting the properties most recently completed spec suites and upgrades. 951 Yamato is a premier Class-A office building featuring a stunning atrium, lush interior courtyard and concierge services in the heart of Boca Raton, just 1 mile west of I-95 with a Tri-Rail shuttle stop at the building.

Guests were treated to a delicious catered lunch and enjoyed generous door prizes and raffles courtesy of Brookwood Financial Partners. The luncheon was held in one of two recently completed spec suites which are available for immediate occupancy. Several spec suites are planned for the 2nd floor of the West Tower, ranging from ±1,500-2,600 SF.  All spec suites will feature glass panel entry doors, glass walls in conference rooms, LED lighting, 3′ glass sidelights in offices, and full kitchens.

To learn more about 951’s availability feel free to call Rich at 561 394 5200 or click here. Please enjoy photos from today’s event below.

Events

Palm Beach County Real Estate Mogul Jeff Greene Speaks to Crew Palm Beach/Treasure Coast Chapter

Excerpt from Crew Palm Beach/Treasure Coast. 

Jeff Greene and Barbara LeBrun

Crew Palm Beach/Treasure Coast hosted the largest crowd this year at this month’s program on Tuesday, October 10th at the DoubleTree Hotel.

Jeff Greene, local real estate tycoon, spoke to CREW members on the upcoming projects throughout Palm Beach County, including One West Palm, micro-apartments on Banyan Blvd, Clematis Place and Currie Park.

Greene has built his career mainly in real estate starting back when he was a college student. Today the bulk of his fortune includes some 30 properties in Florida, 3,500 apartments in Los Angeles and 3 buildings in downtown Manhattan.

“Jeff is always a crowd favorite and we are so grateful that he took the time to speak to our chapter,” says Barbara LeBrun, Past-President for CREW Palm Beach Treasure Coast, “And, our members really enjoyed his insight on the short and long term predictions for Palm Beach County.”

Click here to read their full release.

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