Spotlight On: John Crossman, CEO, Crossman & Company

Spotlight On: John Crossman, CEO, Crossman & Company

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read October 2019 — The retail sector has remained steady in Orlando over the last few years. Far from affecting physical stores, e-commerce has contributed to the growth of many businesses and the retail market. Crossman & Company is a commercial real estate firm focused on serving retail landlords exclusively throughout the Southeast. CEO John Crossman spoke recently with the Invest: team about the performance of the Orlando and Central Florida retail sector and its latest trends. 

 

What are some trends and advantages of Orlando’s retail sector?

 

Retail is interesting in that it follows growth from other market sectors. When you look at the real estate industry, typically jobs lead, then housing and then retail. When you look at a market, there are two specific factors to consider in terms of retail performance: the number of people moving and vacationing in the area. If those two numbers are up, then there will probably be an up retail market. In Orlando, those numbers keep going up and the retail market is doing very well. In central Florida, we have healthy demographic growth and a big tourism industry that is making the retail sector substantially bigger. Orlando has one of the highest timeshare markets in the world and the exponential factor of tourist retail is amazing. 

 

There is also what we call “the halo effect,” which happens when an online retailer opens physical stores and, most times, their online sales go up. Similarly, when an online retailer closes physical stores, their online sales go down. When customers buy something online and return it to a physical store, they typically end up spending more money in the store. In the Orlando area, we’re not seeing people radically closing stores. We are seeing a combination between their physical and online presence. 

 

What areas of Orlando are seeing the most demand in retail real estate?

 

The areas that are closest to the I-4 corridor have typically done well. As more beltways have been added over the years, that has spurred additional growth. Submarkets like Oviedo, Lake Mary, Clermont and Kissimmee have done well, too, due to their proximity to the corridor’s beltways. I don’t think you can talk about Orlando’s retail without talking about Lake Nona. There’s no doubt that that area has a major significance. Retail activity starts with jobs, then residential and retail, and there are numerous jobs and growth in Lake Nona. In the tourism area, some significant deals were closed recently, specifically on International Drive and Disney. Disney Springs and Park Avenue Winter Park are some of the best retail experiences in Orlando. 

 

What are some challenges facing the retail real estate industry in Orlando?

 

The retail industry overall is doing well. Yet, it’s very dynamic and it can become overwhelming. The industry has significantly changed so much and now is more similar to that old school, post-1950s retail, where retail surrounded a property that was growing up in a certain area. We used to talk about mixed-use developments, but now we have the mixing of uses in developments. Now, you can have a retailer, medical providers, educational institutions, religious organizations and a different mix of tenants in the same place. That makes for healthier retail, but it also can be complicated due to the many dynamics in the same place. Another challenge is technology, augmented reality, and the rapid pace of innovation. We need to get together as an industry to explore the future impact of new technologies in the retail sector.   

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Crossman & Company: https://www.crossmanco.com/

How e-commerce is feeding Orlando’s booming retail market

How e-commerce is feeding Orlando’s booming retail market

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — At times when big retailers such as Sears, Charming Charlie’s and some malls are struggling to survive, Orlando’s retail sector continues to thrive. The city’s rapid population growth and robust economy present an ideal environment for retailers. Rather than having a negative effect on brick and mortar stores, e-commerce has had a positive impact in Orlando’s retail market, according to industry leaders who recently met with the Invest: team.

“We are seeing a blend of both online retail presence and brick and mortar, and that is a trend that we will continue to see for the next two to four years. Retail is going through an evolution, and that is not necessarily a negative thing. We will see significant changes over the next few years,” SRS Real Estate Partners Managing Partner and Market Leader for Orlando & Tampa Cindy Schooler, told Invest:.

Colliers International’s 2019 Q2 Central Florida Retail Market Report showed the area has a 5.3% vacancy rate. The report points out that Orlando’s regional growth has fueled investor demand for retail product to an all-time high. Rental rates have increased to $50 per square foot in Central Florida’s top retail corridors, while Orlando’s tertiary markets have increased in tenant demand. 

“There are two specific factors to consider in terms of retail performance: the number of people moving and vacationing in the area. If those two numbers are up, then there will probably be an up retail market. In Orlando, those numbers keep going up and the retail market is doing very well. In Central Florida, we have healthy demographic growth and a big tourism industry that is making the retail sector substantially bigger,” John Crossman, CEO of Crossman & Company, told Invest: in a one-on-one interview. 

Crossman explained the impact of “the halo effect,” which happens when an online retailer opens physical stores and, most times, their online sales go up. Similarly, when an online retailer closes physical stores, their online sales go down. 

“When customers buy something online and return it to a physical store, they typically end up spending more money in the store. In the Orlando area, we’re not seeing people radically closing stores. We are seeing a combination between their physical and online presence,” he said. 

An example of the e-commerce growth in Orlando is Kroger and Ocado’s second customer fulfillment center. Earlier this year, Kroger Co. and UK-based online grocery partner Ocado Solutions confirmed the location for a 375,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Lake County. The center will supply online customers only and its expected to create 506 jobs and add $63 million in annual economic impact. 

Orlando’s tourism sector also provides a particular advantage for businesses to test new products, according to Schooler. “We are a test field in the area because of the tourist market. A lot of entrepreneurs bring concepts here and test their brands because of the diversity in the area. That allows clients to test lines that they would never be able to test in traditional retail markets,” Schooler said. 

According to Colliers 2019 Q2 retail report, approximately 980,571 square feet of construction was underway by the end of the second quarter. This is the highest amount since before the Great Recession. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

SRS Real Estate Partners: https://srsre.com/ 

Crossman & Company: https://www.crossmanco.com/ 

Colliers International: https://www2.colliers.com/en 

Miami’s Industrial Real Estate Has Buyers Lining Up

Miami’s Industrial Real Estate Has Buyers Lining Up

Writer: Sara Warden

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — Miami is an attractive place to live and a business hub, but that also means its real estate doesn’t come cheap. In the huge land expanses involved in industrial real estate, assets cost a pretty penny. But the dynamics of the Miami market mean developers are not shying away from putting their hand in their pocket.

A key example of this is the recent sale of the three-building, 74-acre Centergate development at Gratigny in Hialeah for $178 million, Florida’s biggest sale of the year. Real estate giants CBRE closed the sale on behalf of the buyer.

“Centergate is one of the largest industrial offerings to come for sale in South Florida in recent years,” said CBRE Executive Vice President Jose Lobon in a news release. “Given the challenges to aggregate square footage in our market, Centergate presented a unique opportunity to acquire critical mass in one of the most desirable logistics markets in the nation.”

The sale can be broken down to a price of $111.25/ft2, a steal compared to recent deals in the greater Miami area. At the end of last month, institutional investor The Blackstone Group bought the 14-acre Airport Trade Center property west of Miami International Airport for $56 million, or $152/ft2.

Also this month, CBRE closed another multimillion-dollar industrial real estate deal, selling the five-building Miramar industrial portfolio to Stockbridge Capital. This deal equates to an eye-watering $192/ft2.

“It’s hard to buy industrial real estate in South Florida. It’s very competitive. Particularly when you see something of this size, multiple buildings,” Lobon added. “The opportunity to be able to buy in one stroke over 600,000 square feet of Class A, high-quality institutional industrial real estate in South Florida, those opportunities don’t come around that frequently.”

With these values, it’s not hard to see why other industrial real estate investors have made Miami a prime focus in their business plans. NYSE-listed real estate corporation Terreno has made Miami a cornerstone in its six-market strategy. 

“Terreno acquires, owns and operates industrial real estate in six major coastal US markets. Exclusively. Functional, flexible, infill real estate located at the intersection of growing demand and limited, or even shrinking, supply,” the company says on its website.

E-commerce is one of the reasons why industrial real estate close to the city limits is in such high demand in recent years. Miami is the sixth-most densely-populated city in the United States and the metropolitan area is home to over 6 million people. 

A 2017 study by San Francisco technology company Trove Technologies found that Florida is No. 1 for discretionary income in the South Atlantic region. Discretionary income is the amount left over after paying for the essentials such as rent and bills.

A huge captive population combined with sizeable disposable income is not only good news for e-commerce, but also for the US industrial real estate giants that are betting on the greater Miami area.

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://www.cbre.com/about

https://www.blackstone.com/

https://stockbridge.com/

https://terreno.com/