Local Commercial Real Estate
It’s becoming an even more important topic locally in Tampa Bay as we grow. Vacant existing space is becoming hard to come by in the right size, flexibility, and buildout required for business owners. You think there’s plenty of buildings to choose from, but actually it’s hard to distinguish true availability from all the cluttered marketing of options out there. Sometimes frustrating. I know because I work with friends and clients whose businesses are growing rapidly and they’re searching for the right new locations to expand into. Driving around main roads to find your next site is no longer an efficient use of time because those main roads are just full of marketing billboards that stay up to get leads rather than to advertise true available options. You almost need a guru who knows where the real options are hidden. A true expert that has driven all the roads and knows where to look.
Scarcity is even occurring in usable vacant land that is zoned accurately, situated in the right location for the right development, shaped appropriately, and is clean from environmental concern. We’ve taken that for granted here in Florida because we’ve always had land to work with.
West Florida has predominantly been occupied and developed west of I-75, along the coastal areas. Although our growth has been pushing us inland. Over the past 10-20 years we’ve started developing east of I-75, more and more. If you see it daily like I do, as a Florida-raised real estate expert, then you notice it happening. If you don’t see it daily then you’re surprised when you notice how much has happened in the last 5-10 years, especially in areas you don’t frequent often.
Pinellas County is the most densely populated county in Florida with very limited options of vacant land to develop on. Redevelopment of outdated properties will likely be where opportunities lie. St Pete and Clearwater are both experiencing population growth as more people want to live, work and play near the water. Their respective downtowns are also attracting businesses and entertainment.
Hillsborough County has land outside the Tampa city limits, but leaders are starting to realize that they have to plan and preserve the right parcels so we have options to use for economic development of large projects looking around the state, in order for us to continue to compete as a region. Inside the Tampa city limits most land positions are held by large institutional owners or smart private investors who have seen where growth is occurring and are looking ahead to change. That’s a good thing, but don’t expect those owners to sell those parcels at less than competitive prices, due to supply and demand. The secret is out – we’re a high growth area going in the right direction!
Pasco County is aggressively preparing for the future as the labor force for Tampa is starting to build homes and create jobs in their communities. Those commutes to Tampa and St Pete will start getting cumbersome and they’ll develop more new jobs and commercial real estate in that county, as they currently are.
Polk County is growing so fast and garnering so much attention from corporate America that you have to follow those developments yearly if not quarterly. LARGE-scale warehouse, manufacturing and distribution projects are being built there, in order to serve the massive population growth we’re seeing between Tampa and Orlando metropolitan areas. No really, it’s amazing to see how many millions of SF of new high-bay, concrete tilt-panel warehouses are under construction or being discussed.
Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties are also experiencing a new look from developers as they start looking 10-20 years out, in order to get ahead of the next path of progress.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF HIDDEN DEVELOPMENTS THE GURU HAS SEEN, AND MANY MORE ARE OUT THERE WHICH SHOULD BE MENTIONED, BUT SPACE IS LIMITED:
- 3 new construction projects being built in North Hyde Park for retail and apt homes, west of the University of Tampa, proving that downtown is stretching past the river.
- Retail and hospitality redevelopments all up and down Kennedy, Dale Mabry, Howard Ave, Platt, SR-54 and 4th Ave just to name a few road arteries in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas.
- Something HUGE happening downtown near Channelside and around Amalie Arena.
- Tampa General Hospital, USF and Moffitt all taking more real estate as they expand.
- Multi-million dollar improvements underway at our Airports and Seaport in order to prepare for the oncoming traffic from business travelers and import/export.
- Several millions of SF of industrial grade warehouse-distribution buildings along the I-4 corridor, covering 3 exits and over 15 sites, reaching over to Orlando.
- The start of a 250k SF corporate manufacturing HQ in Pasco.
- Completion of a 200k SF corporate medical office-warehouse in Temple Terrace.
- Completion of a 200k+ SF FedEx distribution center in the Gateway area of Pinellas.
- A few local manufacturers looking to consolidate 180k SF.
- A company looking to build a 50-80k warehouse near the Tampa airport.
- North of the Tampa airport there is a site rumored to build 100k SF on.
- A 90k SF flex industrial project is being built in Riverview.
- 4 sites near Madison Industrial being built as speculative warehouse projects.
- AND, multiple users looking for over 20-30k SF in Tampa, which is our core warehouse user finally coming back to the market and showing confidence!
Those are just projects I can think of and share off the top of my head. Many others exist.
Moral of the story….call me, so we can talk expert advice on where your real estate strategy should be focused in West and Central Florida.
There’s an elephant in the room we all want to talk about… Fortress Commercial Real Estate. A new commercial real estate brand in Tampa Bay that’s made up of over 30 years of Florida experience and local real estate knowledge. I’ve paid attention on Florida real estate so you can pay attention on growing your business.
Visit www.FortressCRE.com and call or email me for more sound advice at kostas@FortressCRE.com or by phone at 813.444.3330.