Loan tenants are driving retail leasing activities in central Florida. Big brands like Best Buy, Marshalls and JoAnn Fabric were renewing their leases or signing new leases, and the market was also capturing new brands, according to a new report from Colliers. While central Florida saw a negative 190,000 square feet of retail absorption, the report says this is not an accurate representation of leasing activity and renewed demand.
The reopening of the economy and the distribution of vaccines made for a perfect storm for the retail market. As Colliers describes, "the reopening saturated the Orlando retail market with incredible activity." Restaurant sales were particularly good, some up 100% from the same time last year when the pandemic first disrupted retail life.