Miami’s shopping, dining and entertainment landscape has been competing with the condo market for headlines in recent years, as retail-driven megaprojects like Miami Worldcenter, American Dream, Brickell City Centre and Miami Central move forward. Just as those mixed-use developments take shape, a new trio of existing retail destinations are gearing up for extreme makeovers of their own.
Lincoln Road Mall, Bayside Marketplace and the Shops at Sunset Place have all revealed new master plans within the past month, a clear sign that mounting demand in Miami’s retail market among local, national and international retailers is raising all ships.
As more and more land is consumed by residential and mixed-use projects, developers are turning to infill development and adaptive reuse – the process of converting, expanding or improving an existing property’s use and functionality – as a means for keeping their retail assets relevant in an increasingly competitive market.
- Lincoln Road Mall in the heart of South Beach has been a mainstay of the South Florida retail scene for decades. Recognizing that the art deco pedestrian mall has lost some of its luster as new retail destinations come online both within Miami Beach and off the island, city leaders have hatched a new vision that improves public seating and access to businesses, adds street art and lighting, and rethinks the pedestrian experience. The full program could take as long as 20 years to implement, but you’ve got to start somewhere and the initial goal is to begin work in early 2018.
- A short hop across the causeway in downtown Miami, the owners of the 30-year old Bayside Marketplace are planning a dramatic renovation that will overhaul the center’s outdoor common spaces with new design elements and flooring, signage, lighting, landscaping and paint. With Downtown Miami attracting so many new residents and tourists and the neighborhood’s population expected to continue growing, the hope is that Bayside’s new look will enhance connectivity with the adjacent Bayfront Park, American Airlines Arena, Museum Park and the Central Business District.
- Less than ten miles south sits the Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami. The center was built in the 1990s and after enjoying moderate success in its early days, soon fell victim to fast-changing retail trends. Now it’s getting a new lease on life, thanks to an ownership team led by Federal Realty, Grass River Property and Comras Company. The group recently revealed plans for a revamped Sunset Place complete with refreshed retail offerings, new public spaces and hotel and apartment uses that will create a built-in population. By better integrating the center within the surrounding neighborhood and taking advantage of nearby transit links, Sunset Place hopes to transform itself into a vibrant lifestyle destination.
It’s no coincidence that each of these properties were once among the market’s top retail destinations but have since lost ground as consumer attitudes change and new options come online (think Wynwood, Midtown, the Design District and downtown, to name a few). The common denominator across all three examples is a shared belief that making investments today will ensure these properties remain relevant tomorrow.