Change is constant in life and commercial real estate. Consider Sarasota’s South Tamiami Trail, which is constantly undergoing rebirth and renewal. Australian-based Westfield Corp. is working to rebrand its Southgate Mall as a lifestyle center, with Cinebistro and anticipated tenants such as LA Fitness replacing long-time merchants like Saks Fifth Avenue that departed in favor of the Mall at University Town Center. The pair of self-storage projects, at Sandrala Drive and adjacent to the former Kalin’s Furniture store, will provide extra space for the hundreds of new residential units being built. At the same time, retailers ranging from Verizon to Pier One to furniture consigner Posh Plum have recently opened on the South Trail, adding to the diversity of offerings. South Trail office buildings also are trading at higher prices. A pair of offices at 2940 S. Tamiami Trail and 3150 S. Tamiami, respectively, sold recently for roughly $300 per square foot, a testament to the importance of a highly visible location that is also surrounded by solid demographics.
Still, not all of the activity has been positive. The Landings shopping center has struggled to retain tenants and attract new users – despite abundant surface parking, a high traffic volume and a location near a vibrant residential area with stellar demographics. Look for the center either to be sold or revamped in the next year or so to a buyer with a renewed commitment to leasing, marketing, landscaping and property management efforts.