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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Aventura Mall

Happy New Year Aventura!

I drove by the Aventura Mall a few times in the last couple of days and the traffic has been terrible. The fact is the Aventura Mall has become a shopping mecca. In addition to being a local
hot spot, many travel long distances to visit popular retailers. Well, if you didn't already notice, the Aventura Mall is growing. This means more shopping and MORE TRAFFIC.


Let's be honest, as much as we all hate the traffic it means people are spending money in the City of Aventura. This creates jobs, opportunities, and demand for the surrounding real estate. The article below will give you insight into the past and future of the Aventura Mall.

Enjoy the article...

Miami Herald
Posted on Thu, Dec. 27, 2007

Expanding Aventura Mall lures luxury retailers

Don Soffer knew when he first started planning the Aventura Mall more than 25 years ago that the area would have the population to support luxury shopping. While retailers didn't necessarily agree with Soffer in the late 1970s and early 1980s, they have long since changed their mind. Aventura Mall ranks as one of the country's top-performing centers -- with sales at $1,150 per square foot in 2006, almost three times the national average.

''Back then I had to convince the stores that they had customers here,'' Soffer said. ``This was the boondocks out here.''

Now a city has grown up around the mall, complete with the typical urban traffic jams.
When Nordstrom opens its doors at Aventura Mall on Feb. 15, it will mark another step in raising the mall's profile in time for its 25th anniversary on April 27. The $100 million expansion project comes on the heels of a $24 million renovation of the existing mall.

''It's by far the best center in Miami-Dade and Broward,'' said Arthur Weiner, principal of AWE Talisman, a retail developer and consulting firm with offices in Aventura and Coral Gables.
Yet when it comes to luxury offerings, Aventura has its share of company in South Florida, where high-end retail continues to flourish. When the Bal Harbour Shops opened its doors in 1965 -- at first without any anchor stores -- it set the standard for this new era in South Florida shopping. The Town Center at Boca Raton followed, with a lineup that has grown to include Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Malls from Dadeland in Kendall to Galleria in Fort Lauderdale have added more luxury stores over the years.

One of the newest players is The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, which opened in 2002 and struggled at first. Originally billed as a pure luxury center with stores like Gucci, Tiffany, Burberry and Neiman Marcus, it is now diversifying its mix of retailers. Even the king of value shopping now has a luxury wing. Sawgrass Mills, the mega-outlet mall in Sunrise, expanded last year to add the Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass, with names like David Yurman, Barneys New York and Salvatore Ferragamo.

In addition to Nordstrom, Aventura Mall will add a new wing with almost 160,000 more square feet and a 1,840-space parking garage. Key tenants include restaurant Mitchell's Ocean Club, a Hugo Boss flagship, Calvin Klein, Lily Pulitzer, M. Missoni, AG Adriano Goldschmied, Parasuco and Ferrari. Plus, Abercrombie & Fitch's new concept C5 and a new Forever XXI mini-department store.

''Everytime we bring in new stores it brings in more people,'' Soffer said.
Nordstrom plans to highlight its top designer merchandise in Aventura with the likes of Versace, Burberry Prorsum, Armani Collezioni, Dolce & Gabbana and Tory Burch.
''We definitely have some high hopes,'' said Michael Boyd, a Nordstrom spokesman. ``We think there's a lot of business to earn.''

In addition to the new wing, Aventura Mall has been in the process of upgrading its entire tenant mix. In the past year, the mall has seen a wide variety of new stores including Tourneau, Ted Baker, Michael Kors, Juicy Couture, Lululemon, Lacoste, Theory, Ruehl and Grand Lux Cafe.

''The center is growing up,'' said Joe Tagliola, president of Turnberry Associates retail division. ``We're not just adding run-of-the-mill mall stores. We're really stretching to add some uniqueness to the center.''

And there are still more to come in 2008, including Hollister, Oakley, Kate Spade, 7 For All Mankind, Lush cosmetics, Cut & Sew by Marc Ecko and The Grill on the Alley restaurant.
Plus, industry sources say Barneys Co-op is on its way. The variety of new stores, coupled with the existing anchors of Macy's, Sears, JCPenney and Bloomingdale's, makes Aventura the dominant mall in the region. Industry experts say what makes the center unique is its ability to offer something for customers of all ages and income brackets.

''Dadeland is very touristy and very young, while Aventura is much more of a balanced demographic,'' said Cynthia Cohen, president of Strategic Mindshare, a Miami-based national retail consultant. ``Aventura is great for the masses.''

But as Aventura's sales doubled in the past five to eight years, the mall also generated interest from retailers who previously had their home on the second floor of the Bal Harbour Shops. Tenants that have moved over the years included Lacoste, Coach, Hugo Boss and Williams-Sonoma. The advantage Aventura Mall offers: a larger volume of shoppers. Even in a year where many malls have struggled, Aventura is on track for sales increases of between 5 and 7 percent.

''Aventura's sales are so obscene that even the snobbiest of brands must take a look at it,'' Weiner said. ``No one in their right mind can turn a blind eye.''

And don't discount the possibility of another expansion down the road. Turnberry executives say plans are being kicked around, but nothing is ready to move forward.

''We're never out of space,'' Soffer said. ``We can always go vertical.''

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