By now everyone is familiar with Amazon’s acquisition of the grocery chain Whole Foods. Prices have been slashed and new marketing channels have been opened up for both Jeff Bezos’ parent company and the health foods conglomerate they’ve purchased under their wing. There have been some interesting developments in Florida real estate values lately as well. Let’s dig into those for a brief pre-weekend update.
Defensive Real Estate moves by Publix
Beloved Florida-based grocery giant Publix has stepped up their game in response to Amazon’s savvy acquisition of Whole Foods. FloridaTrend.com reports that as the aforementioned buyout occurred, “those currently sitting atop the retail food chain are working hard to solidify their standing” (1). One method Publix seems to be focusing on is the commercial real estate side of the equation. By purchasing the land and buildings their brick-and-mortar stores inhabit, Publix Super Markets can assert greater control over who does business within & beside their commercial RE holdings. This could be a good hedge against some ‘encroachment’ tactics Amazon might use, such as underbidding a lease for a new Whole Foods location in or near a Publix storefront.
Owning land and other commercial shopping properties around the State of Florida provides similar benefits even if Publix doesn’t have a store in the location. By stocking up on a variety of real estate in valuable residential shopping areas, Publix Super Markets can protect its turf during the coming retail and grocery upheavals.
Florida Home Prices still on the rise
The residential housing market in Florida continues to demonstrate its strength. May 2018 reported higher median prices, more sales, yet more new listings by owners as well. In fact, May was actually the 77th month in a row that median sales prices for single-family and condos rose year-over year (1). There are a plethora of beautiful homes for sale in Florida. Condos and rental properties are also a big part of the market here, as is the hospitality industry.
Southwest Florida goes all-in on Hospitality
There are currently more than 20 hotels under construction in Collier and Lee Counties. This is the largest surge in hospitality development in over a decade (2). With the financial crisis of 2008 still in many folks’ memories, some might question if this is a bit overzealous. However, a fundamentally strong economy in the state and the greater United States leads many experts to label the growth as ‘moderate’ at best.
A few standouts that visitors to Southwest Florida will enjoy considering: a Margaritaville resort on Fort Myers Beach featuring 254 rooms, a new Marriot Townplace Suites off of I-75 for weary travelers & vacationers alike, and several extended-stay developments around Naples and Marco Island.