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Market Spotlight: Pinellas County Retail Market

County is a microcosm of the larger Gulf Coast retail market, but is performing better than most

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  • | 6:00 a.m. November 30, 2018
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COURTESY PHOTO — Sundial contains a movie theater, upscale market and dozens of other shops in downtown St. Petersburg. The project is leased and managed by commercial real estate brokerage firm JLL.
COURTESY PHOTO — Sundial contains a movie theater, upscale market and dozens of other shops in downtown St. Petersburg. The project is leased and managed by commercial real estate brokerage firm JLL.
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Pinellas County stands as the largest retail submarket in the greater, seven-county Tampa-St. Petersburg market, with 56.8 million square feet of retail space, more than double the amount in nearby Pasco County.

Pinellas boasts a number of other retail superlatives, as well. It has had the greatest amount of new retail space completed in 2018 and also has the most new space under construction — even as its asking rental rate remains near the top of the region.

The county is a microcosm of the larger retail marketplace as a whole, too, with urban retail in downtown St. Petersburg and Clearwater, suburban-styled malls in Clearwater, Largo and St. Petersburg, and a plethora of strip centers and stand-alone offerings throughout the county.

From a statistical perspective, the “Gateway” section of the county and the central business district in Clearwater have been the county’s best performers, as measured by vacancy and absorption rates, while downtown St. Petersburg, perhaps not surprisingly, has the highest rental rates as measured by a per square foot basis — significantly higher than the balance of the county.

Also not surprising, the county’s retail rental rates have climbed significantly over the past four years, to a current historical high.


The amount of available retail space, on a percentage level, in Pinellas County at the end of the third quarter of this year. Since the end of 2014, the rate has decreased from 6.2% to its current level. By comparison, the rate for the entire Tampa-St. Petersburg submarket, which also includes Pasco, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties, stood at 4.4% as of Sept. 30. The highest vacancy rate in Pinellas is found in the south of the county, at 5.8%, which also has the greatest abundance of retail space. By contrast, the lowest vacancy — 4.3% — is in Clearwater’s downtown, which has among the lowest concentrations of retail.


Average rental rate per square foot for retail space throughout Pinellas County at the end of the quarter. Four years ago, the asking rental rate was $14.31 per square foot, representing a gain of 26% since that time. Regionally, the average rental rate was $15.81 per square foot at quarter’s end, which ranks Pinellas’ rate above most of the other areas in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market.


Average retail rental rate on a per square foot basis in downtown St. Petersburg, the highest rate in all of Pinellas County and the entire seven-county market as a whole. By contrast, the lowest asking rental rate for retail space is found in Clearwater’s central business district, where space rents for $12.39 per square foot.


The amount of absorption of retail space in Pinellas County as of the third quarter of 2018, on a year-to-date basis. Pinellas’ level of absorption — or vacant space removed from the market through leasing activity — is second only to Polk County, which stood at 232,136 for the first nine months of this year. Overall, the Tampa-St. Petersburg market had absorption of 763,318 square feet through the first three quarters.


Amount of retail space, in square feet, delivered through construction or renovation activity through the first three quarters of 2018 in Pinellas County. The amount is more than 100,000 square feet higher than the second most active submarket, Sarasota-Manatee. In all, 1.32 million square feet has been completed in 2018 throughout the region.


The amount, in square feet, of new retail space under construction in Pinellas County as of Sept. 30 of this year. The figure also ranks as the highest amount for a county of any of the seven counties in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market. The Sarasota-Bradenton submarket ranks second here, as well, with 250,118 square feet under construction.


Amount of percentage of new retail space that has been pre-leased prior to construction in Pinellas County at the end of the quarter. Though a few counties have higher percentages, none comes close to the 24 new buildings underway in Pinellas.


Largest retail delivery, in square feet, in Pinellas County in 2018. The space is part of a larger Simon Property Co. rehabilitation of the Tyrone Square Mall, at 6901 22nd Ave. N. The mall’s anchor tenants include DSW, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bonefish Grill and MidiCi Neopolitan Pizza.  


Largest new retail lease, on a square foot basis, in Pinellas thus far in 2018. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet’s deal at the Oak Tree Plaza, at 6095 9th Ave. N., was executed with landlord Kimco Realty Corp. in the second quarter of the year. Dollar Tree and YouFit Health Centers also anchor the 119,494-square-foot project.

Source: CoStar Group



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