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Open-air retail replacement for Sears at Aventura Mall breaks ground
Published Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Seritage Growth Properties broke ground on the Esplanade at Aventura, which will replace the Sears at the Aventura Mall.

Demolition of the big-box Sears store started on Friday. The New York-based company (NYSE: SRG) will build 215,000 square feet of retail and restaurants in an open-air setting full of shade trees out outdoor seating.

A Sears store will not be part of the Esplanade. That store closed earlier this year.

Seritage is a REIT that acquired the Sears and Kmart real estate portfolio across the nation in 2015. Many of those big box properties are being redeveloped as those retailers cut back on locations. Seritage also has redevelopment plans at the Sears at the Westfield Broward mall and at the former Kmart in North Miami Beach.

In Aventura, Esplanade will cover 12.3 acres at the William Lehman Causeway and Biscayne Boulevard – two of the city’s most busy streets. Seritage plans to attract chef-driven restaurants to spaces to the project.

“Esplanade at Aventura provides an unparalleled open-air setting for retailers and restaurants to fully display their latest experiential oriented brands in a high street setting, with activated outdoor space, central plazas and an abundance of patio and rooftop gathering areas,” said Benjamin Schall, president and CEO of Seritage. “Best in class retail, entertainment and restaurant concepts and consumers alike are seeking out engaging and interactive environments that emphasize the experience and, in turn, drive high-levels of foot traffic. We have proudly designed and programmed Esplanade at Aventura to be a world-class open-air destination for Aventura and South Florida.”

The 215,000-square-foot first phase of the project should be completed in late 2019. Seritage has a 100,000-square-foot second phase planned.

The retail vacancy rate in Aventura is already low at about 4 percent and demand continues to be strong, said Zach Winkler, senior VP and real market head at JLL. He helped several tenants sign leases at the Aventura Mall’s 315,000-square-foot expansion.

“Since demand is so high and vacancy is so low, you are not overbuilding in Aventura. You are creating critical mass,” Winkler said.

Many retailers prefer an open-air setting instead of build inside the mall, such as restaurants that to be more convenient for customers, he said.

“This is a perfect example of where a Sears box closing is a good thing for local consumers and for Seritage as a landlord,” Winkler said.


Source: South Florida Business Journal

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