ORLANDO-Big-box power retailers are fighting for market share in affluent, high-growth communities in the metro region, according to a new market survey by the Orlando office of Trammell Crow Co.

Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Linens ‘n Things and Bed, Bath and Beyond already have established positions in the path of the State Road 417 extension in the Sanford, FL area, while PetCo, Marshalls, Pier One and Off-Broadway Shoes have opened outlets in Millennia II near Conroy Road in south Orlando.

“Further south, several power centers under development in the south Orlando-Kissimmee area are competing for new tenants and retailers are making the most of it,” says John M. Crossman, a TCC senior vice president and director of investments sales for the Orlando area. “Major new retailers at the (1.3-million-sf) Mall of Millennia such as Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Bloomingdale’s, Tiffany & Co., Macy’s and Crate & Barrel have firmly positioned Orlando as a fashion retail market.”

And it’s not only the upscale specialty retailers who want to locate here, Crossman says. “Retailers like American Signature, Ultra Cosmetics, Cargo Kids and Guitar Center all opened recently and Kohl’s, Sofa Express and Arhaus all have plans to enter the market soon,” he adds.

On the restaurant development side, another area analyst, David W. Marks, president, MarketPlace Advisors Inc. in suburban Maitland, FL also predicts a new growth wave for the metro area in the leisure dining category.

“With more and more people eating meals outside of their homes, restaurant developments should continue to be strong in 2004,” Marks tells GlobeSt.com. “Because of our lifestyle, we’re continuing to see food-oriented retail developments such as the Winter Park Village and Colonial TownPark in Lake Mary, FL.”

Marks adds “a lot of these projects don’t have the typical retail setting of the past” and “it’s not a return as robust as we had historically, but things should be better in 2004 than over the last couple of years.”

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