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SANFORD, FL-Cincinnati-based North American Properties has added 500,000 sf of new retail product to the heavily trafficked Interstate 4 and State Road 46 axis in this Orlando suburb with the opening of its 500,000-sf MarketPlace at Seminole Towne Center. There is only 2,000 sf available for lease at the 43-tenant, 99%-leased property.

A North American representative declined to disclose the development cost or the leasing range at the property. However, area retail brokers and construction sources tell GlobeSt.com the center’s hard construction cost was about $200 per sf or a total $100 million. Trammell Crow Co. research in Orlando puts the average asking lease rate in the Sanford submarket at $17.91 per sf, up 27 cents from the 2004 average of $17.64 per sf.

MarketPlace at Seminole Towne Center took 16 months to construct. Anchors include SuperTarget, Circuit City, World Market, Dress Barn, DSW, Factory Card and Party Outlet, Kirkland’s, Linens ‘n Things, Marshalls, Old Navy, Petco and Sports Authority.

The Interstate 4 and State Road 46 axis, 25 miles north of Downtown Orlando, now houses three million sf of retail product, according to GlobeSt.com research. Trammell Crow puts the entire Sanford retail submarket at 3.66 million sf.

“As a whole, in spite of surviving through the worst hurricane season that Florida has ever experienced, both rental rates and occupancy levels for Orlando [area] are up and getting stronger,” John M. Crossman, a principal with the East Coast Retail Investment Team at Trammell Crow, told the International Conference of Shopping Center’s Florida Conference last week in Orlando. “Central Florida’s success will continue to rely on steady population and tourism growth. As long as these numbers remain strong, so will retail.”

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