il projects, but at the end of the day, it is very challenging for these new players to trump Bal Harbour Shops.”
Some hard data backs up Romero’s assertions. According to Green Street Advisors’ 2016 report on the top 10 malls in the U.S. by sales — the most recent available — Bal Harbour Shops took the number one spot. The 520,000-square-foot shopping center had $3,185 in sales per square foot. Aventura Mall, which came in fifth, made $1,595 in sales per square foot with 2.1 million square feet of retail space.
However, Bal Harbour Shops’ long reign as South Florida’s crown jewel of luxury retail is in peril. Aventura Mall’s owners, Turnberry Associates, recently opened a $214 million new wing, which features 315,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and an interactive, nine-story Carsten Höller sculpture with two slides people can ride down. Before the expansion, Turnberry had also convinced Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Givenchy, among others, to plant flagships at Aventura Mall.
Matt Levinson, a Turnberry spokesman, said the company sells tenants on Aventura Mall’s popularity by noting that it draws more than 29 million visitors each year and ranks as the sixth most visited destination in Miami-Dade by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“The breadth of Aventura Mall’s offerings is unrivaled,” Levinson said. “Aventura Mall also offers wide-ranging programming and experiences that drive engagement with locals as well as international visitors.”
Levinson declined to say if Turnberry offers luxury retailers lease incentives to open storefronts in Aventura Mall.
Although the Design District didn’t crack Green Street’s 2016 top 10, it potentially poses the biggest threat to Bal Harbour Shops’ supremacy, thanks to commitments made five years ago by the world’s most famous high-fashion brands — including Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford and Givenchy — to anchor the once-gritty-now-glam neighborhood.
“All those tenants understand why it is important to put flagships in the urban core,” said Tony Arellano, a principal with DWNTWN Realty Advisors. “Some people would argue the Design District, over time, will grow into a better location, in terms of density, than Bal Harbour Shops.”
Matthew Whitman Lazenby, CEO of Whitman Family Development, acknowledged that Bal Harbour Shops needed a jolt to meet the demands of Miami’s growing luxury retail market.
The expansion will go a long way to solidifying Bal Harbour Shops’ grip as the region’s top luxury retail destination, Lazenby said. “We were well overdue for an adjustment,” he said. “Not having enough space has resulted in a long list of potential tenants we can’t accommodate and others that are already here in spaces that are way too small for them.”
Indeed, it was the Whitman family’s inability to give a high-profile tenant more space that led to a mass exodus of retailers to the Design District. In 2013, Bal Harbour Shops could not accommodate Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH’s demands to expand its Louis Vuitton flagship store due to lack of available space. Compounding the problem was a radius clause that stipulated that if tenants opened stores in other parts of South Florida, they would have to pay percentages of their sales from the other locations to Whitman Family Development.
From that impasse, the Design District emerged as a spoiler to Bal Harbour Shops’ dominance in the South Florida market. Miami developer Craig Robins’ company, Dacra, which owns a significant number of properties in the Design District, inked a 50-50 partnership with L Real Estate, of which LVMH is a majority shareholder. The deal involved transforming the Design Distr爱上海同城