Palm City, Florida

Regional Analysis

There is wind beneath Port St. Lucie’s sails thanks to a 2-percentage point increase to fourth quarter job growth following the annual benchmark revisions, payroll gains are outpacing the state average.  Professional/business services provided the main thrust of the increase; industry payrolls are growing faster on a smoothed, year-ago basis in Port St. Lucie than in all but five metro areas in the nation, pushing wage gains higher relative to those of Florida and the US.  The all-important healthcare and retail industries are driving growth as well.  At 6.5%, the unemployment rate is higher than average, but the gap between the metro area and the state is narrowing.  The labor market has provided little support to housing, however; homebuilding is hovering near its cycle low.

Port St. Lucie’s recovery will continue to build momentum.  Strong population growth and the high share of senior residents will support private services.  Metro area employment gains will outpace those of the US., though much of the resulting job creation will be in low-paying occupations.  Beyond the labour market, housing will slowly heal as the pipeline of distressed properties thins.  Longer term, low living costs relative to other South Florida metro areas will keep Port St. Lucie a magnet for baby boomers.

Local Area Analysis

Martin Downs Town Center is located in an area known in Martin County as “Palm City”.  Palm City is not an incorporated municipality, but is only a generalized geographical region of Martin County.  The subject’s immediate neighborhood is considered to be the eastern portion of Palm City and is the  much more developed portion of this area as it has been largely residentially developed for at least the last 20 or so years.  The western portions of Palm City are more agriculturally oriented.  Essentially, the areas of Palm City to the east of Florida’s Turnpike are considered to be eastern Palm City and the subject neighborhood.  Interstate 95 does form the southern end of the subject neighborhood while the Martin County line forms the northern boundary of the neighborhood.

In summary, the subject neighborhood is one of the more desirable commercial and residential areas of Martin County.  The neighborhood has an attractive demographic profile and sources of nearby employment.  Neighborhood improvements are newer and in generally good condition.  Access to the neighborhood is good and utility services are adequate.  Supporting commercial uses are good and surrounding land uses are compatible.  Overall, it is our opinion that the subject neighborhood will continue to remain a desirable area and will continue to experience moderate development over the next decade, with average potential for appreciation, once market conditions improve.

Retail Market Analysis

The area retail market and the local submarket are exhibiting stabilizing occupancy levels and trending rental rates, after a period of negative absorption in recent years.  Considering the recent trends in absorption and the prospects for new construction, the local market area should continue to stabilize as the economy recovers.  The long-term projection for the subject submarket is for continued growth.

With respect to the subject in particular, we believe the subject t is reasonably well located for a retail project.  It is in reasonable proximity to both employment centers and major roadways, and the surrounding retail developments are experiencing overage levels of demand.

(Source:  CBRE Appraisal Report – Martin Downs Shopping Center – June 4, 2015)