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Southern Solidity


Try to stereotype any industry as up or down—and you’ll end up looking foolish. The economy is hurting businesses, no question, but to say that retail is suffering violently and across the board simply isn’t true.

The Southeastern segment of the United States—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia for the purposes of this August 2008 real estate supplement to Chain Store Age—has had its share of financial hardships. But there are towns and municipalities and regions within those eight states that are weathering the economy quite admirably.

Loudon County was the 10th fastest-growing community in the state of Tennessee between 2000 and 2007, according to the county’s economic-development agency. Median home-sale values for new homes in 2006 exceeded median U.S. values ($259,900 compared to $246,900).

A second-quarter Retail Research Report by Marcus & Millichap revealed Louisville, Ky., is expected to end the year with stable employment levels. The same report indicated that, in Charlotte, N.C., the retail market remains fairly healthy as employers expand payrolls at a rate that exceeds the national average and home prices appreciate. And retail properties in Miami-Dade County, Fla., continue to perform well so far in 2008, as leasing volume has remained healthy and the vacancy rate has remained unchanged since the end of last year.

The projects, and companies, featured throughout this supplement exemplify retail-development strength in the region. In the project-profile section, you’ll see some of the centers highlighted with a computer-mouse icon; be sure to check them out online at , where you’ll find additional information, including leasing details.

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