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Lakeside development in Winter Park tries to woo Trader Joe’s

When Trader Joe’s said last fall that it did not have plans to open a location in Orlando for at least two years, was it fibbing?

The developers behind a new retail complex on the shores of Lake Killarney in Winter Park certainly hope so.

The 35,500-square foot development, called Lakeside, will open sometime in 2014 and will have a spa, a jewelry store, a fitness center and a bank. A Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is also rumored to be moving in.

As far as Trader Joe’s, the trendy California-based grocery store, it has stores in Gainesville, Naples and Sarasota, but it was not too long ago that a spokeswoman said it did not plan to come to the Orlando area anytime soon.

Lakeside’s developers want to change that. Trader Joe’s is a fresh and exciting store that tends to attract affluent, younger shoppers — the sort of shoppers whom retailers crave. Landing a Trader Joe’s would no doubt be a boon to the success of this development.

So, how does one attract a retailer like Trader Joe’s to a certain location? That all depends on the retailer in question, but generally speaking, most retailers want some sort of enticement, such as a favorable tax structure, an agreeable lease, escape provisions in case the development does not work out or other economic inducements.

Obviously, those are not things developers or local governments can simply hand out or agree to freely. In most cases, it takes careful and detailed negotiation on the part of a lawyer to generate appealing-yet-practical ways to sweeten the deal. Certainly, not every attempt to land a key retailer is successful, but in many cases, the effort pays off.

Source: The Orlando Sentinel, “Trader Joe’s in Winter Park? New retail center raises hopes for luring grocer,” David Breen, Feb. 26, 2013

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