By D. Channing Muller Posted August 26, 2009, 5:15 PM EDT
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA The Photo Miami art fair producers are making the most of the glut of retail vacancies by relocating the December event from a 40,000-square-foot midtown tent to the former Circuit City store in the Shops at Midtown—another example of the trend of events taking advantage of the current real estate market, a story we reported in May.
“Part of [the decision to move] was the economy, because putting on a tent show is very expensive since you have to bring in everything—the structure, floor, lights, air conditioning, etc.—and all that costs money,“ show director and creator Stephen Cohen said on Tuesday. “We're very excited to be at this great location and [still] just down the street from the other four fairs in that area.”
Betsy Keck, spokesman for the Shops at Midtown owner Developers Diversified Realty, told The Miami Herald on Monday the photo-based art, video, and new media exhibition—along with a temporary Halloween costume store that will occupy the space until November—has resulted in $1.4 million in revenue for the company.
The Herald went on to report that real estate developers around the city have been forced to look for alternative uses for their empty retail space following the closings of big-name stores like Linens ‘N Things and Circuit City at multiple locations around the country. “In a weak business environment, you have to open up the aperture and think a little more creatively,” said Duane Stiller, president of Woolbright Development, which owns 24 shopping centers in Florida. “The more quickly you turn into a proactive mode and recognize this is going to be with us for awhile, the better off you're going to be.''
Photo Miami will kick off with a private gala reception on December 1 and be open to the public December 2 to 6.