Navarro prescription for growth may mean base at Marlins ballpark
By Jacquelyn Weiner
A Marlins-stadium site could be one of Navarro Discount Pharmacy's next locations.
The Medley-based retailer has been in talks with the City of Miami about opening a 13,000- to 18,000-square-foot store in one of the city-owned Marlins stadium garages in Little Havana, Navarro CEO Juan Ortiz said in an interview.
"Where it's located," Mr. Ortiz said, "I think that is our primetime customer base."
Little Havana is largely Hispanic, which is Navarro's target market.
The City of Miami is charged with building four ballpark garages as part of a stadium-construction agreement with the Marlins and Miami-Dade County.
Three of the four garages house retail space totaling 53,281 square feet.
Terranova Corp., which Miami commissioners tapped in July to handle garage retail leasing, aims to attract tenants with wide appeal.
"We are looking to attract Tenants that will draw customers from not only the immediate area but also the surrounding communities such as Gables, Brickell and Downtown," said Mindy McIlroy, Terranova Corp.'s executive vice president.
However, former leasing agent NAI Miami had difficulty with that approach, according to documents it submitted to the City of Miami, finding that retailers were concerned they wouldn't maintain business in the offseason given the surrounding area's demographics.
"The immediate neighborhood [around the stadium] is a densely populated, heavily Hispanic, middle to lower income neighborhood," NAI wrote. "The new profile of the Florida Marlins season ticket holder, to date, is a Miami-Dade County resident in middle to upper income levels and not as heavily Hispanic."
NAI had been marketing the stadium-garage retail since early this year, but after a competitive bid — to which only NAI and Terranova responded — commissioners awarded the job to the No. 1 ranked firm Terranova.
As for a Navarro stadium location, Little Havana's demographics could be a fit for the nation's largest Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain.
Ms. McIlroy would not say whether Navarro would be a desirable tenant for the stadium-garage space, writing that Terranova has "been in talks with several Tenants but we are not at liberty to discuss anything further at this time."
Navarro CEO Mr. Ortiz said that he's unsure whether a Navarro store is what the City of Miami is looking for.
"All I can tell you right now is that I'm not sure what the city's plans are," he said. "They're determining how they want to best use that space."
If built, Mr. Ortiz said, the stadium-garage location would be much like a typical Navarro store, although it would probably carry more Marlins merchandise.
That might not be possible, however, because the stadium agreement prohibits "the promotion and sale of baseball branded or themed memorabilia and merchandise by persons other than" the Marlins.
Other restrictions include no ticket brokerages other than those brokerage services provided by the Marlins, no businesses that directly compete with a naming-rights sponsor of the baseball stadium, no fast food and no food or drink giveaways within three hours before a game and one hour after, according to the agreement.
Even if Navarro doesn't occupy a garage-retail spot, Mr. Ortiz said he'd still consider opening in a different location near the stadium.
"We look at deals that make sense based on our costs and our business model," Mr. Ortiz said. "If there is another opportunity in that location in that area, yes, we would look at it."
As for the other retail and restaurant tenants at the ballpark, the Marlins aren't yet sharing what's in store.
"We have not finalized the agreements and therefore we are not in a position to reveal names of retailers," Carolina Perrina de Diego, director of business communications for the Florida Marlins, wrote in an e-mail. "We should be able to share more information in the coming months."
Monette Klein O'Grady of Prime Sites, the firm tapped to find a 7,500-square-feet signature restaurant at the stadium's main plaza entrance, also declined to comment via e-mail.
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