JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- More small businesses are closing their doors - creating more retail space in the city and more opportunities for risk-takers who want to take advantage of rent breaks.
Mike Rekau is a small businessman who owns Best Mattress in Mandarin off Philips Highway and is planning to open two more locations by Thanksgiving.
"The economy is down. We got some good leases out there, offer some good products and keep our prices low, pass on savings onto the customer," said Rekau, who added sales for his store are above projections.
Gary Montour is a veteran in commercial real estate who said rent reductions of 20-25 percent are not uncommon in some parts of the city.
"The market is driving things; it's driving it because of lower rents," said Montour, who said in some retail areas vacancies push rents reduced by 30 percent.
The St. Johns Town Center seeing few retail vacancies.
Rekau said he is taking a risk, but he believes the economy will rebound. "Securing the leases now while the economy is low just makes us that much stronger when the economy comes back," said Rekau.
MORE: Money news
First Coast News