These are, to state the obvious, the essential
ingredients to retail. Yet the analysts cannot be
entirely dismissed. Clearly the line that was once
so pronounced between class A malls and class B
and C assets is beginning to blur.
So yes, it does appear that malls—including
top-tier assets—may be in trouble. But the entire
retail sector? Hardly not.
The asset class is thriving, with the proliferation of mixed-use developments, walkable, com-munity-focused environments and destination
centers that create experiences for consumers.
Unique concepts, especially in the food retail
space, are also flourishing (see sidebar, page 38).
And as always with any real estate, location
“As competition from online retailers and
other changes in consumer behaviors increase
vacancies and interrupt cash flow, developers
can protect themselves by selecting sites that can
support both entertainment/experiential retail
and alternative land uses,” says John David Booty,
executive vice president of the Ventus Group.
Also essential to success: the various uses within
A SUCCESSFUL MIX OF USES
Outside of Milwaukee there is an off-price retail
mall shopping center that is located where there
was once a series of neglected warehouses. HSA
Commercial Real Estate’s retail division trans-
formed the site into what they dubbed the Mayfair
Collection, and a combination of uses is what
made the mixed-use project a success.
“The shopping center features an eclectic mix
of popular local restaurants and a 146-room
Hilton Homewood Suites to provide a lively,
dynamic environment for shoppers,” says Tim
Blum, an executive vice president and managing
director Chicago-based HSA Commercial. “When
the first 269-unit luxury apartment building
opens later this fall, the development’s customer
base will continue to grow.”
The project will be activating the central out-
door plaza even more this summer with expanding
programming, he adds.
In short, carefully-sited and curated mixed-use developments are thriving across the country, gradually moving out of urban cores into
secondary and even some tertiary markets, says
Holly Neber, CEO of AEI Consultants. She too
echoes the need to have the right combination
and balance of uses to match the demographics
of the immediate area.
Neber also says that the development must
achieves buy-in from the local community.
“Investors and developers must approach each
region and community individually and ask what
uses make the most sense in a specific location.”
As a result of this type of exercise, Neber says the
www.globest.com/realestateforum 36 REAL ESTATE FORUM MAY 2018
Ventus Group’s new project, The Fig, is a
$400-million ground-up development situated
on a 4.4-acre urban infill location adjacent to
the University of Southern California campus.