Location: Doral, Florida

Size: 600,000 sq. ft.

Owner: The Related Group, Related Development LLC, Shoma Homes

Key Tenants: Fresh Market, CinéBistro-Cobb Theatre, Kings Bowling

Other uses/components: 1,000 new luxury residences

Status: Under construction, set for completion Q4 2016

CityPlace Doral will become the focal point and downtown shopping destination for the residents and visitors of Doral, Florida, the country’s third fastest-growing city. The 250,000-sq.-ft. retail portion was designed with expansive pedestrian sidewalks and will provide the visitors and residents of CityPlace Doral with the excitement of an urban shopping experience. CityPlace Doral will offer shops, entertainment and over 1,000 new residences. Another noteworthy aspect: Fashion Boulevard, a curated block of retail, will deliver a much-needed boutique shopping experience to Doral’s fashionably conscious.


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A Little Bit of Everything

BY Dan Berthiaume

It’s no secret that today’s consumers have busy lives. And, while online retailers may have the convenience edge, e-commerce simply cannot offer the experience found in physical spaces. Smart mixed-use developers are capitalizing by filling the gap — plugging in a wide range of components, such as entertainment, new-to-market stores, hospitality, residences and offices to make brick-and-mortar far more compelling than a computer experience.

Chain Store Age talked to five leaders in the mixed-use development space about what is trending, what projects are on the boards and how the future of mixed-use looks.

That’s Entertainment

Consumers live in a world where entertainment is always a click or a tap away. They are taking this constant entertainment mindset with them when they shop in a physical environment, and mixed-use retail developments are responding.

“Customers want to be entertained, and they want diversity of entertainment,” said Nick Benjamin, development director of Baltimore-based real estate developer The Cordish Companies. “Our customers want to be able to sample craft cocktails created by local mixologists when they shop for clothing, and they want access to a resort lifestyle and resident sommelier when they choose to live downtown.”

Mixed-use developments can provide entertainment options that cannot be replicated online or in the suburbs. For example, Cordish offers a large horseshoe bar in the center of its Garment District boutique within its Kansas City Power & Light District development, and a 20,000-sq.-ft. outdoor pool amenity at its One Light Luxury Apartments residence.

According to Benjamin, mixed-use projects should offer a combination of office, hotel and entertainment uses to best serve their retail tenants.

“A vital office base creates weekday, daytime traffic; hotels produce weekend and weeknight business and tend to bring in customers prepared to be entertained and willing to spend to do so,” said Benjamin. “Residential provides steady weeknight and weekend volume. The best projects combine all of these uses with broad and creative entertainment offerings.”

The 800,000-sq.-ft.-plus Kansas City Power & Light District mixed-use project in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, illustrates the type of entertaining and varied environment Benjamin describes. It has strategic anchors covering a broad spectrum of uses, such as the Kansas City Live! two-level entertainment complex. Other anchor tenants include H&R Block’s world headquarters; a Cosentino’s grocery store; and the 350,000-sq.-ft., 307-unit One Light Luxury apartments.

The District’s more than 50 bars, restaurants and shops also include Sprint Studio and Bristol Seafood Grill. The District was designed with a focus on public and outdoor space, with multiple outdoor amphitheaters and plazas, patios, indoor/outdoor spaces and rooftop patio. It will eventually feature five high-rise apartment and mixed-use buildings in addition to the first phase of 475,000 sq. ft. of retail. The first two, One Light and Two Light Luxury Apartments, will be complete in November 2015 and the first quarter of 2018 respectively, bringing an additional 900 residents and more than 700,000 sq. ft. to the Power & Light District.

Bringing Retail Home

Mixed-use retail developments offer many advantages to developers and retail tenants. One of the biggest advantages is the ability to bring retail home.

“We are seeing market-rate apartments above first-floor retail in dense suburban and urban communities,” said Howard Paster, president of St. Paul, Minnesota-based Paster Properties. “Proximity to transportation and entertainment provides convenience for the residents and the shoppers.”

In addition, Paster said mixed-use developments add a communal atmosphere to the shopping experience by providing public community space for the existing area residents, residents in the new project and customers of the first-floor retail outlets.

“Mixed-use developments create sustainable communities that enable people to live, work, shop and play all in one vicinity,” said Paster.

Although residential and retail complement each other in establishing communities, Paster advised developers, including multi-family dwellings, to use care in their planning.

“Multi-family above retail does require more attention to detail as the mix-of-uses can cause potential conflicts with noise and parking,” said Paster.

Paster Properties is in the process of developing a 155,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use project in Minnetonka, Minnesota, that illustrates the blend of retail and residential Paster discussed.

The mixed-use development will include new, multi-tenant retail space on the ground floor and 115 luxury apartment units featuring oversized windows and large balconies on floors two through six. Sixth-floor units will include even larger walk-out terraces.

Amenities will include heated underground parking, an elevated outdoor pool deck, lounge areas, a fire pit, an indoor clubroom and fitness center. Two levels of underground parking with 190 stalls will be provided for apartment residents, and 80 surface parking stalls will serve retail uses.

“This development will breathe new life into what is currently a limited purpose retail and office environment as the city of Minnetonka continues to grow and thrive,” Paster concluded. “We are looking forward to strengthening our commitment to creating centers that enhance the surrounding communities and serve as a place to bring the citizens together.”

Construction began in August 2015, and the development is slated to open in early 2017.

Shop to Live

Considering the time demands on today’s busy consumer, it is not surprising they are looking to combine shopping with other activities. Mixed-use retail developments are providing customers with the opportunity to accomplish an increasing number of life tasks in conjunction with shopping trips.

“Consumers have countless options for shopping and are looking for all-encompassing experiences to complement shopping trips,” said Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT). “This is why we’re seeing more and more centers with grocery anchors, fitness centers and medical offices. These are additions that allow customers to get their shopping done while running errands, enjoying lunch or even squeezing in a workout. It’s all about convenience.”

In particular, Coradino said that dining and entertainment options are especially valuable offerings in mixed-use developments.

“Restaurants provide that social experience that shoppers are craving and are additive to the overall environment, in that the consumer dollar isn’t competing with other retailers,” said Coradino. “Studies have shown that those who dine at a restaurant in a mall stay longer and have a higher propensity to spend.”

PREIT seeks to provide customers at its mixed-use centers an enhanced experience with amenities like play areas, Wi-Fi, beacons, seating and charging stations and, of course, dining and entertainment options. At its Springfield Town Center development, PREIT’s services include same-day delivery and bagless shopping powered by Deliv; phone-charging stations; and sustainable elements, such as electric vehicle-charging stations.

Right now, PREIT is preparing the 1.09 million-sq.-ft. Exton Square Mall in Exton, Pennsylvania, for potential redevelopment. The center is located in Chester County, one of the wealthiest and fastest-growing counties in Pennsylvania. Whole Foods Market will be opening, which PREIT expects will act as a catalyst to attract other sought-after retail, dining and lifestyle destinations.

In addition, PREIT is currently preparing Plymouth Meeting Mall, located at the intersection of four of Philadelphia’s busiest highways, for a repositioning that will focus on adding lifestyle amenities, additional uses and upgraded retail offerings. Plymouth Meeting Mall is currently anchored by Whole Foods Market, Dave & Buster’s and Mercy Health System, as well as fine dining options, such as Redstone American Grill, P.F. Chang’s and an AMC Theatre that is currently undergoing a $6 million upgrade.

City Life

Today’s mixed-use developments are larger than ever, and are quickly becoming more and more like self-contained cities. Steve Patterson, president and CEO of Miami-based The Related Group, expounded on the urbanization of mixed-use projects.

“The emphasis on housing seems to be even stronger than in the past,” said Patterson. “The biggest projects boast hotels, event venues, public parks and even amusement parks. They offer residents of sprawling suburbs a pedestrian-friendly shopping and entertainment alternative.”

When selecting retail tenants, Patterson advised developers to meet the shopping needs of all the varied consumers a mixed-use project will draw.

“The goal is to generate pedestrian activity from morning until late night,” said Patterson. “This means you need people living and working within walking distance to your retail tenants. In addition, many new centers are oriented around transportation hubs, like airports, train stations and even cruise ship ports. A person stepping off of a cruise ship will be looking for a retail experience much different than a resident stepping out of an elevator.”

Patterson further advised that amenities and attractions can make the shopping and dining environment a unique and exciting experience, which boosts the frequency of return trips.

“Periodic shows at the choreographed fountain in our CityPlace Doral development are attention-getters, and inspire shoppers and diners to make our center a ‘destination’ instead of simply a chore or an opportunity,” said Patterson.

Related is currently developing CityPlace Doral, a retail, entertainment and residential development in Doral, Florida, which will ultimately feature 250,000 sq. ft. of retail space and more than 1,000 luxury residences.

CityPlace Doral’s entertainment retail component, designed by the global architecture firm Arquitectonica, will be anchored by a growing roster of national and local tenants. Key anchors that have made written commitments include Fresh Market, CinéBistro Theatre and Kings Bowling. Related will soon begin to sign leases with the fashion-oriented tenants of Fashion Boulevard, a curated gathering of fashion shops.

The residential component will include Oasis, a single-family community of 150 occupied luxury homes; Manor at CityPlace, an occupied 394-unit apartment project; The Flats, 304 urban midrise rentals opening in 2015; and the Courtyards condominiums, set to break ground in 2016.

“CityPlace will allow Doral’s residents and visitors alike to enjoy a contemporary village atmosphere, pedestrian-friendly walkways, outdoor cafes and open-air common areas for the first time,” said Patterson.

Public Domain

Having the right assortment of tenants is critical to the success of any mixed-use retail development, but consumers are also looking for something more.

“It’s not just about retailers and restaurants,” said Terry Montesi, founder and CEO of Fort Worth, Texas-based Trademark Property Co. “You need the right sidewalks, streetscape and public space. People need to feel there is an intriguing public domain not directly owned or controlled by the developer.”

Montesi said developers have learned from mistakes in the past, when a mixed-use project might have consisted of a retailer stuck on the ground floor of a multi-family development.

“Developers didn’t always do research or effective planning,” said Montesi. “You need expertise in every use area.”

According to Montesi, each type of mixed-use has its own advantages it can offer restaurants and retailers.

“Offices are good for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner, and share parking well,” Montesi said. “Hotels use little parking because guests are mostly there at night, when many retailers are closed.” According to Montesi, multi-family housing provides mixed-use developments with consumers who can walk to stores during evenings and weekends, although it doesn’t share parking as well as offices or hotels.

At Trademark’s 63-acre mixed-use Waterside development in Fort Worth, close to 200,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space coexists with 20 acres of multi-family and townhomes and 200,000 sq. ft. of office space with a hotel site. It also includes an acre of public space and 1.8 miles of frontage on the Trinity River, with four restaurants featuring outdoor seating on the river, as well as stores, including Whole Foods and REI.

Among the many public amenities planned for Waterside is The Grove, a community engagement space that will include such features as a covered outdoor community room with an interactive big-screen TV, public art made from on-site reused materials, a river trailhead with services for bikers and runners, a public solar charging station, and a community activity center.

“Many of these are amenities that haven’t been tried before,” said Montesi. “We may not get paid in a direct way, but in the long term, we will be paid back in spades.”


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Another iconic U.S. brand has opened its own freestanding store. Ice hockey equipment giant Bauer Hockey, founded in 1927, made its brick-and-mortar debut, in Burlington, Massachusetts. The 20,000-sq.-ft. store, called
“Own the Moment Hockey Experience,” is the first of 10 U.S. and Canadian locations Bauer is planning. Designed by Toronto-based Perennial Inc., the store is designed to deliver an exciting and engaging brand experience. It features a 2,500-sq.-ft. indoor ice rink, where customers can try out equipment, and some 25 digital screens that show visual highlights of the game. Customers can also get their skates sharpened and repaired at an on-site laboratory. … Tokyo-based Tomorrowland’s first U.S. store, in Manhattan’s SoHo, features Japanese furnishings made from natural white oak and antique bronze, circular chandeliers and a coffered ceiling. The retailer is known for its cool fashions, upmarket prices and serene ambience. New York City-based TPG Architecture served as architect of record. … Robert Redford’s Sundance Catalog plans to grow its brick-and-mortar footprint over the next several years. The new Sundance prototype, in Edina, Minnesota, and designed by JGA, Southfield, Michigan, has an artisan-inspired design and uses reclaimed wood and artisan materials to promote the brand’s heritage. … Nike’s new soaring flagship at The Grove, Los Angeles, is in a space that formerly housed A&F. The three-level, 31,000-sq.-ft. store is one of the largest in Nike’s portfolio, and has a number of elements designed to celebrate the City of Angels. It also includes a basketball court, dubbed the Jordan Trial Experience in a nod to the basketball great, where a screen takes visitors through elite basketball dribbling drills.


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