Introduction: Real Estate’s Time Has Arrived
Until recently, some of the best retail technology was saved for running stores–capturing sales and traffic data, managing inventory, securing goods, monitoring, modifying and managing work forces. Over the last several years, though, real estate like operations has benefited from business-changing technology and solutions. In this special supplement to Chain Store Age, entitled “Real Estate Technology & Solutions,” we spell out the emerging technological trends and applications, as well as point you to companies that are setting the trends and delivering the applications.
Each of the technologies and solutions described in the following pages can make a difference in and of themselves. But, some can be used in combination for pretty powerful results. For example, certain site-selection services give you customized mapping, others provide site photos, still others demographic information and traffic counts. Some providers are consultants. A few supply all of the above. But even if they don’t, you can combine the various offerings to maximize your real estate potential.
The trick is knowing what you need and when you need it, and realizing that by incorporating the right technology into your real estate activities, you will reduce the chances of bringing on bad locations. And that’s just the site-selection end of things. Today’s technologies drill much deeper into your real estate department, managing rollout activities and efficiencies, administering leases, and helping you to trim back the low performers, so that even if you do bring on a bad location or two, you won’t have to live with it forever.
Crate and Barrel to Enter Canada
Toronto, Crate and Barrel will open its first store in Canada, in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, in the fall of 2008, according to a report by The Toronto Star. “It’s the only one we have in Canada so far,” said Crate and Barrel spokeswoman Bette Kahn. “We hope to have more in Toronto and our expansion plans call for more stores in Canada. We feel Canada is a very sophisticated and interesting market and a natural choice for our first international expansion.”
Construction on the two-level, 35,000-sq.-ft. store is scheduled to begin in June.
In Plantation, Fla., a $350 million mixed-use redevelopment of the former Fashion Mall Plantation property will become 321 North, featuring indoor and outdoor shopping, dining, entertainment, culture and art, together with significant office and residential components. U.S. Capital Holdings Group submitted formal plans to the City of Plantation, which is driving a visionary initiative for a district that will be known as Plantation Midtown. The development of 321 North will include demolition and reconstruction of much of the vacant 650,000-sq.-ft. enclosed mall, creating new retail that will face outward and open up onto a new Main Street, as well as constructing additional new open-air retail and restaurants. With construction slated to begin in 2008, 321 North will yield about 550,000 sq. ft. of retail.
Grand Junction’s Grand New Development
A new 560,000-sq.-ft., mixed-use, lifestyle development in Grand Junction, Colo., will bring exclusive, fashion-oriented retail to the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
Developed by Opus Northwest, a member of the Minneapolis-based Opus Group, and Goldberg Properties, Colorado River Marketplace will feature outdoor retail and restaurants, as well as a hotel and office space. A 125,000-sq.-ft. Dillard’s store—the company’s first in western Colorado—will anchor the development. “This exciting new center is a perfect fit for Dillard’s,” said Dillard’s CEO William Dillard II. Currently, the company operates 11 stores in Colorado.
Colorado River Marketplace will occupy nearly 60 acres at the northeast corner of Interstate 70 and 24 Road. The design “reflects the character and natural beauty of the area, while providing a unique shopping experience for this growing region,” said Mike Dailey, director of real estate development for Opus Northwest.
When the distinctive mixed-use development named The Bravern opens in 2009 in the Puget Sound region, it will bring an upscale retail collection, class-A office space, luxury condominium living and destination dining to the Seattle suburb of downtown Bellevue, Wash. Developed by Schnitzer Northwest, and designed by Callison, The Bravern will feature 305,000 sq. ft. of retail, anchored by the first Neiman Marcus in the Pacific Northwest. Upscale fashion and accessories, four restaurants and a full-service fitness club will join Neiman Marcus, along with 450 luxury condos.
Gateway to the Bronx
Maximizing land use was a primary objective of architectural firm GreenbergFarrow when it created the master plan for the $500 million Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market in New York City. “The design of the Gateway Center demonstrates how today’s American retail experience can be form-fitted to work in a densely populated urban setting,” said Navid Maqami, principal of architecture at GreenbergFarrow. In designing the 1 million sq. ft. of retail within a 16.8-acre site, GreenbergFarrow followed a vertical format. Tenants include Target, The Home Depot, Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond, along with restaurants and community retailers. The complex will include three buildings, with a parking structure between two retailers, allowing each parking level to belong to a particular retail floor.
The South Bronx site, developed by The Related Cos., is slated to open in the fall of 2009.