Park West Village
Location: Cary/Morrisville, North Carolina
Size: Approximately 750,000 sq. ft.
Key tenants: Target, T.J. Maxx, Buy Buy Baby, Ross, PetSmart, Earth Fare, Chili’s, Travinia, Hallmark, Carter’s, Gander Mountain, Stone Theatres, Chico’s, White House Black Market, ULTA, Pier 1, Charming Charlie’s, Firebirds, Blackfinn Ameripub, LOFT, Starbucks
Other uses/components: The Bristol (250+ urban style flats, loft units, and carriage homes), Stone Theatres (upscale theater offering 3D and large-format movie options), District Lofts (100+ luxury loft style apartments) and future residential development “The Station” to include an additional 189 upscale, urban-style apartment homes.
Status: Phase I completed 2011, Phase II completed 2013, Phase III construction completed late 2015/early 2016. The Station apartment homes and additional outparcel redevelopment opportunities to be completed late 2017.
Park West Village has become one of the premier shopping destinations in the Triangle, featuring an eclectic mix of national and local retailers, upscale casual restaurants, and a state-of-the-art movie theater. The shopping center also serves as a much-needed gathering place, hosting family friendly holiday festivals and free spring and fall concert series which run Thursday evenings near the theater. Tenants regularly join in the fun, holding their own community events including running clubs, charity events and fashion shows. The most recent phase, “The District,” includes multi-story buildings with fashion-focused retail stores on the ground level and loft-style apartment living on upper levels. Future expansion is already underway to bring in additional residential units, restaurants, and retailers, providing a central location for the community to enjoy a unique living, shopping and entertainment experience.
The Neighborhoods at Butler
Location: Archer Road (SR 24), Interstate 75 and 34th Street (SR 26) in Gainesville, Florida
Size: 1.9 million sq. ft. in three centers
Owner: Butler Enterprises
Key tenants: Butler Plaza: Publix, Trader Joe’s, Target, Best Buy, Ross, Joann, PetSmart, Old Navy, Michael’s, OfficeMax, Tuesday Morning, Party City, Maple Street Biscuit Co.; Butler North: Walmart Supercenter, Sam’s Club, Lowe’s, Marshall’s, Ashley Homestore, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Aldi (coming soon), Culver’s; Butler Town Center: 365 by Whole Foods (opening 2017), a renovated Regal Cinema, and first-to-market fashion and dining tenants
Other uses/components: Butler Town Center will include a residential tower near a pedestrian street featuring unique boutiques, dining and more.
Status: Work has begun on below-grade infrastructure for Butler Town Center, which will open in 2018, with its 365 by Whole Foods to open in fall 2017. Butler North is essentially complete, with retailers opening in phases in 2016.
With the development of Butler Town Center, Butler Enterprises is expanding Butler Plaza, an iconic and dominant neighborhood retail project into a multi-faceted, one-stop shopping, dining and residential district to serve all of North Central Florida. Butler Town Center will be the third of three distinctive shopping neighborhoods that will serve the region’s growing communities, the 52,000-plus students of the University of Florida, and visitors from around the globe. The Town Center will also add a residential component to the property, as well as fine and casual dining, first-in-market boutiques, and a lively street scene. Leasing is underway, with a number of letters of intent in place. It will be the capstone of the Butler development that has included the development of Butler North expansion, the construction of the four-lane Clark Butler Boulevard, and the ongoing leasing of Butler Plaza.
Lake Nona Town Center
Location: Orlando, Florida
Size: Nearly 1 million sq. ft.
Developer/Leasing Agent: Tavistock Development Company is the developer. Steiner + Associates is the retail planning, leasing and development services partner for Lake Nona Town Center.
Key tenants: Talking with best-in-class retailers, restaurants and entertainment uses
Other uses/components: Nearly 1 million sq. ft. of retail, dining, entertainment, hospitality and office, surrounded by the 14-sq.-mile Lake Nona community
Status: The first phase of the Lake Nona Town Center opened in January 2016 with an 85,000-sq.-ft. office building, two hotels (a Marriott Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott), 16,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space, and a multi-level parking structure.
The 100-acre Lake Nona Town Center will serve as the defining anchor for the master-designed Lake Nona community and greater Orlando region, featuring more than 3.8 million sq. ft. at buildout. Initial phases of Lake Nona Town Center will feature a collection of nearly 1 million sq. ft. of retail, restaurant, entertainment, office and hospitality uses.
Lake Nona is one of the top 10 fastest-growing communities in America. It has experienced more than $3 billion in construction over eight years across 7.1 million sq. ft. of world-class residential and commercial facilities. Adjacent to the Orlando International Airport, Lake Nona is home to thoughtfully designed neighborhoods, world-class educational facilities, Lake Nona Medical City, a Sports & Performance District and diverse office, retail and entertainment venues.
The project will be accessed by the region’s robust transportation infrastructure, including three interchanges off SR-417, Orlando’s eastern beltway, and the future All Aboard Florida high-speed train, adjacent to Lake Nona.
Location: Cincinnati/Dayton Metroplex, Ohio (I-75 and SR 129)
Size: 1.3 million sq. ft.
Developers: Partners are Steiner + Associates and Bucksbaum Retail Properties
Key tenants: Dillards, 16-screen CineBistro theater with six “dine-in” screens; Dick’s Sporting Goods; 150-room Liberty by Marriott hotel; 70 specialty retailers including Kendra Scott, David’s Tea, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Hollister, Forever 21, Eddie Bauer; and 12 full-service restaurants including Northstar Café, Coopers Hawk, Cheesecake Factory, Brio Tuscan Grille, Rodizio Grill, Pies and Pints, Cantina Laredo, and the first Kona Grill in the Cincinnati market
Other uses/components: 75,000 sq. ft. of Class A Office; 100,000 sq. ft. of restaurant and dining; 240,000 sq. ft. of upscale residential; 90,000-sq.-ft. cinema; and a 150-key hotel. Bracketed by 230,000 sq. ft. of anchor retail, Liberty Center features approximately 352,000 sq. ft. of multi-level, inline specialty retail fronting parks, fountains, plus a series of retail and restaurant pavilions.
Status: Opened October 2015
The $350-million Liberty Center exhibits the best elements of Steiner + Associates’ innovative placemaking, with immersive design elements and attention to detail that justifies the project as “Easton 2.0” — the next big thing from a developer that operates comfortably on the cutting edge.
At Liberty Center, young visitors embrace the Cincinnati Children’s Discovery Center, and other visitors enjoy strolling between tree-lined pedestrian walkways that bisect the site, and unique outdoor park spaces that include fountains and sculptures. A remarkable green roof space—complemented by the community spaces Sabin Hall and Unity Chapel by TriHealth—distinguishes the project as a community-driven development.
Steiner recently announced plans for The Oaks, an expansion of Liberty Center, featuring an 18-acre, mixed-use community that will include more than 120,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant uses, 100 luxury residential units and nearly 30,000 sq. ft. of class-A office space slated to open in late 2017.
The Town Builders
Look at what the Butler family has wrought in the central Florida crossroads of Gainesville over three-quarters of a century and you see a representative history of brick-and-mortar retail. Starting with a curbside market in the 1930s, Clark Butler expanded to the supermarket format in the ’40s, then surrounded it with the city’s first large-scale shopping center. The original development, known today as Butler North, is a power center fielding Lowe’s and a Walmart Supercenter. The newer Butler Plaza accedes to consumer demands for more upscale eateries and shops such as BurgerFi and a Lilly Pulitzer Signature store.
Now, Clark’s daughter Deborah Butler, president of Butler Enterprises, is working to take the 267-acre retail site to the next level with the Butler Town Center. When completed, it will feature a residential tower, a 365 by Whole Foods and new-to-market retailers. The three-center complex is being re-christened The Neighborhoods at Butler.
Developers have stopped building malls and started making places. Consumers who can buy anything they desire using the little computers in their pockets no longer have to drive to the mall for a new dress, sofa or TV. At the same time, Americans are becoming more urban and they will walk to stores if they are in their neighborhoods. That’s exactly what forward-thinking retailers and developers like Deborah are doing. Not building big parking lots as magnets for cars, but building communities that are magnets for people. Not putting up malls, but putting up homes and offices and restaurants and, of course, retail. They are the new town and neighborhood builders.
In the case of Butler Enterprises, heretofore solely a retail developer, residential space goes hand-in-hand with carefully curated retail that offers up something new to the community at large.
“We cater to a huge trade area,” Deborah said. “Gainesville is the hub of north central Florida, and people come from miles around to work, shop and play.”
The University of Florida and a world-class medical complex that borders the Butler property employ about 100,000 professional and skilled workers who are demanding expanded living and shopping options.
“People have money to spend; now they have to drive to Orlando or Atlanta for fashion selections,” Deborah said. “When Butler Town Center opens, they’ll have a choice closer to home.”
In Morrisville, N.C., within the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle, CASTO is about to finish the fourth phase of Park West Village, a 100-acre, mixed-use development that brings urban-style living and shopping to an educated populace whose household incomes average $107,000. The Bristol offers 250 residences ranging from urban flats to carriage homes, District Lofts adds 100 luxury apartments and The Station will add another 189 urban-style apartments to the development when it opens next year.
“Park West Village has really become a community-within-a-community where tenants and management collaborate to create unique experiences for shopping center visitors and residents,” said Shannon Dixon, executive VP of development and leasing for CASTO’s Southeast division.
The recently completed District Lofts, with fashion-focused stores on the ground level and loft-style apartments above, quickly proved the value of mixed-use centers.
“These residential tenants have become regular customers at Park West stores and restaurants. They’re the first to arrive at all Park West events and are ambassadors for the center,” Dixon said. “They regularly bring in new visitors.”
All Park West events are hosted in “The District,” where a performance stage hosts “Acoustic Nights” and “LIVE in The District” music series on weekends from spring through fall. It’s important, she said, to tailor mixed-use centers to local culture and tastes.
“Our center at Winter Park Village in Florida has a more resort feel with upscale residential, retail and office components, while a new center we are building near Clemson University, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, will have a more rustic feel,” Dixon said.
Ohio-based Steiner + Associates, led by master-planner and visionary Yaromir Steiner, is another developer with strong experience in designing and bringing to life mixed-use developments. For all such projects, which include Easton Town Center in Columbus and the Liberty Center between Cincinnati and Dayton, detailed planning and a commitment to challenge everything are a necessity.
“Yaromir is a visionary who puts a huge amount of effort into designing each project,” said Anne Mastin, executive VP of retail real estate at Steiner + Associates. “Some credit him for coining the term ‘placemaking.’”
Mastin said the mix of retail in Steiner’s mixed-use centers receive the same degree of thought and planning that go into the entire project. Detailed merchandising plans listing target categories, price-point levels and even specific retailers are penned in and adjusted throughout the leasing process.
Liberty Center’s website reflects a cultural center or community hub, promoting “Fall Family Flicks” under the moonlight and “Sounds of Summer on the Square,” along with announcing retailers coming soon to the development, such as The Children’s Place, Banana Republic and Talbots. Picture-tab links at the bottom of the home page give shopping, dining, events and residential living equal weight.
Liberty Center features 1.3 million sq. ft. in total — including 75,000 sq. ft. of Class A office space, 100,000 sq. ft. of dining and 240,000 sq. ft. of upscale residential space. Its 352,000 sq. ft. of multi-level, inline retail space is fronted by parks, fountains and restaurant pavilions.
It’s not always necessary, of course, for developers to create communities within their mixed-use centers. Existing communities experiencing fast growth often cry out for the lifestyle amenities retail-anchored town centers bring. Such is the case with another Steiner project, the Lake Nona Town Center, in Lake Nona, Fla., outside of Orlando. The 14-sq.-mile master-planned community by Tavistock Development Company was long known for its world-class golf course and PGA star residents Nick Faldo and Ian Poulter. Now it is lauded as one of the 10 fastest-growing communities in the country, with 12,500 residents and 5,000 workers.
“We need retail, entertainment and dining choices that are different and interesting,” said Skipper Peek, VP of commercial sales and development for Tavistock. “We’re trying to build a thriving community with the best of everything, and that includes schools and pre-schools, as well as shopping.”
As important is the community’s new 100-acre town center, which promises to be the new heart and soul of Lake Nona. The layout of the property features a lawn and stage for performances, brewery district, centrally located fountain, kids’ park, comedy club and bowling alley. The first phase of Lake Nona Town Center opened this year with an office building, two hotels and a smattering of retail, but its second phase will total some 1 million sq. ft. of retail, restaurant, entertainment and office space.
Lake Nona is the meeting place of two great minds in community planning, Steiner and Joe Lewis, CEO of Tavistock. Peek said Lake Nona’s ultimate potential will be the result of beautiful land in a vibrant region and, speaking of Lewis, “someone with the money and the vision to get it done.”
In a challenging time for brick-and-mortar retailers, a special breed of retailers and developers are using those age-old building materials to build the new neighborhoods, communities and towns of America.
Placemaking, Steve Wynn style
Founded by Don and Barbara Brinkerhoff nearly a half century ago, Lifescapes International made its bones as an architectural landscaping firm on the Vegas Strip, where it created the fire show at The Mirage and the water show at the Bellagio. What the founding couple learned in Vegas, their daughter, Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs, now applies to retail and lifestyle centers like Triple Five’s American Dream and Rockefeller Center’s Channel Gardens.
“Have people enjoy being in the space so much that they stay longer and spend more. That’s always been Steve Wynn’s philosophy: ‘Think about the Bellagio as a garden that happens to have a casino in it,’” said Brinkerhoff-Jacobs, referring to the famed casino owner.
Now president of Lifescapes, she doesn’t see why that same thinking can’t have people sticking around retail centers.
“Socializing is a big deal at retail now — water fountains where people can come and interact, mini-destinations and places to gather like fire pits, outdoor enclaves, open areas where they can have football games,” Brinkerhoff-Jacobs said.
Allocations for landscape architecture in the socialized retail world should average between 7–10% of a project’s budget. You can do $5,000 fire pits or $15,000 fire pits, but you’ve got to have fire pits or some other comfortable environment enticing shoppers to linger. It’s nothing more than the old marketing adage of giving the people what they want.
“People want to have experiences that encourage them to go out,” Brinkerhoff-Jacobs said. “We have to come up with new reasons for them to do it.”