REAL ESTATE

Walt Disney World resort to offer a variety of shopping, dining options

BY Dan Berthiaume

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. –Walt Disney World resort will soon offer a slew of new shopping and dining options. Retailers including Zara, Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, Uniqlo and Pandora are the latest to sign on as Downtown Disney continues its expansion into Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney World has announced a total of 13 new tenants were announced, including eight retail shops. With new retailers already aboard and new restaurants either open or coming soon, Downtown Disney is transforming into a new waterfront district for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

By the time it’s complete in 2016, Disney Springs will double the number of shops and restaurants currently found at Downtown Disney and grow to more than 1 million-sq.-ft., including 350,000-sq.-ft. of new leasable space. Disney Springs will include four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods with a diverse mix of retailers – including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options.

Other retailers coming to Disney Springs include Ugg, L’Occitane en Provence and Edward Beiner. New restaurants include Edison, Sprinkles, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, Vivoli Gelateria and Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s.

Nine venues have opened over the past few months at Disney Springs and include The Boathouse, Erwin Pearl, Apex by Sunglass Hut, Chapel Hats, Art of Shaving, Sanuk, Sound Lion, Havaianas, and Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC.

Recently announced and opening in Fall 2015 are Morimoto Asia, STK Orlando, and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. Existing Downtown Disney properties making significant investments include Paradiso 37, undergoing an expansion that will double its seating, add more terrace dining and build a new outdoor performance stage, and a transformation of the flagship Planet Hollywood venue to the star-themed Hollywood Observatory. As part of the makeover, the venue will add a new outdoor terrace and bar space called Stargazers and feature live entertainment.

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REAL ESTATE

RH names real estate chief

BY Dan Berthiaume

Corte Madera, Calif. – David Stanchak has joined RH (Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc.) as chief real estate and development officer, effective immediately. In this newly created position, Stanchak will be leading the transformation of RH’s current legacy galleries into next generation Design Galleries, with responsibility for the company's real estate and store development efforts.

Stanchak will report to RH’s chairman and CEO Gary Friedman, and serve as a member of the company’s executive leadership team.

During his 30-year career in the real estate industry, Stanchak has worked as a senior executive, consultant, investor, real estate broker and attorney in all aspects of high-growth, retail brand development. He has had direct responsibility for opening more than 2,500 retail stores, managing real estate portfolios and deploying in excess of $2 billion for retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Blockbuster Entertainment, and others.

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REAL ESTATE

Five Fundamental Changes Driving the Future of Shopping Centers

BY CSA STAFF

By Mike Kercheval, International Council of Shopping Centers

As tens of thousands of retail real estate industry members head to Las Vegas for ICSC’s annual RECon event, I find myself reflecting on the evolution of the industry and the fundamental changes that will affect the shopping center business over the next five years.

In recent years, there have been significant shifts in the way people shop, in turn causing shopping centers to shift how they engage with consumers. Namely, the rise of omnichannel retailing, in which mobile, online and in-store experiences complement rather than compete with one another, is driving rapid innovation. To meet the needs of shoppers, malls and shopping centers are integrating technology to add convenience and personalization that invigorate the shopping trip.

The ante has also been raised on the overall experience. When a shopper hits the stores, they can find an exciting mix of retail, services and entertainment and centers are investing billions of dollars in new construction and renovations to modernize the look, feel and layout of their properties.

But this is only the beginning. After watching this space since 1986, I expect that by 2020, retailing will undergo more change than it has in the past 29 years. Shopping centers are well-positioned to meet this new era of retail head-on. However, the only way to do this is to anticipate what’s next.

Here are five of the biggest changes affecting the future of shopping centers as identified by industry leaders:

The complete unification of bricks-and-mortar and online
The ability to use multiple channels interchangeably and conveniently, with the expectation that retailers and shopping centers will deliver a better-than-ever experience, is no longer optional. Shopping centers will sit at the apex of this paradigm shift and will help create seamless shopping experiences both on and off-line through the merging of digital, physical and social channels.

Adaptation to the environment
Shopping centers will continue to adapt by becoming more customized and personalized, offering an engaging environment, modern design and appealing to key markets and demographics, such as millennials or parents.

Some developers are taking this trend a step further by designing an environment catering to specific demographics. For example, La Gran Plaza in Fort Worth, Texas, is the largest Latin America-themed mall in the U.S. with more than 200 stores, dining options, medical offices and more, and hosts unique weekly entertainment and special events tailored to the community.

Not just a place to shop
The shopping center is no longer simply a place to shop: it has been reinvented to become an entertainment destination to spend quality time with family and friends. Malls are transforming away from the traditional center into a community within itself, which seamlessly offers both retail and entertainment options, and even services.

Creation of a unique connection with the consumer
Technology will help to create a customizable experience for each individual shopper – allowing greater intimacy than ever before. Enhanced customer service initiatives will provide multiple connection and interaction opportunities, offer location-based services and create compelling in-store environments. For example, many retailers and malls are already introducing beacon technology, which can provide customers with personalized deals or assistance.

The arrival of a retail-friendly investment outlook
According to recent research from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, REITS performed well for investors in 2014 and experienced a total return of 27.15% and a dividend yield of 4%, which is nearly double the S&P 500’s total return of 13.69% and dividend yield of 1.92%. This performance will help lead lenders to become more knowledgeable and interested in the real estate sector, resulting in a higher level of consideration throughout the investment community.


Mike Kercheval is president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

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