REAL ESTATE

CBRE: Investors bullish on outlet centers

BY CSA Staff

Commercial real estate investors have traditionally shied away from the outlet retail sector, but that’s beginning to change, according to two CBRE executives.

“An influx of new players is beginning to broaden the sector and spark conversations about its key attributes. I’ve seen multiple private equity groups and pension funds underwriting outlet offerings,” CBRE executive VP Richard Frolik told GlobeSt.com.

Frolik’s colleague Phil Voorhees added that outlet centers have always offered great value — a key component of the 21st Century retail equation—and are beginning to catch up in other areas.

“CBRE expects that outlet centers will add quick-casual restaurant, beverage, and even service uses over time, blurring the line between traditional outlet centers and conventional retail,” Voorees said.

Outlet centers embrace of digital marketing alternatives have endeared them to millennial shoppers and new racetrack designs and interactive display directories make the shopping experience easier for Baby Boomers, said Frolik, who noted that 20 new outlet centers have come on-stream in the last four years.

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Celebration Pointe to host Gators radio show

BY Al Urbanski

Celebration Pointe, Gainesville, Florida’s, newest major retail center, has signed a sponsorship deal with Gainesville’s oldest draw — the University of Florida Gators athletic teams.

The deal calls for broadcasts of “Gator Talk,” a syndicated radio show for UF football and basketball fans on 38 affiliate stations nationwide — to originate from a stage at City Walk in the center of Celebration Pointe.

“We look forward to hosting Gators’ supporters, along with the many Celebration Pointe guests, who want to experience the coaches’ shows,” said Ralph Conti, a development partner in the project.

Conti said the sponsorship will expose Celebration Pointe to an estimated 3.5 million Gators’ fans statewide and millions more nationally.

A Celebration Pointe press release quoted Scarborough Research as reporting that Gators’ rooters are 87% more likely than the population at large to have eaten in a sit-down restaurant 10 times and 48% more likely to have attended four movies in the past 30 days.

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WeWork debuts retail format

BY Marianne Wilson

Office-sharing giant WeWork is expanding into retail—and it has a built-in audience.

The fast-growing co-working company, which is also moving into co-living, has launched a retail concept, called WeMrkt, with the first one at a WeWork location in downtown Manhattan. The small shop sells a curated selection of merchandise, from healthy snacks to office supplies to apparel, exclusively to the company’s members. The products are made by member companies.

WeWork plans to open additional WeMrkt stores in more locations in New York, and then expand it nationwide.

WeWork chief brand officer Julie Rice said that WeMrkt is “by our members, for our members.”

“WeMrkt is a great example of WeWork’s commitment to our members’ success,” she said.

WeWork has a network of 260 facilities across the globe. In October 2017, it purchased the Lord & Taylor flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, with plans to convert it into its corporate headquarters.

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