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Q: What developments are shaping the retail center of the future?

Dougherty Schroeder & Associates Inc:

Kevin Dougherty, President: The retail center of the future will continue to broaden its appeal by combining retail uses that best serve a particular locale. Whether it's power centers with lifestyle components, lifestyle centers with housing, hotel and office uses above or malls adding outdoor retail and housing, the innovation will be in how these various uses are combined into vibrant, appealing and functional commercial districts.


Richard Foy: Three-dimensionally branded experiences are becoming possible because, for one thing, material and technology today are making it easier to use more imaging, transparency, colorization, lighting, messaging and connectivity from inside a space to outside. Removing the barrier wall makes the space outside more important. For another, technology-driven communications is changing the way we do things. Think Lost in Translation or Blade Runner when imagining the possibilities of presence branding, sponsorship revenue or place making. These new technologies are creating glass-curtain walls — hundreds of square feet that become television quality images that move and talk. Even the ubiquitous cell phone will soon interact with the built environment, shape buying patterns and foster behaviors that are more convenient, spontaneous and gratifying.

TVS & Associates

Tom Porter, Principal of the Retail Studio: What we are seeing is the recognition that higher density and more diverse uses can occur in a more suburban location. Probably the best reason is the added value to the land. If you can develop multiple, income-producing uses then the bottom line will improve. In addition, the denser mix draws a more diverse and larger customer base and has the potential of making the center truly a 24/7 environment.

The other factor driving higher density is redevelopment of older centers that have lost customers, and possibly anchors, but find themselves in the middle of a dense population base. We're working on one project in a suburban location that lost a department store and is located in an area that is under-retailed. The solution is the addition of high-rise residential and an upscale spa on the vacant department store pad.

A high density development requires a deep understanding of the project types involved both from a developer and a designer standpoint. In many cases, these projects involve multiple uses, multiple owners/developers and design firms. The key is to have a planning firm like TVS that understands this complicated project type and can help put the various components together in a meaningful and successful manner.

DFD CornoyerHedrick

David W. Moore, Principal: The marriage of pedestrian and automobile circulation in retail venues is of increasing importance. It's essential to provide for vehicular/visual access to storefronts. Additionally, determining whom tomorrow's anchor tenants will be is an important design issue. With fewer department stores, the emerging importance of stores such as Target, the draw of mixed use and providing the right mix of tenants to serve as anchors is critical.

Transit-oriented retail is a relatively new design issue in the Phoenix marketplace with the advent of a new light-rail system starting construction. The possibilities for urban design are growing in prominence in a city that has historically only served the automobile.

MCG Architecture

Jeffrey Gill, Principal: With the success of Koreatown Galleria in Los Angeles we are receiving more requests to respond to destination-specific uses. These hybrid centers combine standard retail with international specialty uses uncommon to our standard process of retail design.

The design of these projects include restaurants and retail space for small shop users. Other amenities may include rooftop driving ranges, guest use rental ballrooms and mixed-use combinations such as holistic medicine facilities and residential components.

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