Mantaining Its Position

Despite existing in a retail market that is constantly changing, with an ever more demanding customer, the North American retail real estate market remains in a strong a position as ever. Here, RLI takes a look at just a few of the major projects currently at the forefront of the sector across the continent.

While there are many countries that make up North America, the continents retail sector is still obviously dominated by Canada and the US. In Canada, the Vancouver and Toronto real estate markets continue to lead Canadian cities in terms of investment and development prospects, although every region has its own opportunities and challenges. Meanwhile in the US, the economy continued to grow in the third quarter of 2019, albeit at a slower pace. In the shopping centre sector demand for non-mall shopping centre space remains positive, but is slowing.

Net absorption in the third quarter of 2019 totalled 2.3 million square feet, bringing the year-to-date total to 6.2 million square feet—only one-third of the net absorption experienced during the first three quarters of 2018. Quarterly net absorption averaged 7.3 million square feet throughout 2017 and 2018, but in 2019 the quarterly average has declined to 2.1 million square feet. The majority of occupancy gains were in neighbourhood and community centres, which typically have a tenant base comprising necessity – (grocery and drug) or service based retailers. Conversely, power centres have experienced negative net absorption for the last three consecutive quarters, totalling just over two million square feet of move-outs year-to-date. Below RLI highlights some of the key developments, either those that have recently opened or are in the pipeline for the coming months and years.

North America Projects

The Omni by developer Genesis Land is a master-planned multi-use commercial destination strategically located adjacent to the burgeoning upper North East Sector of Calgary, offering an unparalleled frontage for commercial profile and visibility to match the stringent locational needs of the top national, regional and local retailers and tenants. Driven by the economic growth of Calgary and Rocky View County, The Omni is well positioned for a multiplicity of uses within this important family-oriented trade region. This comprehensive state-of-the-art mixed-use development will uniquely integrate seven key pillars of offerings including 600,000sq ft of retail, a 325,000sq ft outlet centre, three boutique hotels, 250 senior active living units, 500,000sq ft of office space, a 27,000sq ft children’s creativity zone, 60,000sq ft of restaurants and café space and 4,000 parking spaces.

Another project currently under construction in Calgary is the first phase of the Township Commercial Development by developers Royop Development Corporation. Township shopping plaza will be approximately 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use buildings when fully developed. The proposed development will be host to various large and small retailers, restaurants and more. Phase one is expected to cost $125M and to open in 2021, which will include 400,000sq ft of retail space. Township promises to be not only the community hub to the surrounding communities of Legacy and Walden, but will be a shopping destination for all of Calgary. The second phase of the scheme will add 1.1 million square feet and be available for retail, office, hotel and residential opportunities.

Hudson Yards is a 28-acre mixed-use development on Manhattan’s far West Side, bound by 34th and 30th street to the north and south, and by Tenth Avenue and the West Side Highway to the east and west. The development is unfolding in two parts. The first phase, Eastern Yard, will be home to eight new buildings, including residential and commercial skyscrapers, public gardens, a massive shopping mall which opened earlier this year and the Shed cultural centre. Though specific design details have yet to be revealed, Western Yard will include additional residential, office, and retail space, as well as an elementary school. When both phases are completed, in 2025, the development will encompass more than 18 million gross square feet of built space, with nearly 14 additional acres of open public space.
Conveniently located and newly renovated, The Shops at South Town offers a superior one-stop shopping experience with 120 retail, dining and entertainment options. Recent renovations added by Pacific Retail Capital Partners added digital screens throughout the centre to provide live feeds of events, digital art, gaming, and interactive content. The centre has the distinction of being the first location in Utah to house Japan-based Round 1 Bowling & Amusement.

After multiple delays and previous openings dates coming and going, Empire Outlets, New York City’s first outlet centre, celebrated its grand opening back in May. The 340,000sq ft centre is located on Staten Island and is easily accessible via the Staten Island Ferry. Developed by BFC Partners and designed by SHoP Architects, Empire Outlets features expansive open corridors to the water and contemporary materials reflective of the industrial waterfront. Vertical circulation elements such as grand staircases, elevators and streamlined escalators guide shoppers as they move from the waterfront up to the outlet centre. Stores on site include Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Columbia Sporting Goods, Gap Factory, H&M, Jockey, Nike Factory, Old Navy and more. Additional retailers, including Nordstrom Rack, American Eagle Outfitters, Crocs and more opened their stores throughout the spring and summer. A 40,000sq ft food and beverage deck with unmatched sweeping views of Manhattan will soon open with dozens of food concepts including MRKTPL, Staten Island’s first-ever artisanal food hall.

Fashion District Philadelphia, a joint partnership between PREIT and Macerich, opened on 19 September, bringing a large and unique combination of outlet and full-price retail along with entertainment and culture to an urban shopping environment. Spanning three city blocks, and approximately 900,000sq ft of space, the centre features a variety of retailers, multiple dining concepts, entertainment for children and adults, and unique features such as art installations and local shops. Retailers at the centre include Nike Factory, Express Factory, Guess Factory and Levi’s Outlet Store. Dining and entertainment options include City Winery, which held its own grand opening a week later than the opening date with singer Emmylou Harris; Round 1, with billiards, bowling and karaoke; AMC Theaters; Wonderspaces interactive art exhibits; and Candytopia.

For the last 23 years, a three million square foot mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, has been in differing stages of development. On 25 October, after more than $5bn of investment and two bankruptcies, the first stage of the American Dream mall opened and consumers could finally get to see what that sort of money gets you in today’s retail world. Developers Triple Five Group has chosen to allocate 55 per cent of the space to entertainment and dining, and 45 per cent is devoted to retail. That allocation recognizes that what’s driving consumers into stores isn’t buying things; it’s the fun and exploration they can have and what they can experience with friends. The DreamWorks water park, which features the world’s largest wave pool at 1.5 acres opened on 27 November and Big Snow, an indoor ski slope, is set to open on 5 December. The retail element of the project is due to open in March next year.

Grandscape will be one of the largest and most unique mixed-use real estate developments in the country upon completion. Located in the Dallas, Texas, metropolitan area and being developed by Nebraska Furniture Mart, a Berkshire Hathaway company, the project will stretch across more than 400 acres, and feature more than 3.9 million square feet of retail, entertainment, residential, dining and attractions. The grand plans for Grandscape include a hotel and spa, first-in-market dining, an outdoor lawn & stage and much more. The first phase of the project is due to open next year.

THE ESPLANADE AT AVENTURA – Florida, US – Developer: Seritage Growth Properties

Headquartered in New York, Seritage Growth Properties is developing The Esplanade at Aventura which is due to open in the spring of next year in Aventura, Florida. The first phase of the scheme will feature the ground-up development of 215,000sq ft of experiential retail, unique entertainment and fine dining in a luxurious open-air setting. Esplanade at Aventura is a transformational project that provides an unparalleled open-air destination for domestic and international retail, dining and entertainment concepts.

This thoughtfully designed project will provide retailers and restaurants a setting to fully display their latest experiential oriented brands in a high street environment, with activated outdoor space and an abundance of patio and rooftop gathering areas. Once completed, this modern physical environment will house a diverse mix of leading domestic and international retailers and restaurants, many of which will be new to the South Florida market, creating a world-class attraction for residents and visitors from around the world.

Also on course to open next year is AREA15, a new destination, platform and experiential 40,000sq ft space that is located just a few minutes from the Las Vegas strip. The manifestation of a new concept called the “immersive bazaar”, immersive means completely engaged from the inside out. A bazaar is a souk, a colourful marketplace or a festival setting. AREA15 is where these two elements will meet and blend. Alongside anchor tenant Meow Wolf, AREA15 will offer an infinitely customisable space for a curated collection of experimental entertainment, immersive retail and other businesses looking for something outside of the staid retail environment.

AREA15 – Las Vegas, US – Developer: Fisher Brothers & Beneville Studios

Being developed by Fisher Brothers, the backbone that will tie the project together is The Spine, an ever-changing corridor filled with one-of-a-kind art installations, engaging brand activations, unique commerce and inspiring food and beverage offerings. The space on offer incorporates indoor and outdoor spaces and will be ideally suited for live music, festivals, corporate events, private parties, Esports tournaments and much more.

A 24-Hour Fitness gym, Regal Cinemas theatre and an Old Navy apparel shop will be among the major tenants moving into the former Laurel Plaza shopping centre site as part of the NoHo West project now under construction in Los Angeles, the developer Merlone Geier Partners said recently. The announced gym, theatre and clothing retailer tenants will be among the 50 to 60 commercial tenants of the 570,000sq ft NoHo West project that is due to open in spring next year. The Regal Cinemas will be the theatre company’s only location in the North Hollywood area, according to the developer. It will be moving in just down the street from the Regency Valley Plaza 6 and Cinemark North Hollywood, and not far from the Laemmle Noho 7 in the arts district area. The 24 Hour Fitness will also be near some other gyms, including Golds Gym on the Valley Plaza side of the shopping area.

Hudson Yards – New York, US – Developer: Related Companies

Hudson Yards is a 28-acre mixed-use development on Manhattan’s far West Side, bound by 34th and 30th street to the north and south, and by Tenth Avenue and the West Side Highway to the east and west. The development is unfolding in two parts. The first phase, Eastern Yard, will be home to eight new buildings, including residential and commercial skyscrapers, public gardens, a massive shopping mall which opened earlier this year and the Shed cultural centre. Though specific design details have yet to be revealed, Western Yard will include additional residential, office, and retail space, as well as an elementary school. When both phases are completed, in 2025, the development will encompass more than 18 million gross square feet of built space, with nearly 14 additional acres of open public space.

Conveniently located and newly renovated, The Shops at South Town offers a superior one-stop shopping experience with 120 retail, dining and entertainment options. Recent renovations added by Pacific Retail Capital Partners added digital screens throughout the centre to provide live feeds of events, digital art, gaming, and interactive content. The centre has the distinction of being the first location in Utah to house Japan-based Round 1 Bowling & Amusement. After multiple delays and previous openings dates coming and going, Empire Outlets, New York City’s first outlet centre, celebrated its grand opening back in May. The 340,000sq ft centre is located on Staten Island and is easily accessible via the Staten Island Ferry.

Developed by BFC Partners and designed by SHoP Architects, Empire Outlets features expansive open corridors to the water and contemporary materials reflective of the industrial waterfront. Vertical circulation elements such as grand staircases, elevators and streamlined escalators guide shoppers as they move from the waterfront up to the outlet centre. Stores on site include Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Columbia Sporting Goods, Gap Factory, H&M, Jockey, Nike Factory, Old Navy and more.

Additional retailers, including Nordstrom Rack, American Eagle Outfitters, Crocs and more opened their stores throughout the spring and summer. A 40,000sq ft food and beverage deck with unmatched sweeping views of Manhattan will soon open with dozens of food concepts including MRKTPL, Staten Island’s first-ever artisanal food hall.

Fashion District Philadelphia, a joint partnership between PREIT and Macerich, opened on 19 September, bringing a large and unique combination of outlet and full-price retail along with entertainment and culture to an urban shopping environment. Spanning three city blocks, and approximately 900,000sq ft of space, the centre features a variety of retailers, multiple dining concepts, entertainment for children and adults, and unique features such as art installations and local shops. Retailers at the centre include Nike Factory, Express Factory, Guess Factory and Levi’s Outlet Store. Dining and entertainment options include City Winery, which held its own grand opening a week later than the opening date with singer Emmylou Harris; Round 1, with billiards, bowling and karaoke; AMC Theaters; Wonderspaces interactive art exhibits; and Candytopia.

For the last 23 years, a three million square foot mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, has been in differing stages of development. On 25 October, after more than $5bn of investment and two bankruptcies, the first stage of the American Dream mall opened and consumers could finally get to see what that sort of money gets you in today’s retail world. Developers Triple Five Group has chosen to allocate 55 per cent of the space to entertainment and dining, and 45 per cent is devoted to retail. That allocation recognizes that what’s driving consumers into stores isn’t buying things; it’s the fun and exploration they can have and what they can experience with friends. The DreamWorks water park, which features the world’s largest wave pool at 1.5 acres opened on 27 November and Big Snow, an indoor ski slope, is set to open on 5 December. The retail element of the project is due to open in March next year.

Grandscape will be one of the largest and most unique mixed-use real estate developments in the country upon completion. Located in the Dallas, Texas, metropolitan area and being developed by Nebraska Furniture Mart, a Berkshire Hathaway company, the project will stretch across more than 400 acres, and feature more than 3.9 million square feet of retail, entertainment, residential, dining and attractions. The grand plans for Grandscape include a hotel and spa, first-in-market dining, an outdoor lawn & stage and much more. The first phase of the project is due to open next year.

Headquartered in New York, Seritage Growth Properties is developing The Esplanade at Aventura which is due to open in the spring of next year in Aventura, Florida. The first phase of the scheme will feature the ground-up development of 215,000sq ft of experiential retail, unique entertainment and fine dining in a luxurious open-air setting. Esplanade at Aventura is a transformational project that provides an unparalleled open-air destination for domestic and international retail, dining and entertainment concepts. This thoughtfully designed project will provide retailers and restaurants a setting to fully display their latest experiential oriented brands in a high street environment, with activated outdoor space and an abundance of patio and rooftop gathering areas. Once completed, this modern physical environment will house a diverse mix of leading domestic and international retailers and restaurants, many of which will be new to the South Florida market, creating a world-class attraction for residents and visitors from around the world.

Also on course to open next year is AREA15, a new destination, platform and experiential 40,000sq ft space that is located just a few minutes from the Las Vegas strip. The manifestation of a new concept called the “immersive bazaar”, immersive means completely engaged from the inside out. A bazaar is a souk, a colourful marketplace or a festival setting. AREA15 is where these two elements will meet and blend. Alongside anchor tenant Meow Wolf, AREA15 will offer an infinitely customisable space for a curated collection of experimental entertainment, immersive retail and other businesses looking for something outside of the staid retail environment. Being developed by Fisher Brothers, the backbone that will tie the project together is The Spine, an ever-changing corridor filled with one-of-a-kind art installations, engaging brand activations, unique commerce and inspiring food and beverage offerings. The space on offer incorporates indoor and outdoor spaces and will be ideally suited for live music, festivals, corporate events, private parties, Esports tournaments and much more.

A 24-Hour Fitness gym, Regal Cinemas theatre and an Old Navy apparel shop will be among the major tenants moving into the former Laurel Plaza shopping centre site as part of the NoHo West project now under construction in Los Angeles, the developer Merlone Geier Partners said recently. The announced gym, theatre and clothing retailer tenants will be among the 50 to 60 commercial tenants of the 570,000sq ft NoHo West project that is due to open in spring next year. The Regal Cinemas will be the theatre company’s only location in the North Hollywood area, according to the developer. It will be moving in just down the street from the Regency Valley Plaza 6 and Cinemark North Hollywood, and not far from the Laemmle Noho 7 in the arts district area. The 24 Hour Fitness will also be near some other gyms, including Golds Gym on the Valley Plaza side of the shopping area.