Category: Development

Vitamin D and Retail: But Not Without Due Diligence First

We’ve all read about the question marks floating around the fate of brick and mortar retail in America. Factors like the strength of e-commerce and shifting consumer preferences (such as the popularity of urban centers over suburbia and consumers’ yearn for experiences over traditional shopping trips) are challenging landlords...
Go

A Case of Caution: the Effect of Redevelopment on Existing Mall Leases

In a follow up to our other posts regarding the White Flint Mall redevelopment, the jury has reached a verdict. Until recently, White Flint Mall in Bethesda, Maryland was a prime example of retail mall success. However, as the mall began to lose tenants and customers, its owner decided...
Go

Adaptive Reuse: Boom or Bust?

Adaptive reuse of older, unused, or under-used buildings is considered by many to be an important component of sustainable and environmentally-friendly development. Also, adaptive reuse is a concept that governmental officials, many developers, and some communities have embraced to revitalize older neighborhoods suffering from abandonment or general decline. Adaptive...
Go

A Study of Suburban Mall Redevelopment: the White Flint Mall

A year ago, we reported on the planned redevelopment of the 37-year old, 850,000 square foot, indoor shopping mall in White Flint, Maryland. The mall’s planned redevelopment into a 5.2 million square foot, walkable, mixed-use destination with access to an existing station stop on the Metro’s Red Line appeared to...
Go

Sharing The Art and Science of Updating REAs

Thirty to fifty years ago, regional mall development was a new frontier in retail real estate. Developers were often individual entrepreneurs who started in the business by developing small strip centers and then moving up to more complicated retail developments, such as enclosed malls, typically anchored by department stores....
Go

What The Height Act Amendment Means for DC Rooftop Development

Last week, President Obama signed an amendment into federal law allowing human occupancy in rooftop penthouses on top of DC buildings. This is an exciting update for DC real estate owners and developers because it presents a budding opportunity to build penthouses for more value and usability beyond what...
Go

The Walkable Community: A Good Development for All

In an earlier blog post on The Walkable Community , we provided an overview of evidence supporting the bottom-line case for creating (or transforming) walkable communities and highlighted the ever- expanding body of literature and statistics that show a significant connection between increased retail revenues and environments that prioritize...
Go

The Death of D.C.’s Living Wage Bill

On July 22nd of this year we reported on the passage of the Large Retailer Accountability Act by the DC Council and awaited a possible veto of the bill from Mayor Vincent Gray. The bill targeted Wal-Mart (and other large retailers) by requiring new retailers without unionized workers that...
Go

D.C.’s Living Wage Bill Puts Big Box Retail Development At Risk

In 2010 Wal-Mart entered into negotiations with the District of Columbia to bring its first Wal-Mart into the city of Washington DC. By the end of 2011, Wal-Mart made plans to open up 6 new stores in locations all across the city, hoping to execute on their national strategy...
Go

Restaurant Paradox: Encouraging and Discouraging New Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Research has suggested that zoning can have both anti-competitive and pro-competitive effects on retail establishments. The anti-competitive effects may be caused by limiting the number of certain types of retail establishments, by prohibiting some types of retailers, or by encouraging certain types of retailers over others. Other research has...
Go

The Bottom-Line Case for a Walkable Retail Future

 A recent Washington Post article by Jonathan O’Connell poses the question, “ Can city life be exported to the suburbs ?” In it, the author examines the contemporary design phenomenon manifested by the proliferation of “town centers” (or “lifestyle centers”) nationwide, and particularly in the Washington, DC region. He...
Go

Sustainability in the Retail and Restaurant Industry: An Imperative and an Opportunity

Once motivated purely by altruism, sustainable retail development and building operation are increasingly encouraged by both governments and market conditions, if not explicitly required by law. Sustainability presents attractive opportunities to the retail and restaurant industry despite its unique challenges, such as significant interior and exterior demands, management of...
Go

Suburban Retailers Moving Into Urban Spaces, an ICSC Discussion

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) kicked off its recent 2012 Mid-Atlantic Conference & Deal-Making with a panel discussion on the growing trend of suburban, large-format retailers, such as Wal-Mart, moving into urban markets that were once viewed as impenetrable and undesirable. Grant Ehat of JBG Rosenfeld Retail...
Go