Western Real Estate Business

OCT 2018

Western Real Estate Business magazine covers the multifamily, retail, office, healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors in the Western United States.

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54 • October 2018 • Western Real Estate Business www.REBusinessOnline.com revamped into a modern mixed-use center with office space, restaurants, retail and more. By catering toward the growing trend of a live-work-play lifestyle and providing various enter- tainment offerings, the mixed-use gal- leria has fostered a community of its own. The center also hosts events, in- cluding the Sherman Oaks Street Fair and First Fridays with Silent Disco parties, as well as special store deals. Despite the Galleria's prosperity, suc- cessful dead mall makeovers are few and far between. Add Entertainment Wisely Western sub-regional malls in the U.S. are generally purpose-designed to be shopping centers. These properties are usually driven by an anchor store and feature standard construction de- sign with low ceilings, tight gridlines, multiple entry and exit points for easy access, and lots of extra and unused space. Under these conditions, add- ing entertainment features to rein- vigorate the development is a major challenge. Attractions and themed entertainment features often require volume, extended ceiling height, ex- tensive power, and controlled access entries and exits. To overcome these limitations, developers should care- fully design and implement each mall redevelopment plan by applying longstanding themed entertainment principles employed by theme parks around the world. As exemplified by the Bay Area's Fashion Island that closed in 1996, adding a few entertainment attrac- tions, such as a landmark tent, skat- ing rink and arcade, to a shopping center is not enough to save it. When overhauling dead malls, developers need to give these redevelopments good reasons to exist and tie all of its elements together. Most visitors are not aware that every ride, store, restaurant, cart and pathway is part of the scripted entertainment expe- rience of a theme park and contrib- utes to the destination's overarch- ing brand story. Each element helps transform theme parks into coveted immersive and experiential worlds of their own, which is what shop- ping centers should strive to achieve. The reason guests spend so much at theme parks is because the experi- ence feels special. They are creating shared memories and these visitors came to enjoy themselves — not cross items off a shopping list. The emotions and excitement theme parks evoke keep patrons on the premises for longer periods of time. It also causes them to visit more often and spending more money. The draw of a mixed-use facility should not be the shops, but the visitor experience. This is far more important than the re- tail or food offered at a location. Give the development a "reason to exist," whether it be historical, futuristic, fantastical or cultural, and apply this principle throughout a redevelop- ment's entire design process to simu- late an immersive theme-park-esque world. Engage Tenants To Engage Visitors When this is implemented correctly, commercial real estate developers will improve the likelihood of obtaining highly targeted retail tenants and busi- nesses that want to lease space and contribute to the center's story in their own unique ways. They can also par- ticipate in yearly or monthly events that help build a sense of community. Rather than only promoting their own stores, they promote the entire expe- rience. Mixed-use and commercial properties that provide programmed events and experiences, such as the Sherman Oaks Galleria, extend the dwell time of guests and increase the frequency of visits. Theme parks ac- complish this through daily parades and fireworks at night. Ideally, a de- veloper should create easily replicable themed entertainment designs that can be applied to multiple locations. By investing in numerous locations, developers can drive down risk and buy materials and entertainment tech- nology in large quantities, which is al- ways more cost efficient. Reinventing malls with themed en- tertainment, programmable entertain- ment and other mixed-use elements allow property developers to deliver iconic experiences and entice people to keep coming back for more. Bill Coan is President and CEO of ITEC Entertainment REINVENTING THE DEAD MALL MALLS from page 1 Developers should carefully design and implement each mall redevelopment plan by applying longstanding themed entertainment principles employed by theme parks around the world. When overhauling dead malls, developers need to give these redevelopments good reasons to exist and tie all of its elements together. and a challenge for us is that we can't really do big box retailers. It has to be something that serves both visitors and locals alike. You won't see a yoga studio. You aren't going to see a grocery market. You're not going to see some of those tenants that would be great to have in there because they really serve locals and we're looking for something that makes sure we're serving the visi- tors of San Diego. It is public land, and we want to make sure that all of the public enjoys it." Still, with attractions like the San Diego Convention Center, waterfront embarcaderos, USS Midway, and Little Italy, East Village and Gaslamp districts a short walk away, it's easy to see how this area can be a prime breeding ground for the next great attraction. "This is an opportunity to be part of one of the most iconic waterfront retail destinations in Southern Cali- fornia," Moser says. "Seaport Village is the link between San Diego's bay and the city's thriving Downtown. Tenants have the opportunity to be part of an exclusive shopping and dining experience that serves visi- tors, locals, businesses and conven- tion attendees." n continued from previous page

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