Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

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250 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 services to educational events, will gain in importance. SCB: Is Cooper Carry working on any urban malls? New or repositiong of ex- isting assets? Carusi: Our Washington, D.C., office has been working on the redevelopment of an urban mall on the western end of Alexandria, Virginia. We have been help- ing through collaboration in our Atlanta office. The mall has strong department stores and has a very valuable asset in an existing parking structure. Our D.C. office has planned demolition of all the small shop space between and added redevel- opment, which includes one and two-level retail, a theater and restaurants. But the most innovative aspect to the plan is the addition of residential above the retail, co- located with the parking deck to provide convenient parking for the residents. The project is currently in the design develop- ment phase. We have also been assist- ing in the repositioning of The Gallery at Market East, a major urban mall in downtown Philadelphia. Our role in the project is to study an over-build of high- rise residential in the air rights over the mall. It's an incredibly complex project because the property sits on three full city blocks in the Center City portion of Philly and is connected across all three of the blocks underground and on the upper levels. To make matters even more complicated, the three blocks were built at different times and until recently, were under different ownerships. SCB: What are the two or three most prominent retail projects that Cooper Carry is working on this year? Carusi: Capitol View is a five-block mas- ter plan of former industrial space two blocks from the State Capitol in Nash- ville. We are master planning three of the blocks to include a mix of uses, combined vertically, including corporate office, cre- ative office, residential apartments, res- taurant, entertainment and hotel over retail and parking. One of the remain- ing blocks is currently under construc- tion with two of Hospital Corporation of America's (HCA) subsidiary company's new headquarters. It is an exciting project because of the densities and uses involved its location in the North Gulch area of downtown adjacent to a public greenway. Additionally, HCA is bringing many new jobs to the development. This is the kind of project that plays into our strengths. Because of our extensive mixed-use ex- perience, we have different advocates in the office for each of the uses. But retail runs the roost at the ground plane. Street retail has to be done right or the rest of the project suffers. In an entirely differ- ent climate, we have just begun planning for The Esplanade, an open-air lifestyle center in Dubai. Located near the highly successful Mall of the Emirates, the proj- ect includes one and two-level buildings containing retail and restaurants. One of the interesting features being studied is the inclusion of an open-air market similar to Le Marche Des Enfants Rouges in Paris. A third project of great interest is located in Brentwood, Tennessee. Historically seen as a southern suburb to Nashville, like many inner suburbs, it is coming into its own. And like many inner sub- urbs, there really is no recognizable town center. The new portion of Hill Center Brentwood is located at a prominent cor- ner and is adjacent to a highly successful retail center. The owner's vision for the property is a vertical mixed-use project. The owner originally wished to rezone the property to include residential uses. But the citizens expressed concern with the impact of additional residential, so the project includes office uses over re- tail. There are not many office-dominant mixed-use centers being developed in this town center format. But a combination of the owner's strong reputation in the com- munity, the low rates of office vacancy in this desirable community and the need for better retail and restaurant options are combining to make the project very successful. SCB: What are your predictions for retail in 2015-2016? Carusi: Looking into my not-so-crystal ball, I would expect a continuation of redevelopment of existing properties to be a major force. Unemployment rates are dropping and wage increases may be around the corner. But until wages im- prove significantly, household creation will remain below historic patterns. In- creases in household formation suggest more population movement, which cre- ates new markets, which in turn, would need to be served by new greenfield development. There has been very little new development occurring in the world of retail in the U.S. Smaller regional malls that have been hit hard by more desirable competition are ripe for a variety of rede- velopment opportunities. Regional malls, just like grocery stores, are almost always located in great real estate locations. And if they are surrounded by demographical- ly strong neighborhoods, they can be re- envisioned as new projects, have portions reconfigured or have new uses added. But some new markets continue to grow. We are planning a mixed-use development for Howard Hughes Corp. in Kendall, Florida, in central Dade County west of Miami. The area is growing rapidly out of the recession driven by Latino population growth through migration. While it is a greenfield development, it is important to our client that the master plan consider Cooper Carry is creating the design for Capitol View, a five-block master plan of former industrial space two blocks from the State Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee.

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