Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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252 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 phased development that allows substan- tial density to increase as the project is built out. SCB: What do you see as the top two or three challenges for today's retail tenant? Carusi: I believe the number one issue facing retailers today is the challenge of creating and delivering a cogent brand message to their target audience in a world that has so many opportunities for that audience to be distracted. Retailers who fail to create a brand that is understand- able and relevant are at risk. Those who have not even created a brand message are even more at risk. SCB: Why has Cooper Carry been so successful with its retail group? Carusi: I'd like to believe our success comes from attempting to understand retail forces and trends as opposed to a dogmatic view of building types or ar- chitectural movements. We've also been fortunate to attract some great clients. In terms of understanding trends, I wish I had a dime for every time someone told me 'malls are dying.' To us, malls aren't dying or living; retail is in a constant state of change. It is completely Darwinian. Formats change on a regular basis, con- sumer tastes are often fickle. But in the end, shopping is a social experience, at least in the types of projects in which we are involved. That social experience can occur in open-air environments as well as enclosed. People love to be around other people when they shop. It's where they can see the latest fashions on other people, it's where boys and girls meet, it's where relationships are formed and strengthened. It is pure entertainment. So we spend a lot of time synthesizing the fundamental needs of retail develop- ment with creating spaces that are excit- ing and comfortable to be in. The spaces are formed by architecture, landscape architecture, environmental graphics and lighting design. But it's not created in a vacuum. It involves an integrated ap- proach with leasing and operations, the involvement of clients and user groups. And when it all comes together, it's magic. SCB: Do you integrate other services with your design approach or do you outsource to consultants? Carusi: We do both. Cooper Carry is a design firm so we provide architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, environmental graphic design and plan- ning services. But we often collaborate with other design consultants. We enjoy the relationships and different points of view. The Brentwood project is a per- fect example. Although Cooper Carry is charged with overall design responsibility, our associated architect, TMPartners, has been a valuable contributor to design dis- cussions, as has the local and very talented landscape architect. SCB: Approximately how many square feet in retail and/or mixed-use is Cooper Carry involved with currently? Carusi: In 2014, Cooper Carry complet- ed 14 retail projects, which netted nearly 1.5 million square feet of retail space. Additionally, last year we were awarded more than 4 million square feet of retail and mixed-use projects. SCB Retail - Commercial - Industrial Gaither Loewenstein Economic Development & Planning Manager 760-255-5177 gloewenstein@barstowca.og Fuel Cells Waste Reduction Organics Pollution Controls Wind Power Green Technologies Hydroponic Farming Logistics Film Industry Tourism Warehousing Manufacturing Barstow, has room for your company as well as room to grow. Barstow, can supply talented, diverse, educated and trainable hard working employees. Incentives from the city, county and state. A strategic location on interstates 15/40, half-way between the Los Angeles Harbor and Las Vegas. Nearby the So. CA Logistics Airport, and U.S. Customs and Foreign Trade Zone. Surplus demand for furniture, sporting goods and hobbies, home furnishing, health and personal care, electronics and appliances. Come see what Barstow is all about! Opportunity Knocking for… Retail Retail Retail

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