Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

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BAYER 316 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 Food Hall, including Lichita's (ice cream); WaffleWorks (Belgian waffles); Ghion Cultural Hall (Ethiopian); Ichicoro Imo- to (Ramen); Fero (Italian); Eli's Jerusalem Grill (Israeli); Choza Taqueria (Mexican); Ono Poké (Japanese/Hawaiian); mo:mo: (Asian dumplings); Alabama Biscuit Co. (breakfast); The Standard (traditional hotdog and hamburger joint); and local- ly-based regional coffee company Revela- tor Coffee [see page 64]. A bar, The Louis — named after the building's namesake, Louis Pizitz — is one of the larger venues. In addition to local outlets, a number of the food purveyors come from markets like New York, Atlanta and Tampa, and sought to open in Birmingham without committing to major restaurant space. In an innovative method to leasing, Bayer approached a popular local food blog — whattoeatinbirmingham.com — and worked with its staff to find out who — and what kinds of cuisine — residents really wanted to have in Birmingham. "We found many of the users from the food blog," says Bayer. "They helped us identify and sell those users on the con- cept. They really led us to a number of operators." Also a part of the food hall is Reveal Kitchen, which serves as an incubator and showcase space for up-and-coming culinary talents in the area. That initia- tive is sponsored by REV Birmingham's CO.STARTERS and BIZ 1.0 platforms. In addition, Bayer is holding one large pre- mium space for a restaurant. "We wanted to get the food hall oper- ational and fully functional so we could show regional and local restaurateurs the potential for the market and, in particular, the location," says Bayer. In the meantime, it is using the restau- rant location as an event space, hosting a number of public and private events. Tenants at The Pizitz Food Hall have seen sales so far above expectations that they are having to adjust operationally in their preparation and ordering of supplies to keep up with demand. The Birmingham Sidewalk Film Festival is moving to the building and will operate two 100-seat auditoriums, creating a built- in entertainment component. Bayer opened the The Pizitz Food Hall in mid-February, and held a grand open- ing in mid-March. The residential space opened for occupancy in December 2016 and demands the highest rents in Birming- ham's urban core. The apartments blend original flooring and other historical touches with new, green infrastructure and the latest technology. "While the initial thought was how do we get a critical mass large enough to cre- ate retail space, this building has really re- solved that problem," says Bayer. The original vision to revitalize the ur- ban core has been assisted by the open- ing of The Pizitz, says Bayer. He is quick to give credit to other properties and forward-thinking restaurants. Other de- velopments have opened in recent years, including a new Westin Hotel, a new ur- ban park, a new baseball stadium, new ground-up residential projects and many restaurant and retail concepts who forged a new market on their own. "Downtown Birmingham was well Whole Foods Market will be one of the anchors at The Summit at Fritz Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. The project will feature a number of new retailers new to the market, and many new to Kentucky. Bayer has opened a bustling 20,000-square-foot food hall at The Pizitz Building in downtown Birmingham. Approximately 20 retail and food tenants are part of the food hall.

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