Shopping Center Business

MAY 2018

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

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CENTER REVIEW 76 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2018 "creating a sustainable destination is an evolutionary process, not an event." Mas- tin maintains that leasing decisions are made strategically, prioritizing long-term value and making sure that is aligned with the big-picture vision for the center. "It's a little bit of a balancing act," she says. "We want to be selective but also take some calculated risks to offer some- thing new and different." For all of its familiar assets, it is Easton's ability to consistently deliver something "new and different" that has helped the town center attract 25 million annual visitors and maintain its place as one of America's most popular and profitable mixed-use destinations. EXPANSION Building on its early success, Easton always had its sights set on expansion. Phase II opened in 2001, and the project's second major expansion, the 54-acre, 583,000-square-foot Easton Gateway, opened its doors in 2014 — anchored by Dick's Sporting Goods, REI, Whole Foods and Costco. Easton has continued to add office space over the years, introduce new residential components and additional hospitality options. There are currently three hotels on the property and soon to be four, with the recently announced Aloft by Marriott. Today Easton boasts 3.5 million square feet of Class A office space on and adjacent to the property, and has 500 luxury residential units at Easton Commons. RENOVATION Easton's one-of-a-kind Station Build- ing, an integral part of the Easton experi- ence, was recently given a comprehensive multimillion-dollar overhaul. Renova- tions include an expanded signature grand staircase with 1,370 feet of color-changing lighting, new lighting infrastructure to re- duce energy usage by more than $100,000 each year, approximately 80,000 square feet of flooring replacement, and four new tenant spaces. The result is a trans- formation that takes this iconic building into the future, while remaining true to its original design. "The most exciting thing about Easton Town Center is that it is never truly fin- ished," says Lori Bongiorno, principal at M+A Architects, architect of record for Easton. "Even a highly successful and cen- tral component of the development like The Station was due for positive change, while maintaining those details have established a memorable and engaging sense of place." DISTINCTION Easton has been distinguished by a long list of regional firsts and market- place exclusives. The tenant roster of approximately 250 best-in-class retail, entertainment and dining venue includes the market's only Nordstrom, Resto- ration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and The Container Store. Easton is home to Ohio's largest cinema — the AMC Easton 30, and Lifetime Fitness — one of Central Ohio's largest fitness clubs. An- other regional newcomer, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus, celebrated its groundbreaking in January. Staying true to Easton's signature style, M+A Architects designed the 36,000-square-foot, $10 million, com- plete with LEGO-themed play areas, inter- active rides, classes from LEGO Master Model Builders, birthday party rooms, and a 4-D cinema. LEGOLAND will open in fall 2018. CONNECTION One of the keys to Easton's success is that it is more than just a place to shop. The larger Easton area offers an ice rink, soccer fields, concerts in the park, holiday tree-lighting ceremonies, and a packed slate of special events, seasonal celebra- tions and community gatherings. Connectivity begins with creativity — and there is always something new and different at Easton. For example, Tesla re- cently brought its headline-making Model 3 sedan to its Easton showroom — the first time the car has been displayed in the state of Ohio. The Wizard of Oz Educational Exhibit — the traveling educational exhib- it, had a three-month run in the Easton Station Building in early 2018. LOOKING AHEAD After 19 years of intentional evolution, Easton Town Center is introducing yet another major component to the project: The Urban District. For a development that was originally rooted in retail, The Urban District will introduce a mixed-use project-within-the-project that is highly fo- cused on integrating substantial residen- tial uses into Easton. The Urban District will combine residential, office, retail and restaurant, effectively linking the original Easton Town Center to Easton Gateway. Now, the question is: What will the next 20 years bring to Easton? SCB Easton has approximately 250 retail and restaurant tenants, including the Columbus market's only Nordstrom, Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and The Container Store.

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