LAS VEGAS — With the nation’s suburban landscape pockmarked by malls, developers are searching for the next strategy to grow revenues. Regional centers are losing traffic; entertainment centers never worked; strip centers, representing 95...
LAS VEGAS — With the nation’s suburban landscape pockmarked by malls, developers are searching for the next strategy to grow revenues. Regional centers are losing traffic; entertainment centers never worked; strip centers, representing 95 percent of the nation’s 45,721 shopping centers, need major makeovers, and urban markets are woefully under-retailed and ignored. Yet African-American and Latino communities have some $500 billion in spending power, according to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the former basketball great who is becoming well known for bringing Starbucks [he’s the only Starbucks franchisee], TGI Fridays and movie theaters to inner-city areas under Magic Johnson Enterprises, a developer. “We’re not there for charity, we’re there to make money,” he said, during his keynote speech at the ICSC last week. “All we’re trying to do in the urban community is make their life easier and uplift their community, too.” He said he’s looking for deals around the country, and the key to profitability in inner cities is getting some public funding.Mayors from San Antonio, Tex.; Little Rock, Ark.; Louisville, Ky., and Baltimore, Md., promised millions of dollars in funds from the public sector to help projects along. “Retail sales are essential to the lifeblood of my city,” noted Mayor Patrick Henry Hayes of Little Rock. “Sales tax helps fill my pot holes.”“We can’t have strong neighborhoods without strong retail,” Mayor Martin O’Malley of Baltimore added. “There’s a remigration back to cities. It’s a better investment. The infrastructure is there. The city of Baltimore is open for business.”However, developers seem most drawn to the so-called “lifestyle” center. Exactly what they are, or how many exist, was up for debate. Estimates ranged from about two dozen to more than 100. The official ICSC definition: centers near affluent residential neighborhoods with an open-air configuration, at least 50,000 square feet and upscale national specialty stores.Others said lifestyle centers require a “a sense of place,” and still others said lifestyle centers must have a combination of retail, restaurants and entertainment. Some gave a short definition — they’re just modern versions of strip centers. The bottom line: “Where the developer does not have vision, that center will perish,” said Patti Bender, vice president of leasing for Weingarten Realty. “You can’t plop down a store or a center without vision. You need to create a sense of place,” and you do that by building walkways, fountains, murals, lighting and hallways that reflect the community culture and architecture. “Retailers are not going to do it for you,” Bender said.Brett Hutchens, a developer with Don M. Casto, broke it down quite simply: “It’s where you can go to relax and be amused,” he said, adding it must appeal to the whole family.“Lifestyle centers are neighborhood community centers,” said Keith C. Eyrich, president of the Irvine Co. in Newport Beach, Calif., owner of several lifestyle centers in Southern California, including The Irvine Spectrum and a new project called Crystal Cove, to bow in October. “They’re the most stable and investment-grade type of retail product there is.”“I wouldn’t try to label it,” saidR. Webber Hudson, president of leasing and marketing company Urban Retail Properties Co. “It’s just a well-focused retail project that clearly addresses a need for consumers — commando shopping. Getting in and getting out quick.”
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion