Olshan Properties CEO Andrea Olshan told ICSC-TV that experiential retail is the biggest trend in evidence at this year’s conference.
“We are looking for what used to be called alternate useage but is now becoming more of a primary use,ˮ Olshan told the association’s Jesse Tron during a livestream interview for the conference floor.
“Whether its fitness or something like The Main Event — that’s a tenant we are building for in one of our centers in Louisanna — grocers, and daily traffic needs are all very important.
“Internet shopping is very real and for basics, Internet makes a lot of sense. When you think about grocers [that are growing] itʼs stores like Whole Foods, which offers a grocery buying experience, or Sprouts, which we just put in in Atlanta.ˮ
Olshan oversees a 10 million square feet portfolio of properties — including retail, office, hotel and residential — spread over ten states.
In a report issued earlier in the month, the company noted that leasing momentum remained strong across the US during the past six months. “Our core retail portfolio continues to exhibit resilience despite the increasingly uncertain economic outlook that characterized the start of the year,” said Olshan in a press release.
“Compared to the first quarter of 2015, our total leasing volume based on the number of retail transactions increased by approximately 24 percent during the first quarter of 2016 and much of that activity was generated by a flurry of late 2015 deals.”
In the last six months, Olshan has signed retail deals with tenants ranging from workout chain Pure Barre to Google Fiber Store (signed in Kansas), Cigar Bar (Atlanta) to Flywheel fitness (Manhattan).
At Siegen Lane Marketplace in Baton Rouge, La. (pictured top) the company is building out a 50,000 s/f space for bowling anchored entertainment chain Main Event Entertainment for its first Louisiana location.
Founded in 2008, the Main Event is now the fastest-growing bowling-anchored entertainment center in America with centers in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma & Tennessee.
Itʼs bucking a trend in shrinking retail footprints with an average 40-75,000 s/f space requirement. “Things like The Main Event, which is a 55,000 s/f box, make a lot of sense. It is an entertainment venue for adults and really offers an experience outside your home – it creates a night out,ˮ said Olshan. “It’s a concept that we believe in. People need something to do other than go to dinner at the mall.ˮ
She cited Best Buy as an example of successful big box restructuring to create more boutique space saying: “With big boxes of 50-, 55-, 60,000 s/f, you have to imagine how many skews are in a box that size – something that you could buy online that you don’t need to touch and feel -is probably pretty high.
“Best Buy is a great example of going from massive box to more of a boutique and I think there are more areas where that’s going to happen.ˮ