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Report: Number of food halls grew by 37.1% in first 9 months of 2016

Cushman & Wakefield has just released its Food Halls of America report, marking the firm’s first comprehensive national report examining this growing dining trend.

The report, which was released with an accompanying video series, tracks the explosive growth of food-centered retail since the recession and ranks the top 10 food hall concepts in New York City and the top 20 nationally. The first video in a three-part series showcases New York City food halls and discusses the trend with industry experts like celebrity chef and restaurateur Todd English.

“No other retail category has generated as much aggressive expansion over the past few years as food-related retail – and arguably, there is no hotter trend within that category than food halls,” said Garrick Brown, Vice President of Retail Research for the Americas at Cushman & Wakefield.

In the first nine months of 2016, food hall growth increased by 37.1 percent year over year with 18 more projects slated for delivery before the end of the year, according to Cushman & Wakefield data.

The firm says restaurants accounted for 25 percent of planned unit growth across all retail concepts it tracked in 2007, the first year it began sourcing that data.  By 2010, that number had increased to 35 percent, and for the last three years, restaurants have consistently accounted for 50 percent of all planned unit growth.

As recently as a decade ago, food-related retail concepts were more about convenience than quality, the report notes.  But fueled by the rise of a “foodie” movement led by celebrity chefs and ushered in by millennials, food-centered social media platforms, and culinary-focused cable channels, food halls slowly began to enjoy previously unprecedented cache, Brown said.

Consumer desire for quality and authenticity have driven the rise of food-related retail post-recession, with “fast casual” concepts like better-burger chains and fast-fire pizza purveyors presenting serious competition to traditional restaurants, according to the report.

Chef-driven restaurants have also exploded in growth since 2010, when both Eataly and Todd English opened upscale European-style food halls concept in New York City.

Food Halls Of America ranks the top 10 food halls in New York City as: Chelsea Market; Grand Central Terminal/Great Northern Food Hall; Brookfield Place: Hudson Eats/Le District; Urban Space Vanderbilt; Todd English’s Food Hall at The Plaza; The Pennsy; Gotham West; Berg’n (in Brooklyn); Gansevoort Market; and Essex Street Market.

The top 20 food halls in America include: The Source – Denver; Union Station – Denver; Krog Street Market – Atlanta; Quincy Market Colonnade at Faneuil Hall – Boston; Pike Place Market – Seattle; Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia; Revival Food Hall at the National – Chicago; Latinicity Food Hall – Chicago; Original Farmer’s Market – Los Angeles; Grand Central Market – Los Angeles; Ferry Building – San Francisco; Eataly – New York, Chicago, Boston (coming soon), Los Angeles (coming soon); Midtown Global Market – Minneapolis; The Central Food Hall at Ponce City Market – Atlanta; West Side Market – Cleveland; Union Market – Washington, D.C.; Eastern Market – Washington, D.C.; Liberty Public Market – San Diego; Market on Market – San Francisco; and Market House at the Nashville Farmer’s Market – Nashville.

“Food Halls of America offers important market insights for our clients, from trending dining concepts to investors pursuing enrichment of retail assets,” said Gene Spiegelman, Head of Retail Services, North America at Cushman & Wakefield. “Our goal in today’s complex environment is to continue driving a better understanding of the markets and the dynamic trends that impact them.”

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