Obviously the trend is stronger in the greater NY region, but a lot of talk at International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Manhattan seemed to be about adpting retail better to transit and denser urban design. Speakers included reps from Burlington Coat Factory, Sports Authority, BJ's Wholesale Club and a number of major real estate developers.
As retailers continue to weave suburban concepts into the urban fabric, more brands—and big-boxes—are going vertical. But as the pendulum swings in favor of transit-oriented development, the nation’s top retailers agreed that the need for mass transportation is beginning to outweigh the need for traditional parking design, according to speakers during day two of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ 2011 New York National Conference & Deal Making event. The convention closed out at the Sheraton New York and Hilton New York Hotels on Tuesday afternoon, where total attendance exceeded 6,000 each day.
During the general session, much of the discussion revolved around the challenges retailers face, running the gamut from site selection, obtaining local approvals, expansion concerns and store formats. The panelists also addressed the paradigm shift of retailers like wholesale clubs and supermarkets—two concepts borne out of the suburbs—that are finding equal strength in cities, especially near subway and bus lines.
An earlier post I did on urban retail formats in NYC