Staying Ahead Of Leasing And Development Trends Amidst Uncertain Times In Retail

Julia Bunch |
Source: Bisnow

As many retailers face uncertain futures, retail developers and leasing executives are comparing success notes. While Northwood Retail president Ward Kampf told us there isn’t actually a formula to retail success, some centers seem to have perfected the secret sauce.

On Sept. 30, Domain Northside will open its anchors, a 127,500-square-foot Nordstrom and RH Austin, The Gallery at The Domain, commanding over 62,000 total interior and exterior square feet. Courtesy of Restoration Hardware Retail disruption is happening faster than anyone expected, Kampf told Bisnow. Austin has historically been a great supporter of local retailers, but those concepts can’t sustain a city’s economy alone.

Credit tenants can be more attractive to developers when considering volume of sales, but finding the right mix of local tenants can create just as strong of a tenant mix because people — Austinites especially — want to shop small for authentic and unique goods, Endeavor VP of leasing Adam Zimel said. Centers need a balance of national and regional names, and restaurants and services.

The Domain Northside, Endeavor’s recent development with leasing partner Northwood, has about 90 tenants, 60 of which are first to market. Within the development, Rock Rose has already garnered a reputation as a place for locals by locals.

“I think every city and every piece of real estate should be unique to that market,” Kampf said. He said that while there are aspects of the Domain Northside that could be replicated, each center needs to find its own way to stand apart.

Endeavor’s 1,600-acre mixed-use Belterra Village project in Dripping Springs will have 300k SF of retail and restaurant space. Zimel (above, with his family) said that while it was rare to see fitness or experiential anchor tenants five or seven years ago, these days it’s accepted. Belterra Village will be anchored by Sky Cinemas and Gold’s Gym.

People want a cool place to experience shopping, Zimel and Kampf agreed. Hear more from Kampf, Zimel and other retail execs at our Annual Austin Retail: Around The Retail Experience event on Jan. 24.