Fort Worth, Texas

Creating dynamic destinations

Just when you think you've seen everything that can be done in a retail setting, developers and retailers continue to push the boundaries to create the most dynamic and exciting projects as retail continues to evolve.

“We are seeing an incredible amount of hybridization in retail today,” says David Moore, national director of retail design for Fort Worth, Texas-based Carter & Burgess. “Retailers and developers are using the most incredibly diverse combinations to excite and attract shoppers to their projects.”

Take the case of Jordan's Furniture in Natick, Mass. The existing store has an array of unique features, including a themed main street entertainment thoroughfare that makes people feel like they are walking along Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Now a 250-seat IMAX theatre has been attached to the furniture store.

“Jordan's has a philosophy of taking what would normally be an ordinary experience and making it into something special,” says Moore. “In a new store being designed in Reading, Mass., Jordan's is differentiating itself again by combining the 150,000-sq.-ft. store with an IMAX theater, restaurant and other potential retailers, all being built over a Home Depot.”

The chemistry is not limited to just stores. Retail malls and centers are being built and renovated to include some of these diverse elements to bring vibrancy to new and familiar places.

The crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd will attract sports fans and shoppers to The Point in Greenville, S.C. This sports-anchored retail and entertainment destination within a mixed-use development will also include office and hospitality. All of these elements will revolve around a 7,000-seat baseball stadium that is proposed to become the new home of the Greenville Braves.

“The potential for this center is incredible,” says John Larsen, associate principal and director of retail design for Carter & Burgess' Baltimore office. “The retail and entertainment components will unify with the sports elements, which will also include an ice rink. Minor league baseball, hockey and football teams will practice and play in the facilities and generate a lot of excitement. Then there is the potential for concerts and other events to provide excitement throughout the year.”

With a soaring fountain as its focal point, North Hills Mall in North Richland Hills, Texas is repositioning itself to become not just a shopping but a premier entertainment, recreation and social destination as well.

“In addition to the new retail and restaurant uses, the center's theme will emphasize entertainment and recreation and will include both an ice rink and a skate park,” says Greg Moe, group manager for retail centers for Carter & Burgess' Fort Worth office. “A three-acre lake featuring the 200-ft.-high fountain, complete with light and water shows reminiscent of what you might see in Las Vegas, will be the centerpiece of the project.”

Major new tenants will include Cinemark, Old San Francisco Steak House, Dave & Busters, Times Square, Burlington Coat Factory, Jeepers and Hoop Town.

The mix of diverse tenants and entertainment elements will continue as competition for the shopper becomes more intense, Moore says. “It's very exciting to see retailers and developers responding to the changes in people's lifestyles to try new things and create a sense of place that people will feel a part of.”