question

What is your definition of a ‘lifestyle center,’ and why has this trend become so popular?

“When we think of a lifestyle center, we talk about creating places where people like to go as opposed to where they like to shop. It becomes this special place — a gathering place — and people enjoy going there. These projects are very eclectic, and we have seen combinations of tenants that wouldn't have seemed likely a few years ago.”
— Jim Bennett, president, Madison Marquette Realty Services, Minnetonka, Minn.



“The industry has defined it as a center targeted at the enjoyment of life. Its popularity has been predicated on our excess economy of the last decade and the excess spending powers toward hobbies and other enthusiasms. It's also about convenience for the customer. Customers can park their cars close to the individual retail units and feel a connection to a particular store.”
— Stanley Eichelbaum, president, Marketing Developments Inc., a retail development research and consulting firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio



“This concept is not one that is cookie-cutter, but really reflects a diversity of people's lifestyles and needs. There's really no formula, per se. True lifestyle centers promote a sense of discovery and experience, as well as a reason to be there. Also, the environment in which these centers are built — typically outdoors — is much more attractive to people than being in an enclosed environment.”
— Nathan Fishkin, senior vice president and managing director of Street Retail Inc., Federal Realty Investment Trust, Rockville, Md.



“My definition of a lifestyle center is one that meets two criteria. One, it can contain stores that serve a common customer and relate to a common type of merchandise such as home furnishings, children's stores and even sporting goods stores. The other criteria is that it serves a particular niche of consumers with upscale stores that are located in small, elegant shopping centers. Country Club Plaza, in Kansas City, was an earlier [version] of a lifestyle center.”
— George Whalin, president and CEO, Retail Management Consultants, San Marcos, Calif.