Retail market shows signs of life [2013 Giants 300 Report]

Retail rentals and occupancy are finally on the rise after a long stretch in the doldrums. 

Created by api(+) through renovation of an existing store, Yummy Market brings E
Created by api(+) through renovation of an existing store, Yummy Market brings European-style shopping to suburban Toronto. The new 50,000-sf market includes a kitchen for prepared foods, bakery/patisserie, deli, butcher shop, fishmonger, juice bar, café, flower shop, self-serve bulk foods, and an extensive array of imported specialties. Photo: Anthony Gomez/A.G. Photography
August 05, 2013

Retail rentals and occupancy are finally on the rise after a long stretch in the doldrums, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Retail Group (www.BDCnetwork.com/JLLRetail). Progress is slow, and glamorous projects are still few and far between, at least in North America. But some prestige work has recently been done, such as the 100,000-sf CUBES development—created by Shawmut and Equity Office Properties to bring needed retail space to an underserved section of Manhattan.

Katie Sprague, Senior Vice President in the Los Angeles office of RTKL, pinpoints vertical shopping developments, open-air retail zones, “slow-food” dining, interactive retail, and development in emerging markets as worldwide trends (http://bit.ly/13j8L9B). In particular, merchants are adding convenience features, including scan-it-yourself technologies, touch-screen kiosks, and hand-held checkout devices for store staff.

MJ Munsell, IIDA, Principal and Retail Market Design Leader at MulvannyG2, says consumers’ use of apps such as Pinterest is shaping ideas about personal branding; perhaps dressing room lighting, color schemes, and sound will become customizable at the touch of a screen.

TOP RETAIL ARCHITECTURE FIRMS

 
Company 2012 Retail Revenue ($)
1 Callison $99,528,741
2 Stantec $89,657,878
3 Gensler $88,360,000
4 MulvannyG2 Architecture $70,792,750
5 RTKL Associates $61,225,000
6 RSP Architects $39,327,000
7 WD Partners $37,000,000
8 MBH Architects $34,095,000
9 Perkowitz+Ruth Architects $23,729,547
10 Little $20,411,914

TOP RETAIL ENGINEERING FIRMS

 
Company 2012 Retail Revenue ($)
1 Jacobs Engineering Group $146,400,000
2 AECOM Technology Corp. $118,220,000
3 Henderson Engineers $44,677,299
4 URS Corp. $41,152,240
5 Parsons Brinckerhoff $19,100,000
6 Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates $17,310,000
7 Bergmann Associates $13,000,000
8 Wallace Engineering $9,250,000
9 Buro Happold Consulting Engineers $7,176,000
10 Arup $6,574,122

TOP RETAIL CONSTRUCTION FIRMS

 
Company 2012 Retail Revenue ($)
1 Shawmut Design and Construction $314,900,000
2 Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., The $307,373,182
3 PCL Construction Enterprises $216,819,494
4 Lend Lease $214,921,000
5 Turner Corporation, The $201,890,000
6 EMJ $200,300,000
7 Power Construction $116,000,000
8 Weitz Co., The $115,314,216
9 Structure Tone $105,052,000
10 Ryan Companies US $103,001,644

Figuring out how to deal with competition from online stores is a pressing concern for traditional retailers and the AEC firms that serve them. “We’re going to see a big rethinking of how retailers do their distribution,” predicts Omid Nabipoor, President of Interface Engineering. “Amazon has announced that they’re going to do more food and grocery distribution, and has a lot of grocers considering how they’re going to compete with that. How will they deal with distribution? How will they deliver in a day, as Amazon is promising?” Retail facility upgrades may be one response; development of new models for distribution centers may be another.

Some retailers are creating space for entertainment or classes to make the store a more compelling destination—always a popular tactic in home centers but now increasingly common in grocery, sporting goods, and tech stores. Chain restaurants represent another bright spot in the sector, with pent-up demand attributable to prior expansion delays, according to Thomas Goemaat, President/CEO of Shawmut. “Based on our backlog, we expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future,” he says.

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