During the economic downturn retailers have been one of the hardest hit by the reduction in consumer spending. Most economists feel that we’ve seen the bottom and recovery is on the way. But as retail development picks up again how will it be different? The credit system that enabled a constant expansion of retail development no longer exists. New financing methods combined with a movement towards more sustainable approaches means we will begin to see new models and typologies emerge.
According to architectural commentator Ellen Dunham-Jones, existing centers will get a second look. She recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review that, “opportunities will be at retrofitted underperforming suburban shopping areas close to city centers.” As a premiere retail and commercial architecture firm, LDA is beginning to see this trend take shape.
LDA has been working directly with Architectural Ventures to retrofit the Santa Maria shopping center to perform in a tighter economy. Not only has LDA designed the center but has provided tenant improvement service for the diverse set of local businesses that are occupying the center. Typical sought after brand names retailers are being replaced with small businesses that provide a larger community function. The shops going into Santa Maria are locally owned, creating a shopping center unique to the region. As this trend begins to mature the ubiquitous shopping center will become more outdated. Existing centers will be-retrofitted to act more like traditional town-centers with a mix of uses and functions.
Mon, September 28, 2009