Forget The Gap; it’s all about Nike and H&M these days. Retailers and restaurants that don’t adapt to the growing entertainment will be left high and dry. It’s one of three trends we learned about at Bisnow’s Fort Worth State of the Market event Tuesday.
1. Entertaining the Masses
Venture Commercial Real Estate SVP Easley Waggoner Jr. (who handles the retail leasing at the host of the Bisnow event atWest 7th at 2845 West 7th St) says urban retail is seeing lots of activity along West 7th, Camp Bowie, Bryant Irvin, University and part of Hulen. The focus has transitioned to entertainment and restaurants as the anchor of a development, rather than big-box retailers. University Village may be the exception with its retail dominance. Pictured: Southland Property Tax Consultants’ Chris Copeland, Vestar’s Max Holderby, Easley, and Southland Property Tax Consultants’ Michael Flynn.
2. Grocers Are In; Fashion Is Out
The Woodmont Co chairman Stephen Coslik (right, with the newly promoted Fort Worth economic development director Robert Sturns) says grocers will be the predominant force for new retail development in Fort Worth. Fashion development is taking a pause right now and many retailers are facing major headwinds. Consumers want—and are demanding—an experience when they go shopping; they don’t want to just go in and out of the store, Stephen says. He points to Trademark’s two new Fort Worth projects (Waterside and WestBend) as good examples of urban developments in quasi-suburban settings with entertainment and restaurant options, artwork and open spaces.
3. Restaurant Revolution
Stephen (addressing this awesome crowd at the event) says consumers aren’t excited about the chain restaurant experience any more. What you’ll see more of is local favorites. Woodmont’s 180k SF project in Southlake will have 12 restaurants when its complete and the only national in the mix is RA Sushi (which is hip regardless of being a chain.) In Trademark’s WestBend, there are five individual restaurants facing the Trinity River. In Edwards Ranch, there will be about 10 restaurants there, as well. Not all will survive, Stephen says, as the typical restaurant life is about three years. But, the consumer is the winner seeing new concepts. The challenge is survivability and service is the story, he says. Clearfork will be a good example as its looking at local favorites and chef-driven concepts. Easley expects to see more restaurants (over retail) going into the urban projects because the rent costs are easier for restaurants to support. Some dining establishments generate $700 per SF in sales while retailers are pulling in $300 per SF.