It is no longer news that retail is evolving into something different from its traditional roots. Where many pundits have fallen short of the mark, though, is the idea that this “something different” is in the singular case. Rather, this new generation of retail is morphing into wildly different shapes and sizes, heading down varying avenues and plowing through multiple paths.
For some retailers, for example, “something different” is a focus on store format, size and design. For others it is all about strategic pop ups. Almost all will tell you that experiences are key, be they in food halls or within the store itself. Merchandising, site selection and pricing—it’s all different now.
This evolution is exciting to watch but it also leads to an ever-growing cadre of retail influencers, with some specialists in pop ups, others in design and so on. Because of this amassing of talent, Real Estate Forum had a deep pool from which to select our annual winners in this category. On the following pages you will read about experts in very specific areas, leaders that have formed companies that address emerging issues in retail and brokers that have put together extremely creative deals.
We hope you enjoy their stories and the events that led up to their present position as retail influencer. And keep in mind that as varied as these profiles are, they all represent some facet or component of the new retail environment. Something different indeed.
Since founding Trademark Property Co. in 1992, Terry Montesi has worked on, in various capacities, more than $3.4 billion and 14.6 million square feet of community-focused retail and mixed-use properties across the country. Over the years, Trademark has built up a track record as a value-add operator and trusted institutional advisor operating under the premise that retail properties must constantly evolve to maintain their relevance.
Montesi’s support of the core tenets of Conscious Capitalism led him to create Trademark’s own conscious development model, the Conscious Place, in an effort to set the tone for a continued focus on innovative and experiential retail and mixed-use places. The company’s first center of this model, Waterside in Fort Worth, Texas, opened in 2016. In addition to retail and residential space, Waterside features community spaces including a pavilion with shaded outdoor seating under hundred-year-old trees, a community promotion shed, Wi-Fi, educational opportunities, public art using recycled photographs and amusement ride equipment. At a macro level, the Conscious Place concept means Trademark aims to develop projects that become the heart and soul of the community by creating meaningful community spaces. This includes integrating public art programs through mixed-use projects, a joint venture with a major museum, and working with community members’ feedback to incorporate local culture and history. At Victory Park, a walkable urban mixed-use neighborhood near downtown Dallas, Trademark included a series of vibrant, geometric murals by a local artist in the project’s parking garage.
Recently, Montesi created a series called “Thought Leadership,” consisting of in-depth interviews with retail industry leaders such as Walter Robb, Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market and economist Dr. Peter Linneman. Montesi is a member of the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors Hall of Fame, the World Presidents’ Organization, and the Urban Land Institute. As part of his work to give back to the retail industry, he sits on the International Council of Shopping Center Board of Trustees and on the executive board for the Center for Real Estate at Texas Christian University.
Montesi, along with his wife Allison, established the Trademark Make a Difference Foundation in 2014. In 2017, Trademark corporate and properties raised a total of $5.3M in charitable dollars. Trademark’s properties raise funds throughout the year at events with charity partners, and employees are also given several ways to contribute individually, including through Trademark’s annual two-week Make a Difference Foundation Employee Fundraiser.
The company’s employee volunteer program provides paid time to give back. Each year some of those hours are spent building a house with Habitat for Humanity, the 19th of which was built in 2018. Trademark’s 2016 charitable recipients included the American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Operation Kindness, North Texas Humane Society, Tarrant Area Food Bank, and United Way, among others.View Full List