Yet another example of retail microclimates can be found in malls where tenant mix is often curated by lifestyle segment. So in one corner of the mall a Nordstrom drives the co-tenancy of upscale apparel retailers, while a Bed Bath & Beyond in another area might find itself surrounded by home goods stores. Long streets are particularly susceptible to exhibiting characteristics of multiple retail micro-climates. Simply put, retailers want to be near other retailers who share the same customer base. Ultimately, the synergies created by these co-tenancies help support all retailers.
A development in Savannah, GA known as The Broughton Street Collection is utilizing a similar strategy in the $100 million redevelopment led by Ben Carter Enterprises. Carson purchased 35 buildings along Broughton Street and has redeveloped the properties into a mixed-use downtown, replete with 225,000 sf of retail, 40,000 sf of restaurants, and 48 loft-style rental apartments and offices over five of the buildings. When you look at the retail leasing plan all elements of a retail microclimates are there. The eight blocks of the district are divided into seven areas with distinct identities including "upscale", "aspirational", "main street", "contemporary", and "bohemian". These districts are designed to accommodate retailers and restaurateurs who fit each of these themes. On the "upscale" block we have Madewell, Tory Burch and Lululemon. On the "aspirational" blocks we have J.Crew, Bonobos and Banana Republic.
|Two blocks of the leasing plan for The Broughton Street Collection|
In downtowns, these retail microclimates can also be driven by the immediate surrounding neighborhood. In one community where we recently worked, the immediate surroundings were home to a strong Polish immigrant population, but four blocks away and closer to the subway, the environment and shopper was decidedly Latino. The difference in retail could be easily discerned. Polish speciality stores slowly gave way as the street changed to low-cost general merchandise in the form of dollar stores. For a retailer to succeed, they need to know which part of the district gives them the best chance to attract customers. Better yet, they need to know which block of the district already attracts their ideal customer. This is precisely where they will want to locate - and you can help them by letting them know where that is.