By Cathy Cunningham, Published in Commercial Observer
The retail industry is under siege with news of store closures and bankruptcies dominating headlines every day. Simultaneously, a shift is underway. The days of the traditional shopping mall are behind us, making way for lifestyle and entertainment options where traditional big-box anchor tenants once stood.
The redevelopment of 100 percent retail shopping centers into mixed-use, experiential environments isn’t a new thing; in fact, one developer was ahead of his time and has been busy creating mixed-use town center shopping destinations for 30 years.
Yaromir Steiner developed his first experiential shopping center in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami in 1990. Since then he has built, leased and managed numerous top-performing retail projects in the U.S.; from ground-up developments to renovations and redevelopments, his projects target the power of the consumer experience.
Today, Steiner + Associates’ portfolio comprises retail, residential and mixed-use developments, including the 1.7 million-square-foot Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio—one of the top 30 performing malls in the country—and Liberty Town Center in Cincinnati. His latest project is planning the retail, leasing and development of Lake Nona Town Center in Orlando, Fla. with developer partner Tavistock Development Company: an 8,000-acre, 11-square-mile site comprising 7.1 million square feet of residential and commercial space, of which $3 billion in construction has been completed.
Steiner called CO from his office in Columbus, Ohio and described the challenges that firms such as his are grappling with—most prominently, trying to predict the direction that the retail industry is heading, minus a crystal ball.
Read the entire Q&A here.