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Easton Town Center, which was developed by L Brands, The Georgetown Company and Steiner + Associates 20 years ago, is undergoing a $500 million expansion largely to incorporate residential space. Phase I of residential construction will include 350 units, followed by a second phase of 400 units.
The 1,300-acre mega project has “received some additions over the years but the developers knew they wanted to incorporate residential space and more urban space,” according to Anne Mastin, executive vice president of retail real estate for Steiner. With more than $1 billion in sales, Easton is already widely successful as the highest-volume trafficked retail center in the state of Ohio and one of the highest in the Midwest. But there’s always room for improvement, argues Mastin.
One of the centerpieces for the expansion is a 40,000-square-foot Restoration Hardware mansion. There’s also Forbidden Root, a Chicago-based microbrewery; Pins Mechanical, a local bowling establishment; Forty Deuce, a speakeasy; and Crimson Cup, a local coffee retailer.
“We really want unique operators that bring something new to the mix,” says Mastin. “We’re trying to not be duplicative of what we already have. Sometimes we can get that from a chain, other times we feel we need someone local to fulfill our vision.”
The goal moving forward is to be appealing to the next generation of shoppers. Millennials and Gen Z shoppers are looking for “authentic and local,” says Mastin.
Of the approximately 140,000 square feet of new retailers coming to the development, the vast majority will open by the end of this year or early 2020. Beyond retail, there is 125,00 square feet of office space under construction with another 110,000 square feet in design phases. An Aloft Hotel is also under construction. As Mastin points out, the three hotels already onsite are “booked solid all the time.”