Monday, July 1, 2013

Big Box Retail: Going outside the box when doing urban locations.

When we think of big box retail, places like Target and Walmart come to mind.  Sprawling super centers complete with a sea of parking also come to mind, considering that one would typically find the bulk of these places in a sprawling suburban shopping center.  Over the last few years, we've seen big retailers like these encroach on our urban core areas.  Target has constructed numerous multistory retail centers in places like Washington, DC, downtown Minneapolis, and a two-story East Liberty location.

Is this going to be the extent of big box retail in our urban cores, or could we see stores like these becoming tenants in a mixed-use mid-rise or even a high rise apartment or condo building?  I think it could be only a matter of time before we see big box retail occupying lower floors of a six, eight, or a ten-plus story apartment building, especially as demand for downtown residential keeps increasing in several urban cores across the country.  This is likely already occurring in New York City, but I would be interested to learn if it is happening in other urban areas of the country.