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Principles of Urban Retail Planning and Development

ISBN: 978-0-470-48822-5
272 pages
January 2012
Principles of Urban Retail Planning and Development (0470488220) cover image
"...Extraordinary: Gibbs has popped the hood and taken apart the engine of commercial design and development, showing us each individual part and explaining fit, form and function."
Yaromir Steiner, Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Steiner + Associates

"...the most comprehensive and expansive book ever written on the subject of Retail Real Estate Development.  Gibbs is by far the most prominent advocate for reforming retail planning and development in order to return American cities to economic and physical prominence."
Stefanos Polyzoides, Moule & Polyzoides Architects & Urbanists

The retail environment has evolved rapidly in the past few decades, with the retailing industry and its placement and design of "brick-and-mortar" locations changing with evolving demographics, shopping behavior, transportation options and a desire in recent years for more unique shopping environments.

Written by a leading expert, this is a guide to planning for retail development for urban planners, urban designers and architects. It includes an overview of history of retail design, a look at retail and merchandising trends, and principles for current retail developments.

Principles of Urban Retail Planning and Development will:

  • Provide insight and techniques necessary for historic downtowns and new urban communities to compete with modern suburban shopping centers.
  • Promote sustainable community building and development by making it more profitable for the shopping center industry to invest in historic cities or to develop walkable urban communities.
  • Includes case studies of recent good examples of retail development
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Foreword xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction xix

Chapter 1: Retailing Fundamentals 1

1.1 Retail Theory 1

1.2 Shopping Center Business Models 4

1.3 Corner Stores 5

1.4 Convenience Centers 6

1.5 Neighborhood Centers 8

1.6 Community Centers 11

1.7 Regional Centers 12

1.8 Lifestyle Centers and Town Centers 13

1.9 Outlet Centers 17

1.10 Urban Transect: Hamlets, Villages, Towns, Cities, and Metropolises 18

Chapter 2: Retailer Business Models 21

2.1 Hobby Retailers 21

2.2 Small Owner-Operated Businesses 22

2.3 Income-Producing, Owner-Run Businesses 23

2.4 Regional and National Chains 24

2.5 Franchise Stores 25

Chapter 3: Retail Anchors 27

3.1 Form Follows Anchor 28

3.2 Scale 29

3.3 Historic Downtowns 30

3.4 Anchor Business Models 32

3.5 Anchor Placement 33

3.6 Anchor Expansion 33

3.7 Anchor Replacement 34

3.8 Alternative Anchors 35

3.9 Shopping Center Anchor Types 35

3.10 New Design Trends 39

Chapter 4: Downtown Commerce: Challenges and Opportunities 43

4.1 Market Shifts 43

4.2 Peak Retail Market Share 44

4.3 Urban Market Share Decline 45

4.4 Converting Downtowns to Malls: A Failed Experiment 46

4.5 Urban Commercial Challenges 47

4.6 Rents 47

4.7 Space Limitations 48

Chapter 5: Economically Sustainable Commercial Urbanism 49

5.1 Advantages of Strong Retail Sales 49

5.2 Consumer Demand and Preferences 50

5.3 Market Research 52

5.4 Worker Expenditures 53

5.5 Tourist Expenditures 54

Chapter 6: Shopping Center Built-Form Types 57

6.1 Strip Center 57

6.2 Linear Strip Center 57

6.3 Single L Center 59

6.4 U Courtyard Center 60

6.5 Double Reverse L Center 61

6.6 Lifestyle or Main Street Centers 64

6.7 Dumbbell Center 65

6.8 Market Square Center 67

6.9 Double Market Square Center 71

6.10 Floating Main Street 73

6.11 Linear Square Center 74

6.12 Half Block Center 76

6.13 Retail Crescent Center 78

6.14 Deflected Blocks Center 79

Chapter 7: Planning and Urban Design 81

7.1 Urban Merchandising Planning Theory 81

7.2 Shopping and Weather 82

7.3 The Public Realm 83

7.4 Sidewalks 84

7.5 Site Furnishings 85

7.6 Street Trees 86

7.7 Tree Impacts on Shopping 88

7.8 Tree Selection 89

7.9 Street Lighting 90

7.10 Outside Dining 92

7.11 Plazas, Squares, Greens, and Courts 92

7.12 Way-Finding Signage 95

Chapter 8: Parking 97

8.1 Parking Demand 97

8.2 Historical Information on Parking Ratios and Indices 98

8.3 Neighborhood Center Parking 100

8.4 Community Center Parking 103

8.5 Regional Center Parking 103

8.6 Lifestyle Center Parking 104

8.7 Village and Town Downtown Parking 105

8.8 Large Town and City Parking 106

8.9 On-Street Parking 107

8.10 Parking Garages and Decks 108

8.11 Parking Meters 110

Chapter 9: Store Planning and Visual Merchandising 113

9.1 Storefront Design Theory 113

9.2 Signage 115

9.3 Awnings 117

9.4 Visual Merchandising 118

9.5 Storefront Design

Recommendations 120

9.6 Store Lighting 121

9.7 Lighting Recommendations 123

9.8 Specialty Niche Focus and Cross-Merchandising 123

9.9 Store Maintenance 125

Chapter 10: Retail Development Finance 127

10.1 Methods for Analyzing Real Estate Development 127

10.2 Parking Structures 129

10.3 Vertical Stacking of Mixed-Use Projects 130

10.4 The Push for Local Retailers 130

10.5 Elements of Making Deals with Retail Tenants 131

10.6 Purpose of Public Subsidy 133

Chapter 11: Leasing—The Lifeblood of the Deal 135

11.1 Operating Covenants 136

11.2 Permitted Use and Exclusive Use 137

11.3 Co-tenancy Clauses 138

11.4 Sales-Driven Provisions: Percentage Rent, Radius Clauses, and Early Termination 139

11.5 Maintenance 140

11.6 Signage 140

11.7 Assignment 141

Chapter 12: Management and Operations 143

12.1 Central Management 143

12.2 Cost-Benefit Metrics 145

12.3 Special Events: How Do They Impact Sales? 146

12.4 Business Recruitment and Leasing 148

12.5 Pop-up Stores 148

12.6 Defensive Management Practices 149

12.7 General Guidelines for Commercial Center Management 152

Chapter 13: Platted Town Centers 155

13.1 Background 155

13.2 Land Speculation 156

13.3 Building Standards 157

13.4 Management 158

13.5 Parking 158

13.6 Alleys 159

13.7 Regulated Use 159

13.8 Operating Standards 159

13.9 Recommended Minimum Operating Standards 160

13.10 Developer Responsibilities 160

Chapter 14: Case Studies: Historic City Centers 163

14.1 Bay City, Michigan 163

14.2 Alexandria, Virginia’s Old Town 164

14.3 Ballwin, Missouri 169

14.4 Birmingham and Pontiac, Michigan 170

14.5 Charleston, South Carolina 172

14.6 Damariscotta, Maine 174

14.7 Fresno, California 176

14.8 Houston, Texas 177

14.9 Naples, Florida 181

14.10 Oxford, Mississippi 182

14.11 Santa Ana, California 184

14.12 Santa Cruz, California 187

14.13 St. Andrews, Scotland 188

14.14 Wasilla, Alaska 191

Chapter 15: Case Studies: New Town Centers 197

15.1 Birkdale Village, Huntersville, North Carolina 197

15.2 Daybreak Village, South Jordan, Utah 198

15.3 East Fraserlands, Vancouver, British Columbia 198

15.4 Easton Town Center, Columbus, Ohio 200

15.5 Middleton Hills, Middleton Hills, Wisconsin 201

15.6 The Glen Town Center, Glenview, Illinois 202

15.7 The Grove, Los Angeles, California 203

15.8 Mashpee Commons, Mashpee (Cape Cod), Massachusetts 205

15.9 San Elijo Hills Town Center, San Marcos, California 206

15.10 Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton County, Florida 207

15.11 Seabrook, Washington 209

15.12 Seaside, Florida 210

15.13 University Place Town Center, University Place, Washington 212

15.14 The Village of Rochester Hills, Rochester Hills, Michigan 214

Endnotes 217

Index 221

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"Robert J. Gibbs, a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, looks at what it takes to build a shopping center that thrives. He outlines every ingredient, from business models. . . and structure. . . to storefront design and parking." (Landscape Architecture Magazine, May 2012)

"Every component of this book is organized systematically. Gibbs conveys his expertise with rigorous clarity. This guide should prove invaluable for anyone who wants to do retail in a way that adds to a community's character and also makes economic sense." (Better! Cities & Towns, March 2012)

"His book will be most useful to private-sector planners and those who work with public-private partnerships. But the material it contains will also be helpful to public planners dealing with zoning issues." (Planning Magazine, March 2012)

"The book has chapters on big topics like lease language and making smart use of anchor tenants." (Shoppingcenterreporter.com, February 2012)

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