Retail real estate development has evolved from enclosed shopping malls anchored by large department stores offering similar products to more open-air facilities that mix local stores and national chains, upscale and discount merchants, and which mix shopping with a variety of other activities, according to industry experts at a recent retail conference sponsored by the Urban Land Institute. The institute's 11th annual "Reinventing Retail: Community, Lifestyle and Entertainment" conference focused primarily on the trend toward more lifestyle centers that serve as multiple-purpose destinations. "It's all about having multiple choices, where you want to be entertained, or shop for fashions, or just hang out," said Rick J. Caruso, chief executive officer and president of Caruso Affiliated in Los Angeles. "If you understand what guests want and need...the opportunities are endless." Caruso and others noted that outdoor centers, offering plenty of public space for socializing and a var...
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