NEW YORK CITY—Office landlords in search of a retail amenitywith widespread appeal may have a meal ticket in the form of foodhalls, which have proliferated across Manhattan since the runawaysuccess of Eataly at 200 Fifth Ave. Likening the trend to theimpact that a major tenant or new subway construction can have on asubmarket, CBRE vice chairman Peter Turchin said Tuesday, “We'reseeing this type of impact from urban food halls. We're seeing hugeimpacts on what goes on in real estate and where it goes on in thearea.”

Just don't mistake the likes of Eataly or City Kitchen at 700Eighth Ave. for a CBD version of the food court that's known butnot loved in shopping malls across the US. “If you visit all of thefood halls around the city, you'll see that all of them offersomething creative and unique,” said Amira Yunis, EVP with CBRERetail, during a panel discussion moderated by Turchin. Yunisarranged UrbanSpace's forthcoming location at 230 Park Ave., whichwill encompass 12,000 square feet in Midtown East.

An individual location may be opened by an owner-operator offood hall concepts, such as UrbanSpace, or it may have theimprimatur of a celebrity chef, such as the 100,000-square-footBourdain Market coming to Pier 57 with the backing of AnthonyBourdain. What the various urban food halls and markets have incommon is “authenticity,” David LaPierre, also a CBRE Retail EVP,said Tuesday. He added that ultimately, the goal of everyentrepreneur behind such an establishment is “to make money andcreate a unique concept that people will come to. If you can createthat, you're going to have buzz, you're going to have bodies,you're going to have people spending money.”

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.