Greg Lyon Greg Lyon

Outdoor communal spaces at retail centers are getting smaller. Open gathering spaces have become a standard at retail centers, but they started as large, flashy spaces with programming. Now, retail owners are opting to create a series of smaller living rooms with amenities like WIFI. Most importantly, these living room-style spaces are well designed and could be a key component to attracting locals, increasing foot traffic and competing with online outlets.

“Everything we hear is about brick and mortar competing with online sales. With this in mind, a key component, a key differentiator from an online commodity driven retail experience, is simply treating the guest experience as the anchor,” Greg Lyon owner, principal and design director at Nadel Architects, tells GlobeSt.com. “In other words the environment that a development provides for its guests and shoppers is the anchor. People will always gravitate towards a well amenitized ‘outdoor living room’ where they can hang out and socialize, and that is what will always set brick and mortar apart from the online experience.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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