It's Fall, Retail is in the Air
Retail detail at ICSC
It may not even be the end of October, but a National Retail Federation survey found that 40% of consumers say they start their holiday shopping before Halloween. Tracking retail patterns and trends is a constant focus for our friends at ICSC and Bisnow, two groups where PRISM maintains involvement. We attended ICSC RECon in June, and earlier this month Jing and Sarah Amos, our VP of Client Relations, attended ICSC's Texas Conference & Deal Making event in Dallas. We debuted the complete new PRISM interactive display, where we had multi-media capability to showcase our recent renderings, animations and virtual reality portfolio.
As always, we love seeing our clients and friends at industry events like this. In Dallas, clients Transwestern, NewQuest Properties, Weingarten Realty, The Signorelli Company, American Realty, J. Beard Real Estate Company, and Levinson Alcoser Associates were all in attendance. We also worked under tight deadlines to complete renderings in time for ICSC. One client shared their appreciation and importance of having these high quality visuals at the show. They were pleased with the turnout they received. Thanks to all who entered our drawing for a free rendering. The winner was Ryan Gathmann, AIA, an architectural technology specialist at O’Brien Architects in Dallas.
Bisnow Houston retail recap
Here at home, PRISM was a sponsor for the recent Bisnow Houston – Retail Wave event. According to the excellent panel, the good news is that retail continues to have sustained demand. The less good news is that newly developed retail requires more detail in planning, and demand for space and construction labor is driving up costs. Valerie Delafosse, PRISM VP of Business Development, shares these speaker highlights:
- Lilly Golden, Evergreen Commercial Realty founder, said tenants, especially entertainment concepts like Top Golf and iFly, are more concerned about the structural bones and resulting impact on the interior space – high ceilings and wide column spacing, for example. She is also monitoring the transition of e-commerce retailers into bricks-and-mortar, in both permanent spaces and pop-up shops.
- Transwestern SVP Crystal Allen said a “cookie cutter” approach in retail doesn’t work anymore. This is causing planning and design of the retail component of mixed-use developments to happen earlier and in more depth.
- With perspective from the construction side, Marc MacConnell, SVP of retail for Arch-Con, echoed Golden’s comments about having retail spaces for a variety of needs. He shared that developers are incorporating more “sexy” elements into new centers. The challenge then comes from the low availability of skilled labor, which has been driving construction costs higher.
- David Luther, First VP at Marcus & Millichap, said that investment sales are up; markets outside of Houston are impressed with how retail is maintaining here. Investors are now looking for stabilized rents. But developers are growing frustrated with the competition, and want a call for an offers process.
- According to Lance Gilliam, a partner at Waterman Steele, Houston is still an oil town in investors’ eyes. A concerted educational effort about Houston’s diversity would be beneficial across the board.
Texas Society of Architects expo time is near
Architects and designers from across Texas will converge in San Antonio November 3-5 for the TxA Annual Convention and Design Expo. For the seventh consecutive year, PRISM will be exhibiting at the Design Expo; look for us in Booth 453. We will be giving away a free rendering to the winner of our drawing, so make sure to drop in your business card! This conference is a great opportunity to hear about emerging design trends and see new product innovations. For our project managers, all former practicing architects, this helps us know how our renderings must evolve to effectively communicate both design intent and development goals. As we learned from our retail friends, there are more “sexy” elements in design now, and strong renderings must clearly show such details!
SMPS Houston honors best in A/E/C marketing
As all our clients know, the business development cycle for new project development, design and delivery can take years or even longer for major projects. The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) is dedicated to helping all those involved in cultivating clients and generating new project revenue. The annual SMPS Houston Design Awards Gala recognizes marketing excellence across several categories, the focused efforts of BD, marketing and communications teams at Houston A/E/C firms and related service partners. For the first time ever, PRISM entered several pieces, in recognition of all the work that went into our rebranding. We are so excited to report that jurors awarded us second place in the Corporate Identity category and third place for Special Event marketing. Going through the rebranding process reminded us of why PRISM exists, and the service and value we must deliver to clients. We are extremely proud of the recognition from industry marketing experts; we are more proud of how we play a small part in helping our clients make a positive impact on our community.