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Location, Location, Location!

2018 is a year buzzing with new trends and consumer behavior. Customer experience is in high value. Modern consumers are excited about exploring new scenes and trying new products. Consumers now place a higher value on their overall shopping experience, instead of the actual physical items and commodities.

Finding the right location is key. Consumers are looking for the full shopping experience. People are interested in going to shopping centers and markets with some historical value and variety in the products offered. Many establishments have been converting abandoned buildings and factories that were once operational into a marketplace where people can eat and shop.

Marketplaces provide consumers with new places to explore. Some famous examples include the Chelsea Market in New York City, the Ferry Building in San Francisco, and the Grand Central Market in Los Angeles.

The Chelsea Market, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, was once a former Nabisco factory, where the Oreo cookie was invented and made. Now used as a food hall, shopping mall, office building, and television production facility, the Chelsea Market is one of the most popular markets to visit in New York. Still maintaining the aesthetic of an old factory, many visitors enjoy taking pictures of the food and atmosphere.

From the time of the Gold Rush to the 1930s, the Ferry building was a transportation focus for anyone who traveled to San Francisco by ferry. Today, the Ferry Building serves as a gathering place for local farmers, artisan producers, and independently owned food businesses. From a former ferry terminal, the Ferry Building has turned into a world class public food market for all to enjoy.

In 1917, the Grand Central Market opened in Los Angeles, serving as a food arcade and retail center for a variety of foods and products. The building was the first to use concrete floors west of Chicago and was also the first fireproofed, reinforced concrete building in LA. The Grand Central Market is an open air market, which is a trend we are seeing more of today.

Another example of a real estate trend is reusing and renovating old buildings, which aligns with the conservation concept: producing less waste, conserving old buildings, and being environmentally conscious.

An essential part of the shopping experience is having multiple options. The ability to choose what to buy from an arrangement of different stores and restaurants draws consumers and results in a better consumer experience. Today, the food and retail business is not only about what the consumer buys, but also the process of how they buy it.

In conclusion, if you are a restaurant owner or a developer of a restaurant chain, when you talk to your broker about your next location, make sure to discuss these criteria.