dallas farmers market
Food halls are nothing new internationally with well-known destinations such as Harrods Food Hall in London and Great Food Hall at Pacific Place in Hong Kong. However, the food hall concept has only recently begun to make a name for itself here in the United States and is certainly gaining momentum.
These gastronomical destinations can include numerous food stalls, specialty shops, restaurants, breweries, bars and more. Think of a food court, but with locally owned vendors providing fresh, specialty, gourmet foods and products along with social space people actually enjoy spending time in.
A Bite of Food Hall History
One of the first known food halls in the U.S. was Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market, which opened in 1892. Prior to this time, farmers and butchers set up shop in the city-owned market sheds known as shambles to sell their product to residents of the town. In 1890 the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company purchased the block for its new terminal. Due to the merchants’ refusal to relocate to make room for the new building, an agreement was made to build a new market beneath the train shed and tracks, thus creating the market we see today with nearly 100 vendors.
The U.S. is home to such food halls as Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Atlanta’s Krog Street Market and Anaheim, California’s Anaheim Packing House and even more are popping up across the country. In fact, currently there are more than 25 food halls under construction or in planning stages.
Why the Food Hall Boom?
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What brought on the current food hall boom?” While there are several answers to this question some big factors are the consumer shift to a healthier lifestyle focused on quality, locally grown food and the slow food movement which we described in a recent blog.
Slow food is a growing movement of restaurants, bars, markets, supermarkets and food artisans around the world, who are dedicated to providing food and drink that is sourced from good, authentic and sustainable sources: locally, regionally and internationally.
With that in mind, the food hall trend goes hand-in-hand with the slow food movement as they have similar priorities: providing fresh, sustainable and local products.
Today’s consumer, particularly influenced by millenials, wants to know where their food came from, what goes into it and how it was prepared. In the past, people looking to eat out and socialize usually chose fine dining venues, which can be pricey, and as the pace of life began to quicken, fast-casual restaurants gained popularity.
Consumer trends are steering the restaurant business back toward the traditional European marketplace where customers can pick up groceries, grab a bite to eat and socialize all in one place. Food halls are the perfect alternative with their moderate prices, quality food and social environment.
Food Halls in the Dallas Market
Here in Dallas, “The Market” at the Dallas Farmers Market opened in December 2015. It is 26,000 square feet and contains a mixture of local specialty foods, artisan food vendors, seating areas inside and out, and four anchor restaurants: Rex’s Seafood, Palmieri Café; sauce, stocks and specialty food vendor Stocks & Bondy; and Nammi Coolhaus Vietnamese tacos and ice cream.
CBRE’s Amy MacLaren, Elizabeth Herman and Jack Gosnell are leasing The Market, which is currently 100 percent occupied. It is the first food hall in Dallas followed by a 30,000-sqaure-foot hall planned for Plano’s Legacy West development, which is currently under construction.
Merchants open at The Market include Abundantly Aromatic soap shop; Betty’s Blue Ribbon Fare jams and jellys; Chelle’s Macarons; Doc Popcorn; La Popular tamale house; a small grocer, Market Provisions; Bullzerk gift shop; Cajun Tailgators; Dallas Antique store; Mudhen restaurant; Scardello cheese shop; Si Tapas; San Miguel Imports; and Taqueria La Ventana.
“Food halls are the evolution of the food court, but made more human, urban and accessible,” said Gosnell. “With a variety of food choices available, it’s not only a great way to make everyone in a group happy, but it provides a unique experience for any meal.”
“Food halls like The Market offer businesses such as food trucks or retail kiosks an easy transition to a bricks and mortar space with less overhead and lower rental rates. It’s a great way to test the waters in a bigger space before expanding a business,” continued Gosnell.
Millennials also put a strong emphasis on preserving the history and urban fabric of neighborhoods. With respect to that, developers of food halls typically look for established or historical buildings within a community and preserve the exterior or skeleton of the building while updating the interior to reflect the wants and needs of today’s consumer.
For example, the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco was originally a ferry station for commuters arriving by ferry in the 1800s. Pine Street Market in Portland, Oregon recently opened in the historic 1886 Baggage and Carriage building which was used to store horse-drawn carriages until the early 1900s. Similarly, The Market at the Dallas Farmers Market, although quite a bit newer than The Ferry Building and 1886 Baggage and Carriage, preserved the original structure of Shed 2 and did a full renovation/rebuild on the interior.
“Adaptive reuse is a holistic approach to creating a ‘new’ space while preserving the old,” said Gosnell. “The opportunity to restore and reuse buildings pays tribute to the history of a neighborhood and fosters a sense of pride and tradition for a community. The Market and The Shed are providing a great service to the Downtown Dallas community and we hope to see more projects like this in other neighborhoods in DFW,” said Gosnell.
Slow food – noun
1.food that has been prepared with care, using high-quality local and seasonal ingredients
One of my favorite weekend past times is my Saturday morning visit to the local farmer’s market. The allure of fresh goods and produce, the easy interactions with vendors and feeling a part of my community has become an anticipated weekly ritual. I love playing a small part in supporting local businesses and helping them thrive in my hometown.
Numerous surveys and article research show that healthy lifestyles represent a huge consumer trend impacting retail and restaurants. Local sourcing of restaurant foods and beverages is one of THE hottest trends in foodservice and listed as one of Technomic’s 10 top trends for 2015. According to the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) What’s Hot in 2016 Culinary Forecast which surveys U.S. chefs; locally grown meats and seafood and locally grown produce were the No. 1 and No. 3 trend predictions for the coming year. Consumers are keen on locally grown goodness.
The Slow Food Revolution doesn’t sound so revolutionary. It sounds like common sense. It celebrates a commitment to communities on a local and regional level. Food production is considered “local” if it falls anywhere within 25 miles to 200 miles from the retail or restaurant point of sale. In this ever-expanding global economy the small shop often gets left behind, as do essential nutrients when it comes to the methods of growing food. The slow food concept uses readily available resources close to home and the point of business, as well as supports small businesses, boosts local economies, and embraces healthier, small-batch, growing practices.
Slow Food Nation
Across the United States there has been a notable shift towards farm to table concepts in the restaurant industry. Slow food is a growing movement of restaurants, bars, markets, supermarkets and food artisans around the world, who are dedicated to providing food and drink that is sourced from good, authentic and sustainable sources: locally, regionally and internationally. With the health of our planet continually in the media spotlight, getting back to the most basic building blocks, those being what we consume and how we grow our food is a thriving topic of discussion. Genetically-modified, nutrient-deficient produce is unacceptable for many consumers. I know I don’t want to serve them at home or eat them at a restaurant.
What else drives the slow food movement? Protecting the heritage of traditional food sources, a sense of solidarity with the community, and the clincher for so many; cost. Slow food can be quite cost effective for the restaurateur. There are shorter supply chains, suppliers are locally based and offer a more predictable delivery schedule. Local proximity also drives down delivery costs and creates a more reactive supplier chain, which then leads to an increased speed to market of the goods and produce. Win win.
Slow Food in the City
The cutting-edge Dallas food scene is home to many locally sourced concepts. Dallas is also home to a chapter of Slow Food USA which “supports activities and education to preserve biodiversity in the food supply, spread the education of taste and connect producers of excellent foods with the co-producers (consumers) through events and initiatives.”
If slow food with a fast-food feel is what you crave, give Start a try. Start is a Dallas twist on the fast-food concept where they use fresh ingredients to create from-scratch menu options and go a step further with environmentally-friendly packaging.
Something sweet on your mind? Steel City Pops, with locations across Texas, is another restaurant enterprise that chooses to use local, organic ingredients. The eatery offers tasty popsicle treats and embraces the small batch process to create these cool fruity pops.
CBRE represents several restaurant concepts that embrace slow food/local sourcing philosophies. CBRE’s own W. Thurston Witt, Jr. represents the restaurant group 33 Restaurant Group, owners of Plano and McKinney neighborhood favorites Taverna Rossa and Cadillac Pizza Pub. D Magazine recognized, Taverna Rossa showcases a menu that strongly emphasizes the use of as many locally sourced ingredients as possible for their craft pizzas and fresh salads. Cadillac Pizza Pub touts its signature dough and sauce made in-house complimented by local herbs and spices as well as other ingredients.
The Dallas Farmers Market in downtown Dallas is an area icon. Through the real estate services CBRE offers, we have had a strong influence on the diverse mix of quality tenants that make this place an urban food destination. Currently in the revitalization process, The Shed, scheduled to open December 11th, will more permanently house many vendors and restaurants that adhere to the practice of using locally sourced produce whenever possible. Many of these tenants collaborate and cultivate business relationships with one another. It brings a new meaning to “fresh from the market”. These types of collaborations encourage community, shared success, and embrace the principles of slow food and local sourcing.
Foodies will find a plethora of restaurant and farmers market options in the Dallas area if they are feeling inspired to go the slow food route.
Another branch of the slow food movement is hyper-local sourcing; the act of bringing food production in-house. Think uber-fresh. Sugarsnap in Burlington, VT found that investing in it’s own 3 acre farm to support it’s catering business and kitchen was their best course of action. B.good, a restaurant chain of northeastern notoriety, utilized the limited space afforded to its layout and chose to grow their produce on the roofs of their locations after an accidental experiment of growing tomatoes on the roof went right.
Slow food is a global movement. In the United Kingdom, venues like Rosewood London’s Slow Food and Living Market are destination markets catering to the consumers interested in the origins of their food. Markets such as these claim “good, clean and fair produce from local growers and artisans.” And they are wildly successful and popular.
Slow Food Meets Technology
While slow food has its roots grounded in more traditional food growing methods of clean and simple the concept is far from old school when it comes to technology. One of the many offshoots of the slow food movement, apps, like Greenease offer tech-savvy consumers the means to network from their smartphones and tablets and quickly identify who offers slow food options and where they are located. These innovations aren’t lost on landlords or restaurant marketers. These types of businesses are a growing demand in many prime real estate markets.
So slow down and savor the freshness!
2014 was a great year for real estate in Dallas-Fort Worth and some are saying it was one of the best on record. The Dallas Business Journal and D CEO recently announced the winners of their annual commercial real estate awards for 2014. With so many great deals under consideration for the top awards, CBRE is honored that our brokers were some of the leading recipients in retail real estate categories.
One of the biggest retail deals in DFW is the relocation of Neiman Marcus from Ridgmar Mall to the new Shops at Clearfork, a 500,000 square foot outdoor, open-air shopping destination in the heart of Fort Worth. The new 90,000 square foot, two-level store is significant for being the first fully built store for the company in years. CBRE’s team of Jack Breard, Amy MacLaren and Amanda Gross represented and brokered the deal for Neiman Marcus and Cassco Development. It was the first time that Neiman Marcus used an outside brokerage firm to introduce a site and finalize the negotiations.
This deal was a substantial win for the Clearfork Development. Securing a flagship anchor tenant of this caliber has put the entire development on the fast track and retailers are now jumping at the opportunity to be a part of this high-end establishment and significant urban infill. The impact of this deal is a large reason why Jack Breard was also named Best Retail Broker of the Year by the Dallas Business Journal.
Another award winning project that CBRE brokers helped shape is the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Jack Gosnell and Sasha Levine, along with the help of private partnerships and a TIF from the City of Dallas, are putting this historic area on track to again be a central hub and give Dallas what it is missing, a true farmer driven market. Both Jack and Sasha have led the efforts to lease the retail component for the entire project, including The Market. When complete in June 2015, The Market will house a unique mix of 30+ artisanal shops ranging in size from 144 square feet to 1,620 square feet with most stores averaging 400-600 square feet. These efforts did not go unnoticed; The Dallas Business Journal awarded the project its Best Community Impact Award, and D CEO named it a finalist for The Best Redevelopment in Dallas.
Many of our other brokers were also recognized by the Dallas Business Journal for their great work this past year. CBRE brokers Brandon Harris, Tey Tiner and W. Thurston Witt, Jr. were finalists for the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Land Transaction Award for their work with Craig Ranch. Jack Gosnell and Jack Breard assisted with retail efforts for Mixed Use Development winner McKinney & Olive, and the Best Creative Financing Deal winner, The Olympic at 1401 Elm Street, was aided by Amy MacLaren and Jack Gosnell as well.
These awards proved once again that CBRE is the consistent leader in Dallas retail real estate. As the DFW area continues to grow, our team of brokers will continue to provide the best service in project leasing and tenant representation.