DALLAS – November 1, 2016 – CBRE announces Gather Kitchen, a new fast casual restaurant, is slated to open at Thanksgiving Tower in Downtown Dallas in early 2017. This is the first location for Gather Kitchen, which will serve healthy comfort food using local and seasonal produce gathered from local farmers.
Touted as a new generation of fast food, this restaurant was conceptualized by Nicki Hamilton who joined forces with seasoned restaurateur Soraya Spencer, who has opened eight restaurants across the world. The two women bonded over a common need for a quick comfort food option and together they created a unique concept that offers infinite choices with ingredients from local farmers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner bowls are assembled along an assembly line for complete transparency on ingredients. Customers will choose from a variety of base proteins, vegetables and five scratch-made sauces created by Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Hamilton.
The 2,400-square-foot restaurant will also feature a bakery corner with original recipes, including gluten free and vegan options, an outdoor seating area, and floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of the Dallas CBD.
“Downtown Dallas is booming, growing and evolving and we believe our concept fits a need for professionals in downtown who want a quick, casual, healthy and limitless menu,” said Mrs. Spencer.
Gather Kitchen will serve Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“As part of our renovation of this iconic building, we want to provide distinctive, high-quality restaurant options,” said Billy Prewitt, Executive Vice President, Woods Capital Management. “Gather Kitchen’s unique combination of healthy comfort food and a fast casual setting fits the bill perfectly. They are going to be a big hit with our tenants and a great amenity for the Main Street District.”
It’s been a little over a year since UCR joined forces with CBRE, a big step toward CBRE becoming the top name in retail. Fresh faces entered the mix and a new momentum has begun to build.
I sat down with our new Managing Director of Retail for the South Central United States, Daniel Taylor, to discuss the market and get to know him a bit more on a personal level.
A 16-year veteran of the industry, Taylor’s expert knowledge and fresh ideas have positively positioned the company for growth and profitability. Check out our Q&A below.
How long have you been with CBRE? Five years starting out on the CBRE side.
Why did you get into real estate? I’m a 4th generation Dallas real estate broker. Real estate is what my family talked about and still talks about at the dinner table. I never really considered any other career path. I love the thrill of the chase and working on behalf of a client aiding in their ability to reach business goals and ultimately affect their future success. I like the competition and the entrepreneurial aspect of retail real estate, and I enjoy interacting with the people in this industry.
What do you like most about working for CBRE? I love the people I work with. They are incredibly hardworking group of people and I’m lucky to be surrounded by such a talented group of professionals. I also appreciate the company’s current focus and commitment to the retail division. In the past, other divisions have required sizeable resources. CBRE has really gotten behind retail by investing money, technology, talent, etc. to ensure our success.
Where do you see retail heading in the future? I see consolidation amongst brokerage firms and omni-channel becoming a much bigger part of the retail spectrum. Urban street and retail environments are gaining more traction as opposed to suburban lifestyle centers, and large boxes will continue to right size. Class A fortress malls will remain strong due to high barriers of entry, but Class B- and C malls will continue to struggle.
What is your vision for CBRE retail moving forward? The company is strongly focusing on retail with a plan in place to aggressively grow our platform and brand. Additionally, we’re lucky to be in the market we’re in. Texas is consistently in the news, making headlines for its healthy economy and strong real estate market. We had a tremendous 2015 and anticipate an even better 2016 with the new resources CBRE is investing in for our retail division.
What does the DFW retail market look like currently/for the rest of 2016? The market is still strong. We’re still seeing new development but it’s tenant-driven versus spec. The companies moving to the area are spurring new residential development, which drives retail growth. The market should remain steady throughout 2016 and into early 2017, however the effects of this year’s election are unpredictable.
What about the region? We are carefully watching the price of oil and how it’s affecting Houston and Oklahoma, but Austin and Dallas continue to be on fire.
What is your greatest accomplishment thus far in the industry? Marrying my wife. She was an office broker when we worked together at The Staubach Company. My second greatest accomplishment was working on the Verizon account for 15 years. I started with them when they were occupying 2,500 SF in grocery centers and had only 6 different phones. Today, I manage the account in 4 states; they have doubled their size and moved into freestanding buildings; and now have more than 40 different types of devices. I’m also proud of bringing In-N-Out Burger to Texas.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry? Find a mentor. Work hard early in your career because the long hours you spend now will pay off later. Always be honest with your clients, even if it hurts. It’s easy to throw out half-truths to clients on a particular deal, but you will build a respectful, trustworthy reputation through transparency.
How do you spend your free time? Right now, my two little boys and my wife take up my free time, which I love. I also enjoy playing golf, basketball or fishing with friends.
What is your favorite restaurant? Javier’s. The Filete Cantinflas with the cheese in the center is my favorite. I can’t resist the chips and butter either.
What is something about yourself that people would be surprised by? I’m kind of a homebody and seem to turn into a pumpkin around 10 p.m. Well, maybe that might not surprise so many people.
Long gone are the early days of pop-up shops that only appear for a limited time to promote sales during the holiday season. Pop-ups have evolved into a valuable business development and marketing tool, and brands like Lululemon, Bonobos, Kit and Ace, BaubleBar and Warby Parker are using them to get in front of consumers, create buzz, enhance brand awareness and launch new products.
PopUp Republic, a retail marketing database tool, reports the pop-up shop industry is valued at $50 billion. In 2014 its online directory housed information on more than 7,000 pop-up shops.
Pop-ups are particularly valuable to online-only retailers as they provide a way for customers to physically interact with a product and make a connection with the brand in a unique environment. They are also a way for retailers to test the waters and gain market knowledge, which can contribute to business decisions like deciding on the best location for a flagship store in a particular market.
BaubleBar, a jewelry retailer that was strictly eCommerce at its inception, began implementing pop-up shops in its marketing strategy in 2013. The brand opened its first shop in the meatpacking district of New York City early in the year and focused on creating an interactive consumer experience to connect with loyal customers and reach new ones.
Brandchannel recalled BaubleBar’s efforts to enhance and personalize the customer experience by featuring in-store touchscreens, a bar serving Godiva cocktails, and even launching an App to help engage shoppers. Pop-up shoppers were encouraged to take photos while browsing and upload them via Olapic, a platform that places user-generated content directly on a brand’s website, which drove even more traffic to their site.
Not only was BaubleBar’s pop-up successful in expanding brand awareness, it helped the company gain valuable market knowledge and now they are planning to open their first brick and mortar location in Long Island’s Roosevelt Field Mall.
Nationally known technical performance clothing brand Kit and Ace has taken a similar approach to the use of pop-up shops, especially for market research during expansion.
Kit and Ace on Henderson Ave. in Dallas, TX
CBRE’s Scott Muller and Katie Braden represents the brand in their search for pop-up space throughout the U.S. They currently have 35 stores in the U.S.; nearly 20 of which are pop-ups. Six more stores are set to open in 2016.
Kit and Ace have used pop-ups as a way to gauge a market and gain brand recognition before deciding on the best location for a flagship store. For example, their pop-up shop in Nolita, New York became a permanent location based on its positive performance. The Dallas location on Henderson is in the midst of its pop-up lease and will determine soon if staying on Henderson is the best fit or if the store would be better off at a different location.
With leases that can last from six months to two years, a brand can experience firsthand the demographics the location attracts, area foot traffic, and sales. The ability to test a market before investing huge amounts of money is a great advantage for the future success of a company.
When it comes to finding space for a pop-up shop, one of the challenges Katie and her team work around is trying to find space in a tight market where landlords are less interested in short-term leases.
“Building long-term relationships in markets is crucial with any type of real estate deal, but it is especially valuable when trying to find space for clients such as pop-up shops due to their need for short-term leases,” said Katie. “The landlords we work with trust us when we bring them a tenant that we believe will add value to their property and have positive gain.”
Pop-up shops are a great marketing tool for startups and established brands alike. While the pop-up shop trend grows along with the retail market as a whole, it will be interesting to see how their role in business development continues to evolve.
Wednesday, Feb. 24, the CBRE team held its first awards celebration together as a united company. As a first-timer myself, I thought it was a nice environment to be able to get to know colleagues outside the office.
The event was hosted at Lakewood Country Club and included drinks and bites. The “make your own” Mac N Cheese bar was my favorite by far.
Daniel Taylor, Managing Director of Retail for the South Central United States, welcomed the group with a speech highlighting the hard work and dedication of our brokerage team and how far the company has come since the merge in January 2015.
“There is no perfect formula for bringing two groups together and creating an automatic seamless team,” said Daniel. “It takes time, and I can see the positive effects of the past year. We are getting comfortable; working more like a team and more importantly, we’re performing.”
He briefly hit on the state of the market, emphasizing the healthy economic conditions of Texas – “We’re lucky to be in the market we’re in. Dallas specifically, is the shining star as it has evolved into an HQ mecca. We have never been more positively positioned to succeed than we are right now.”
For the awards presentation Daniel invited Mickey Ashmore, Chairman of Retail Services America, to assist in announcing the Rising Star and Top Producers awards. Not surprisingly, Mickey kept us laughing while he doled out wisecracks about each broker and recalling stories everyone has heard numerous times before (from what I’ve heard). He did manage to share some nice thoughts on each broker. Honestly though, Mickey’s passion for the company and the industry shone through in his remarks.
The Rising Star award was presented to Sasha Levine, recognizing her as a young professional getting her start in the industry and who has earned the respect of her peers and that of senior brokers.
“Sasha has an unmatched work ethic and dedication to the future of her career in the industry,” said Daniel. “What’s more, she shows a deep respect for our CBRE RISE values. She truly embodies the characteristics of a Rising Star, and we look forward to seeing great things from her in the future.”
Sasha thanked Mickey, Jack Gosnell and Jack Breard for being her “work fathers” and mentors, in addition to her own father who also works in the industry. She joked specifically that they ensured her boyfriend was approved to date her. What are mentors for, right?
This year’s Top Producer awards were presented in descending order, closing with the announcement of Jack Breard as 2015’s No. 1 Top Producer. Jack was unable to attend as he was out of town working with a client. Go figure. What else would the top producer be doing?
CBRE 2015 Top Producers:
- Jack Breard
- Stan Lotridge
- Scott Muller
- Jeff Kittleson
- David Shelton
- Greg Pierce
- Darrell Hernandez
- Karla Smith
- Nathan Wood
- Dan Shoevlin
It was a great evening put together by Anne Braden and Rebecca Smolik along with help from the marketing team. Congrats to all our award winners and cheers to what’s to come in 2016!
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.