Placemaking with Curated Retail

The retail sector is evolving rapidly, in response to a dramatically changed environment. Everything is impacting retail – from tastes and lifestyles of Millennials to online shopping to how we get around.

Silicon Valley, known for its disruption of markets, is among the regions leading the way in defining a new style of retail, and Bay Meadows creating an authentic community for a new retail experience on the Peninsula. Fieldwork Beer Garden, Tin Pot Creamery, Roam Artisan Burgers, Blue Bottle Coffee and LIFT Fitness – these locally-bred, best-in-class retail tenants all point to how Bay Meadows is shaping into a destination – where visitors will linger and return again and again.

Visitors to Fieldwork at Bay Meadows can enjoy the brewer’s uniquely delicious beers – either to stay or to-go, in a “growler.”

Between the community’s Town Square and its welcoming social street, Delaware Street, Bay Meadows is carefully curating a mix of community-minded and neighborhood-serving retailers. Unlike a traditional “lease-up” where retail brokers look to fill in product lines, almost like a cookie-cutter model, the team from Wilson Meany is curating a mix of sought-after tenants that will speak to this specific community.

Wilson Meany is recognized for creating communities and projects that embrace and enhance their surroundings. Among the company’s notable achievements is the redevelopment of San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Similar to that landmark project, Bay Meadows’ design is intrinsic to its unique location.

We chatted with Bay Meadows’ retail brokers, AJ Schrader and Matt Holmes of RetailWest to hear the latest on the retail landscape.

“Creating a sense of place involves more than just bringing in the right tenants. It involves careful landscaping, common areas, wide sidewalks, opportunities for people to congregate and thoughtful planning, which Wilson Meany excels at,” said Matt Holmes, Principal with RetailWest.

The sought-after key that all retail property owners seek now is an “internet-proof” environment; something that cannot be replicated online, an experience. It’s one reason why restaurants are a segment of retail that has remained “bulletproof.”

“People living and breathing through the computer still need places to meet and mix … common areas” that are comfortable and distinct, Matt added.

Of course, Bay Meadows’ distinction is not only its thoughtful design, but also its attention to quality tenants. Matt says that the plan for this community is to attract highly sought-after retailers; not retailers that have large roll-out plans, but more curated businesses.

Blue Bottle is opening here for a reason. They see the potential here and the strong opportunity for placemaking, where kids and families and Millennials and office workers will congregate,” Matt noted.

Any final thoughts from Matt? “We’re the hot block that’s been missing in San Mateo!”

Below: Unique retailers fill San Francisco’s Ferry Building, also developed by Wilson Meany.

Delaware Street – Bay Meadows’ welcoming social street – will be the next retail and entertainment destination on the Peninsula, with over 40,000 square feet of urban retail space. A midurban gathering place with artisan sit down and fast eateries, as well as specialty fitness and unique retail. The street was carefully designed with angled parking and large landscaped walkways to create a walkable and inviting experience that is highlighted by our large Town Square. Interested in retail leasing at Bay Meadows? Contact RetailWest to learn more >