Retail Insight sat down with Ashlyn Booth, senior vice president and director of retail properties at JLL, to discuss the leasing efforts at Manhattan Village, which is owned by RREEF Property Trust. The 44-acre, 573,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor mixed-use retail experience in Manhattan Beach, California, is currently undergoing a $180 million redevelopment. It will receive a variety of new tenants in the upcoming year, including Mexican food concept Mercado Manhattan Beach, Holly and Hudson Nail Lounge, Urban Plates, Joey Manhattan Beach and M·A·C (Make-Up Art Cosmetics).
Retail Insight: Why was this the right time for Manhattan Village to undergo a renovation and re-tenanting?
Ashlyn Booth: The impetus for the redevelopment of Manhattan Village was to take an already successful asset with an excellent line-up of highly desired and successful retailers — including Apple, Sephora, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Kiehl’s, MAC and Williams-Sonoma — and enhance the shopping experience by making a seamless connection of the entire asset including the interior mall, exterior dining and retail and adjacent community center. The new Manhattan Village will be one single-statement center featuring a new, open-air plaza and social gathering space enhanced with curated dining and retail options, taking full advantage of the location and climate Manhattan Beach has to offer. The typical customer’s behavior has changed significantly in the past few years and the redevelopment of Manhattan Village allows us to add chef-inspired dining, entertainment and additional retail that offer unique experiences at each interaction — something customers expect today.
Ashlyn Booth, senior vice president and director of retail properties at JLL.
RI: What types of tenants are you targeting for Manhattan Village?
Booth: The new Manhattan Village will feature a unique mix of chef-inspired dining and retail to surprise and delight customers. We are also in negotiations with several boutique fitness operators that will add to the overall experience of Manhattan Village. Leasing activity has been very strong and JLL recently opened MAC cosmetics. Currently under construction are Origins, Holly and Hudson Nail Lounge, Urban Plates and a new California Pizza Kitchen opening later this month. In December, we will begin construction on the South Village Shops, which will be home to restaurant Joey Manhattan Beach.
RI: Are you pursuing any local, LA-based artisanal purveyors? How do you balance the mix of new and novel with well-known, already established tenants?
Booth: We are looking for those local, LA-based restaurants and retailers that will add to the modern luxury and coastal-chic of Manhattan Beach, while embracing the allure and hometown feel of the West Coast lifestyle. We already have a solid line-up of well-known, national brands and now we are layering in the local and regional concepts that celebrate coastal living in Manhattan Beach. A great example is a lease we signed this week with Mercado, an LA-based restaurant featuring fresh, local Mexican-inspired cuisine. As the shopping center industry continues to rapidly evolve, the importance of experience and amenities cannot be overstated.
RI: Can you share a few of your leasing strategies when it comes to obtaining more experiential and service-based tenants?
Booth: The leasing team is carefully selecting a curated mix of restaurants and retailers you won’t see at a traditional shopping center. These new restaurants and retailers will be located throughout the center including a cluster of new restaurants within our new Village Shops, an outdoor dining and shopping destination right at Manhattan Village’s front door. The Village Shops and Plaza area will create a place for the community to gather, to socialize and to celebrate coastal living.
— Interview by Nellie Day, contributing writer. This article is part of the Retail Insight newsletter by Shopping Center Business, which includes a brief series of articles and videos surrounding some of the retail industry’s biggest gatherings, including ICSC Western Conference & Dealmaking. Some of the articles and the videos in the publication are created in conjunction with our content partners, which sponsor the newsletter. Click here to subscribe and to see archived newsletters.