As the world of retail continues to change, cities, downtown organizations, and private developers alike are trying to make sense of all the different shifts in consumer preferences, living arrangements, and even employment patterns that impact tenant mix and retail sales.

This past Spring, LOA worked closely with real estate developers to conduct customized retail market research and analysis in support of leasing efforts in downtown Detroit and Studio City California. In order to make strategic leasing or investment decisions, developers are increasingly relying on a wide range of data to investigate market conditions. Data is critical for developers to convince other stakeholders including potential tenants, city agencies, and investors, that the development project should be permitted, funded and/or leased. In close coordination with clients, LOA continues to tailor industry research and key metrics based on project site, geographic location, and demographics.
Client: Bedrock Management Services
In March, LOA conducted a like-district analysis for Bedrock Management, a full service commercial real estate firm with a portfolio totaling over fifteen million square feet in downtown Detroit and Cleveland, to better understand the opportunities and challenges Detroit faces in becoming a world-class downtown. Following the City of Detroit’s lost bid to host Amazon HQ2 in 2017, LOA was tasked to provide one of the city’s largest downtown property owners a critical understanding of Detroit’s workforce and resident populations, as well as tenant mix, in comparison to ten other comparative emerging and well-established downtown markets shortlisted by Amazon. The like-district analysis, using mixed methods, compared data from cities across the country including Baltimore, Atlanta, and Portland.
This exercise was intended to help Bedrock Detroit confidently market and sell their downtown properties with impactful data and to scout potential tenants in comparative markets. Bedrock Detroit will continue to use the analysis to inform its downtown property management
and leasing strategies.
Client: Midwood Investment and Development
LOA also worked with Midwood Investment and Development, a real estate developer and investor with a diversified portfolio comprising of retail, office, residential, and mixed-use properties. Midwood owns over 125 properties with a development pipeline of several million square feet, including signature projects One Bromfield in Downtown Crossing, Boston, Spring Street in SoHo NYC, and Center City Philadelphia.
To support Midwood’s leasing efforts at its latest lifestyle retail development in Studio City, The Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge, LOA conducted a comprehensive market scan that provided key insights on residential, worker and visitor demand. The analysis was intended to support the merchandise plan for the property, which included over 100,000 SF of eclectic culinary offerings, high-end fashion, and modern essentials (and not forgetting the Equinox gym and organic supermarket!). The findings were also designed into a compelling marketing brochure used by the leasing team at one of the country’s largest retail trade shows, International Council of Shopping Center’s Annual RECON in Las Vegas.
LOA hopes to continue bringing our expertise to bear support to retail planning at various phases of decision making by providing clients with market-based development strategies for successful ventures.