A new wave of urban, experiential, and independent retail concepts catering to changing consumer demands has led to the rise of 100 “Cool Streets” across the United States and Canada, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s annual Cool Streets report. Four areas in Charlotte – Montford, NoDa, Plaza-Midwood and South End – were included in the 100 streets featured in the report. The firm surveyed hundreds of our real estate professionals across our offices in the U.S. and Canada, looking at livability, retail flavor, the neighborhood’s hip factor (via “The Hip-O-Meter”), residential and retail rents, and demographics.
The Cool Streets report outlines myriad changes that have played out across North America since Cushman & Wakefield’s inaugural Cool Streets guide was released in 2016. Chief among them: while the Cool Streets trend remains strong in primary markets and so-called 24-hour cities—as neighborhoods cycle through the “musical chairs of affordability and opportunity”—there has also been an explosion of overall growth in secondary or tertiary markets creating new opportunities for retailers, residents, and investors alike. According to the report, the trend is accelerating in places such as Charlotte, Boise, Denver, Nashville, Portland, Salt Lake City, Tampa and other metros global investors used to overlook. Affordable housing and employment are driving that acceleration.
Montford was ranked an “Up & Coming” area, with a total population of 42,795 within a two-mile radius. The area ranked highly for food and nightlife, with an average retail rent range between $18 and $50 per square foot (psf). NoDa, Plaza-Midwood and South End were all ranked as “Prime Hipness” area, with high scores for food, nightlight, music and arts. NoDa’s population totals 51,284 residents with retail rents between $19 psf and $36 psf; Plaza-Midwood totals 51,824 residents with retail rents between $16 and $35 psf; and South End totals 52,884 residents with retail rents between $20 and $70 psf.
Value, convenience, and experience have long been the three basic tenets that draw consumers to a retail store or shopping destination, according to Garrick Brown, Vice President of Retail Intelligence, Americas at Cushman & Wakefield. But in the age of newCommerce, convenience and quick delivery of goods ordered online are paramount. These changes, coupled with shifting consumer preferences and pressures on legacy brick-and-mortar brands, provided the catalyst for the disruption of traditional retail – and led to the evolution of Cool Streets retail districts. Learn more by taking a look at the full 2019 Cool Streets report.