Multi-level Retail – Best Practices

Multi-level retail is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, particularly densely populated cities such as New York. Here are some of the design and planning factors contributing to its revival:

  • Starting interior retail one floor up from street level to prevent the street level from dominating the center;
  • Placing signature draws and anchors on the highest levels;
  • Building internal stairways inside stores to provide additional linkage;
  • Strategically interspersing food courts, restaurants and non-retail destinations such as concert venues, museum spaces and community halls throughout the center and particularly on upper floors to lure shoppers through a typology retail areas;
  • Introducing circulation from unrelated upper floor uses (residences, offices or hotels) to the highest retail floors to compel traffic past shops;
  • Emphasizing street accessibility, clear sight lines and easy links between floors;
  • Emulating exterior spaces;
  • Installing as many escalators as possible, preferably with a terraced or cascading approach;
  • Improving and modernizing aesthetic quality (i.e. replacing bulky handrails and using glass instead of material such as granite and concrete).

Source: CityLab

Oculus New York – Photo: The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

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