Cushman & Wakefield Names North America’s Top 20 “Cool Streets” for Urban Retail

by Katie Lee

Chicago — 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 U.S. and Canada, according to a report released earlier this mo nth by global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The firm’s Cool Streets of North America report explores what’s driving the rise of the hottest retail districts across the U.S. and Canada. It outlines the top 20 Cool Streets in depth: Portland (whole city); Austin (whole city); Denver (whole city); Chicago (Fulton Market); Boise (Downtown); Los Angeles (Arts District); Buffalo (Downtown); Manhattan (Bond Street/NoHo); Montreal (Mile End); Honolulu (Kaka’ako); Indianapolis (Massachusetts Avenue Arts District); Boston (South End); Louisville (East Market District/NuLu); Atlanta (Old Fourth Ward); Dallas (Deep Ellum); Memphis (Midtown/Overton Square); Sacramento (Midtown); Cleveland (Ohio City/Tremont); Milwaukee (Historic Third Ward); and Houston (Lower Westheimer/Montrose).

The 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 the “musical chairs game of affordability and opportunity” in large, primary markets and so-called 24-hour cities, an explosion of overall growth in secondary or tertiary markets has created new opportunities for retailers and investors alike.

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 Wall Street 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.

“It’s important to remember that Cool Streets are about more than just retail,” Brown says. “Their rise is at the nexus of multiple trends that impact not only commercial real estate but also society as a whole: the new urbanism, the impact of opportunity zones, the growing gulf between skilled and unskilled labor, the benefits and risks of a global tech-driven economy, and the rise of an experience-based economy.”

Brown continues: “Make no mistake: these burgeoning enclaves aren’t just for hipsters or adventurous millennials. Cool matters — and cities that actively cultivate livability in their neighborhoods through live/work/play environments and invest in education to attract and retain human talent will thrive in the new global economy. Put simply: If you make it cool, they will come.”

Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm with approximately 51,000 employees in 400 offices and 70 countries. In 2018, the firm had revenue of $8.2 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation and other services. For more information, visit


SOURCE: Cushman & Wakefield

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