Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Other Easton

I finally got around to listening to the John DeWolf interview on HoCoMoJo. John is the new executive that the Howard Hughes Corporation has hired to steer the Columbia Town Center redevelopment project. He replaces Greg Hamm who left in December.

In the interview, John mentions that while working for The Limited he spent half of his time working on Easton Town Center. Easton Town Center was conceived in 1990 by Les Wexner the chairman and CEO of The Limited. Today it contains over 3 million square feet of office space (Columbia Town Center has approximately 2.7 million square feet) and 1.7 million square feet of retail space (Columbia Town Center has approximately 1.4 million square feet).

In 2000 it won the Innovative Design of a New Project Award from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

According to this description in Wikipedia, the project also has some pretty novel regulations.

"Easton has an age-restricted curfew of 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. People under the age of 16 are not permitted in the interior areas of the center without an adult present. People over 16 are permitted if they present valid government-issued photo identification. The reason for the curfew that is most commonly cited by the Easton security staff is the change from a "family-oriented" environment during the day with more emphasis on the shopping to a more "adult-oriented" venue during the night with more of an emphasis on the upscale restaurants, bars, and nightclubs."

I’m not so sure you could get away with that in HoCo.

Easton was one of the original “lifestyle centers” and set the standard for the industry. It would be interesting to know what, if anything, he thinks they may have done differently today.
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