In the hands of this Greenwich, CT–based developer, shopping malls have been transformed. The pioneer of the entertainment retail concept, Gordon Group creates destinations that are about much more than just shopping.
Established in 1982 by Chairman Sheldon Gordon, Gordon Group is an extension of the Phillip Lyon Gordon Company, a partnership with E. Phillip Lyon that endured for 18 years. Under both monikers, the property developer is credited with changing the face of retail complexes. The best examples appear in Las Vegas (The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace), New York City (Bridgemarket), Los Angeles (The Beverly Center), and San Francisco (The San Francisco Center). In 2006, another project brought this concept to the Jersey Shore when The Pier Shops at Caesars opened in Atlantic City.
Similar to The Forum Shops, The Pier Shops at Caesars reflects the vision of Gordon Group in partnership with Caesars Entertainment. In 1992, when Las Vegas was a gamblers-only travel destination, Mr. Gordon was in town for a shopping center trade show. While meeting with former chairman of Caesars World, Henry Gluck, Mr. Gordon was presented with the challenge — what to do with an unused piece of land adjacent to the casino. His suggestion was to create a retail complex complete with entertainment. Mr. Gluck trusted his longtime friend’s instincts, but retailers and others in Las Vegas were skeptical, expressing conventional wisdom of the time: No one shops where they gamble. Mr. Gordon was convinced he was onto a winning proposition — so much so, he was willing to put his own assets on the line. The resulting Forum Shops at Caesars is the top producing retail center in the world, averaging volume sales of $1,300 per square foot.
While The Forum Shops at Caesars has become the new model in retail development, it is not the only example of Gordon Group’s innovative approach. Since 1972 with the development of The Pearlridge Mall in Hawaii, the company has created distinctive properties that prove that any physical obstacle can be overcome with a little inspired thinking. In the case of Pearlridge, a protected watercress farm sits between the mall’s two halves; to link them, the company installed the first-ever monorail system used in a shopping center. An eight-lane highway seemed an insurmountable challenge when building Vallco Park in Cupertino, CA; the solution was to build the merchandise bridge over the highway — something that had never been done before.
This understanding of each property’s location and its unique qualities has become the backbone of Gordon Group’s approach to every project.
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