Demalling the Traditional Shopping Mall.
This year, Westbury in Long Island is welcoming a new destination: Lesso Home New York, a multi-faceted mall with a fresh and modern retailing and shopping concept.
Lesso Home will feature a variety of retailers in home furnishings, design, and décor as well as restaurants and entertainment facilities to connect with the Long Island community and consumers from throughout the New York area that totaled about 12 million.
Upon completion of the renovation late this year, Lesso Home will be the ideal platform for companies that want to elevate their businesses to a global level. Lesso Home New York Market will showcase home products from both American and international retailers and manufacturers, and it will also include new restaurants, community centers, and co-working space for designers.
Who is Lesso? In 1986, a plastic hardware factory was founded in Shunde District in Foshan City, where the region connects Foshan and the major city Guangzhou. 32 years later, it has grown to Lesso Group, the renowned pioneer in home building products industry in China. Now a Hong Kong-based listed conglomerate, Lesso owns more than 50 holding subsidiaries in China and more than 22 production bases around the world.
Last year, as a subsidiary of Lesso Group in North America, Lesso Mall Development Long Island Inc. acquired the empty Source Mall that had lost its popularity over years of decline in sales. Lesso recognized that this unique retail space built in the 20th century has enormous potential to upgrade and meet the modern needs of the 21st Century marketplace.
Echoing its slogan “Where Creativity Takes Flight”, Lesso decided to revive the retail space and bring in its own creative ideas to the U.S, a new go-to place for shopping, food, and leisure activities.
Lesso Home’s extensive revitalization is designed by Perkins Eastman (PE), one of the top design and architecture firms in the world. To render Lesso’s novel concept accurately, Principal Designer Peter Cavaluzzi traveled to Lesso’s headquarter in Foshan City to meet the leaders and see the prototype of showrooms.
“We have never worked with a company like Lesso that has such entrepreneurial spirit and creativity,” said Cavaluzzi who has designed properties for many Chinese companies before. “Lesso wants to build something in the U.S. market that currently doesn’t exist.”
“Demalling the Mall” is the central idea in PE’s design. In the past, the brick and wall shopping mall was 100% consumer based, but PE has made a new hybrid that cultivates interactions between tenants and consumers. With ample open space, a dynamic atmosphere, and various leisure facilities, “people have many other reasons to go besides shopping for home furnishing,” explained Cavaluzzi.
Mr. Michael Mai, New York General Manager of Lesso Group, stated, “The one-stop ‘specialized market’ for home furnishing products has been welcomed with considerable success in China, including the City of Foshan where Lesso Group’s headquarters is located, as it creates easy access to center of creativity for both industry leaders and the consumer. Our ability to grow this proven concept here in the United States will benefit our tenants, our customers, and the region’s economy.”
Mr. Mai explained, “Our tenants at Lesso Home New York Market will operate independently, showcasing full categories of home furnishing products including furniture, lighting, kitchen and bath, appliances and home accessories. It is an exciting and proven concept that speaks to our collective desire to make the most efficient use of our time.”
Lesso has appointed Newmark Knight Frank (NKF), one of the largest real estate advisory firms in the world as its leasing agent. NKF’s team is led nationally by Dennis Karr, an active member of CGCC and Head of the NKF China Business Group, Senior Managing Director Peter Rossi, and on Long Island by their NKF colleagues, Dan Oliver, Jason Oliver and Scott Berfas.
Proud to lead the exclusive leasing team, Karr said: “The completion of Lesso Home New York Market is a monumental achievement that will attract motivated consumers. It truly provides a central market for home furnishing and will be a fun place to visit.”
“Combining Lesso Home New York Market’s vision with a property that is rich in Long Island history will create a transformative, destination-retail oriented project. We have robust interest from a variety of users and well-regarded Long Island retailers who are looking to be strategically located along one of Long Island’s busiest and most affluent retail corridors,” Oliver added.