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Making a San Francisco Destination Rooted in Bay Area Traditions: An Interview with Chris Meany of Wilson Meany

August 19th, 2016 |
This is the third in a series of extended interviews Sean Slater conducted when he was writing about “Crafting Authenticity for Retail Destinations” for Urban Land. He shares more of his conversation with Chris Meany, cofounder and managing partner of Wilson Meany, the owner of San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Meany talks about how the market hall concept of the Ferry Building came into being.… more

How to Give a Retail Center an Authentic Feel: An Interview with Shaheen Sadeghi of LAB Holdings

August 19th, 2016 |
This is the second in a series of extended interviews Sean Slater conducted when he was writing about “Crafting Authenticity for Retail Destinations” for Urban Land. Here, he shares more of his conversation with Shaheen Sadeghi, president and founder of LAB Holding in Costa Mesa, California. Sadeghi talks about the thinking behind his company’s “anti-malls”: unique, local-feeling urban alternatives to homogenous shopping… more

In Memoriam – Principal D. Jamie Rusin

ELS Principal D. Jamie Rusin, architect, urban designer, father, author, cyclist, mentor, and great friend passed away April 21, 2016. For over 30 years at ELS, he led numerous projects with the common objective of bringing people together through great architecture and public spaces. At the office, Jamie championed a culture of open dialogue, debate, and collaboration. His admiration for academia… more

Making a Splash: Adaptive Use of Older Structures Suited to Small Natatoriums

Originally published in Recreation Management You might not be familiar with the connection between Amazon.com and swimming pools, but one exists. Not too many years ago, retail stores became retail superstores—places where a shopper could not only find everything, but a lot of everything. Big-box retailers bulked up their onsite storage so that a run on a certain product could… more

Our Authentic Bay Area

September 17th, 2015 |
Our Authentic Bay Area We asked our staff for suggestions of authentic Bay Area experiences for visitors and those new to the area. ELS is very proud of the places we call home, and we hope that everyone visiting the Bay Area will take time to explore the authentic and unique locales listed here. Operating from a single studio in… more

A Conversation With Jim Hennessy: An Authenticity Reboot on Chicago’s South Side

September 16th, 2015 |
How to Revive a Historic Retail District: An Interview with the Associate Vice President of Commercial Real Estate at the world-class University of Chicago in Hyde Park. In the May/June 2015 issue of Urban Land, my article “Crafting Authenticity for Retail Destinations” looked at the elements that give shopping streets and centers the handcrafted, eclectic, uniquely local feeling that many consumers prefer… more

Crafting Authenticity: An Antidote to the Homogenized Mall

August 3rd, 2015 |
Originally published in Urban Land Magazine Take a location with some history, add the right look — and seek the right mix of merchants — to create a retail site that people will want to experience. Article and Photos by Sean Slater In one of the oldest neighborhoods of Oakland, California, a short pedestrian alley called Temescal Alley has recently become… more

Shell Game: A Strategy for Historic Renovations

Originally published in Parks and Rec Business By David Petta and Diana Hayton A common misconception about buildings designated as historically or architecturally significant is that they are substantially the same as on the day they opened. That is probably true for the exterior because these buildings are subject to a local landmark commission’s approval, but on the interior, modifications… more

Mixed-Use and Retail Outlook and Trends IV

April 30th, 2015 |
For the latest installment of ELS' Mixed Use and Retail Outlook and Trends, Sean Slater (Principal), Ryan Call (Associate Principal and Director of Urban Design), Jamie Rusin (Principal), and David Petta (Principal), pictured from left to right, discuss issues and trends in real estate and retail development. High-end retail and select office and housing markets have led the economic recovery. Other markets… more

Swimming with the Current: Locker Room Design

Originally published in American School and University The design of a locker room should reflect the culture of the team, athletic program, or school. By Diana Hayton [caption id="attachment_3316" align="alignright" width="250"] Translucent glass in the men’s and women’s team locker rooms provides daylighting within and symmetry when viewed from the pool deck. (Photo by John McGillen)[/caption] In the design of… more

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