One of my favourite urban retail projects is The RISE in Vancouver, BC, developed by Grosvenor in 2008. The project stacked three large format large format stores and a number of smaller tenants onto a 2.3 acre site near a rapid-transit station. To put that into perspective, it would typically require approximately 19 acres of land to accommodate 212,000 sq. ft. of retail space in a suburban location with surface parking. The pedestrian realm adjacent to the building is kept active through the use of smaller retailers along Cambie Street with the larger store floorplates wrapping around behind. In addition to retail, the developers also added 92 rental townhouses oriented around a half acre greenroof. The project illustrates that with proper consideration for urban form and design, big box retail is not incompatible with urban locations.
The RISE, Vancouver