Somerset CityLoft has been opening one weekend each month in Motor City's downtown for luxury summertime shopping, fundraising and urban renewal.
It was just a few months ago that we covered Boxpark, the pop-up shopping mall planned for a vacant lot in London’s Shoreditch area, and now we’ve spotted another take on the pop-up concept in Detroit. A series of mini-boutiques collectively known as Somerset CityLoft has been opening for one weekend each month in Motor City’s downtown for summertime shopping, fundraising and urban renewal. The Forbes Co.’s Somerset Collection is a high-end shopping center located in nearby Troy, and more than three dozen shops from that luxury venue are participating in the CityLoft in Detroit. With sponsorship from Quicken Loans, Cadillac and Bank of America, the 4,000-square-foot CityLoft features miniature versions of Somerset Collection boutiques. Shoppers get a gift with every purchase as well as USD 10 gift cards to the Somerset Collection in Troy for every USD 100 they spend. A fleet of Cadillac cars is on hand to shuttle guests to and from local hotels and offices for free, and a portion of all proceeds goes to Improve Detroit, a local charity. Perhaps best of all, the pop-up mall is allowing retailers to test out demand and generate excitement for high-end shopping in what’s been an economically depressed area of the city. “This will give the marketplace an idea of what retail can be again in downtown Detroit,” Nate Forbes, managing partner for Forbes Co., told Mlive.com. “Kind of a 3-D billboard for what retail can become in Detroit.” Urban renewal projects are not new, of course, but this is the first time we’ve seen suburban merchants participating and testing the proverbial waters through the relatively risk-free safety of a limited-time pop-up mall. Urban planners and retailers around the globe: be inspired! Spotted by: Srini Rajagopalan