episode 97: Mark Falcone, Continuum

“As cities densify, …this demographic is telling us is they want both experiences in their life. They love the intensity of intimate human interaction. …But they also really want their wilderness experience as well.”

– Mark Falcone, CEO and founder of Continuum Partners


I’m so happy to offer you an absolute FIRST on Channel Mastery today. We cover a lot of angles to specialty retail here, and today we’re diving into the absolute foundation of brick and mortar: the real estate.

Location, style, size, co-tenants: these are the FIRST things you think about when it comes to opening a physical store. These are things that can make or break your success. Today, I speak with Mark Falcone, a retail real estate development expert, to hear what’s working today.

Mark is founder and CEO of Continuum Partners, based in Denver. For Outdoor Retailer attendees, you’ll recognize Continuum’s work as master developers of the Union Station neighborhood.

Continuum takes a holistic approach to development that starts with the human (and natural) ecology of a location, and assesses how the built environment can foster a desirable habitat. If it sounds lofty, it is. Continuum is steadfast in its values and principles that guide each of its projects. But it’s also a very human approach. It’s the same way we create our interior retail spaces to evoke an emotional connection, like a sense of belonging or excitement or peace.

Today, I ask Mark how retail real estate is changing, what tenants and developers are valuing, and what does the future look like for brick and mortar. We also discuss Continuum’s latest project, Basecamp at Market Station, the first real estate development (that we know of!) based entirely around outdoor recreation.


Mark Falcone

Mark Falcone founded Continuum Partners, LLC in Denver in 1997. Since its inception Continuum has successfully completed over $2 billion of development and established itself as a national leader of complex, mixed use urban infill projects. Throughout his career, Mark has championed the advancement of more sustainable settlement patterns within his industry and amongst public policy makers. He’s actively involved with the arts, education and The Nature Conservancy, among other environmentally focused sustainability efforts.


Retail real estate development, human ecology and human habitat in public spaces, outdoor recreation retail cluster, cause marketing, walkability in urban environments


“We’ve been trying to understand and think about how retail would change in the US even before the real expansion of the Internet.”

“In the old days there was one key retail street in every city. Every city had their High Street. And that is, and that was, where retailers wanted to be.”

“Today we’re starting to recognize that there was real virtue to that traditional commercial node—where it was nicely connected to these supporting centers of activity.” 

“Retail only really works well in a very, very narrow set of places because you are so reliant upon the embedded foot traffic or automobile traffic.”

“As the success and prosperity of the Front Range cities continues to grow, …we’re putting more people out into these recreational assets. We think there’s a real need and an opportunity to ensure that the recreational enterprise that we engage people or sell people to participate in –really [comes with] a sense of stewardship and responsibility to preserving that.”

“As cities densify, …this demographic is telling us is they want both experiences in their life. They love the intensity of intimate human interaction. …But they also really want their wilderness experience as well.”

[On the outdoor recreation focus of Market Station] “We think it’s a great opportunity for Denver to reveal itself and fully express its cultural recreational personality to visitors, as well as our residents and employees.”

“One of the things that I’m excited about in interacting with all of these outdoor recreation retailers is that most of them have a corporate philosophy that aligns really well with ours.”

“We’ve got to recognize that our business enterprises have to do more good than harm. When we get to a place where we find ourselves executing a solution that might’ve been really, really thoughtful and forward looking 30 years ago, [we need to acknowledge that] things change and our expectations evolve. We have to confront the fact that our business solution no longer solves more problems than it creates. I see the outdoor industry as being a place in our economy where that kind of leadership is really coming to the fore.”




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