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Everyone always wants to know what’s coming to DTS next. It’s a laborious process many don’t fully understand or appreciate. Here to shed a few insights on leasing efforts at DTS is Ben Martin, VP of Leasing & Commercial Strategy, Howard Hughes. 

Q: What do you look for when engaging retail and restaurant partners to come to DTS? 

I consider a litany of factors when evaluating which new tenants would be positive additions to the existing mix at DTS.  Uniqueness is a big one. Are the brands on trend with staying power. Are they compatible with our customer profile. Does the merchant elicit excitement. These are all very important considerations.  Ultimately, the most essential factor is how well the new restaurant/retailer will resonate with our customers. 

Q: Where is your go-to for shopping at DTS?

I have two young daughters, so I currently find myself spending a lot of time at Lovebug Baby and in the toy department at Macy’s.  When I’m shopping for myself, lululemon is the most common stop. 

Q: Favorite part of your career? 

My career provides an opportunity to interact with various stakeholders every day.  Whether it is a customer, potential tenant, existing tenant, or countless other individuals involved with the leasing process, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to meet new people and cultivate relationships with them.  I am blessed to have created lifelong friendships thanks to my career.   

Q: Let’s talk shoes. How much of a shoe fanatic are you? Favorite style/brand? 

If it’s even possible, fanatic may be an understatement.   I have loved sneakers for as long as I can remember.  When justifying sneaker purchases, I tell myself there are worse vices a guy could have.  I have always gravitated toward early retro Jordans.  Jordan ones, threes, and fours are my favorite models.  Admittedly, I also fall victim to some sneaker hype and collect NIKE collaborations with brands like Off White and Travis Scott.  For me, the most exhilarating part of collecting sneakers is actually wearing them.  I’m not a collector who keeps them on display with no plans to take them out of the box.  

Q: Any insights on new brands or restaurants that might debut in 2024 at the property?

We are thrilled to be adding our first true international luxury brand in 2024 with the opening of CHANEL at DTS.  CHANEL will be joining DTS with their fragrance and beauty concept specializing in fragrance, makeup, sunglasses, and other small accessories.  

Q: When not working, where do you go to unwind? 

The gym is where I spend the most time outside of work.  Typically, I head to the gym early in the morning before the workday starts.  I find that working out in the morning helps me feel energized and ready for the day.  Otherwise, when I’m not working or spending time at home with my family I enjoy going to concerts, dining out, and going out to watch sports (especially college football). 

Q: You recently relocated your family to Summerlin – why?

The decision to relocate was driven by both professional and personal factors.  I had previously been overseeing the retail leasing at DTS from Dallas, TX.  Given the amount of leasing activity today, and expected activity in the future, it seemed like a logical time to relocate to Summerlin.  I believe that a person in my position can be far more effective living in the community where they work.  Being fully immersed in the community every day lends greater perspective on what tenants will be successful.  Also, being fortunate enough to lead the leasing efforts at the property for the foreseeable future was very attractive.  Additionally, I knew that my family would enjoy living in Summerlin.  We routinely take advantage of the amenities available in Summerlin including the parks and events at DTS.  My daughters are particularly fond of the Parade of Mischief and the Holiday Parade.  So far, my family couldn’t be happier here.

Q: What makes the Howard Hughes experience so unique that brands want to come to DTS?

On a macro level, the overall quality of our community makes DTS an attractive destination for brands.  DTS is a component of the overall Summerlin master plan.  The sustained excellence in developing the master plan is apparent and interesting to potential tenants.  The perception that the growth and development of Summerlin will continue at the highest standards generates demand from brands that want to be a part of a first-class environment.  Merchants recognize the brand value proposition of being associated with shopping environments of the highest quality.  On a small scale, Howard Hughes truly approaches relationships with tenants as a partnership. We make it a priority to put our tenants in the best positions to be successful.  Rather than an adversarial landlord and tenant relationship, Howard Hughes encourages collaboration to give our tenants the best chances of success.    

Q: Biggest work goal in 2024? 

To continue to introduce unique, point-of-difference retailers and restaurants to DTS that will be embraced by our customers.  Beyond our existing retail footprint, I hope to help plan and execute leasing strategies for some exciting future developments we have in the pipeline.