I recently had dinner at Habana’s in Costa Mesa. Much to my amazement, this was part of a recycled development called The Lab. Old warehouses had been turned into swanky restaurants, and aged RVs parked on the premises were occupied by small vendors selling knick-knacks. There were water fountains created with old metal drums, and so much more. I went from just having dinner to spending an additional hour walking around the premises. I’ve mentioned reuse of shipping containers in the past but this was an excellent demonstration of creatively re-utilization of old construction and materials, and it becoming the attraction to generate foot traffic for the benefit of its Tenants.
I’d also like to mention here, Tio’s Taco’s in Riverside. This is a restaurant with its main attraction being less the food but more due to the the creative works of art generated through recycling of its trash. Old beer bottles, bottle caps, cans, and more have been used as interesting pieces of artwork. Hence, the business offers more than just good food to its customers. A person can easily spend hours analyzing the chapels, statues, and jungles created through recycled materials.
Recycling in commercial real estate development can have a positive effect in generating interest from patrons and hence a huge benefit to the existing business establishments.
By Kavita Bhatia (Gurjeet)