A U.K. Formula for American Urban Renewal

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Online retail is great. It just has one huge drawback: It doesn't offer a place for people to meet, mingle, hangout and eat.

This is the niche that Urban Space occupies, says Eldon Scott, president of the U.K.-based company’s New York arm and this week’s guest on Masters in Business.

Urban Space began in 1972, developing sites specializing in artisan food halls and holiday gift venues. The company seeks out inexpensive, underutilized and historic properties to create a community around food, small business, arts and crafts, and shopping.

Scott came to New York in 1993 to apply the formula in the U.S.: The company has since created halls and venues in locations such as Times Square, Madison Square and Columbus Circle. Urban Space is considering expanding in other U.S. locations, including Chicago and the West Coast.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Al Guido, president of the San Francisco 49ers and chief executive officer of Elevate Sports Ventures.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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