Regency uses crowdsourcing to lease Baltimore shopping center

Jacksonville, Fla. -- Regency Centers said Friday it is asking Baltimore residents to suggest stores and restaurants they want to open at their local Parkville Shopping Center through an online crowdsourcing platform called Popularise. 

The leasing recommendations will be considered as part of the grocery-anchored center’s renovation, which has begun construction. 

Parkville Shopping Center is a 161,734-sq.-ft. neighborhood center anchored by Giant, which replaced and renovated a former Super Fresh. The center’s retail space is currently 93% leased.

Center signage and store flyers encourage shoppers to visit to suggest preferred retail uses and business names, as well as comment and vote on submissions made by others. Popularise was created in 2011 by Washington, D.C., commercial real estate investors Ben Miller and Dan Miller. The site aims to encourage local communities to bring their market knowledge, ideas and support to actively shape their neighborhoods. Currently, the site features 11 commercial real estate projects, primarily urban, in four U.S. cities.

“Crowdsourcing is a new term, but asking customers about their shopping preferences has always been integral to strong tenant merchandising,” said Jack deVilliers, leasing agent for center owner Regency Centers. “Social media and new technology, like Popularise, allows us to reach more people in a nontraditional way.”

The $1.7 million renovation of Parkville will include a new exterior façade and architectural elements, upgraded signage, improved landscaping and parking lot enhancements. The center design was created by Bignell Watkins Hasser Architects in Annapolis, Md.  
The center’s businesses will remain open during the construction, which is scheduled for completion in November.

As part of Regency’s greengenuity program to reduce the environmental impact of developing and operating shopping centers, the project will incorporate basic sustainable elements such as recycling building materials, installing heat-reflective roof material and employing environmentally friendly LED lighting fixtures on the buildings, paint and coatings.

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