REAL ESTATE

McArthurGlen Group to enter North America with Vancouver outlet

BY Dan Berthiaume

London – McArthurGlen Group, an owner, developer and manager of European designer outlets, is opening its first North American location on July 9, in Vancouver. McArthurGlen Vancouver Airport is designed in an open-air village style, with a luxury piazza and tree-lined streets.

On opening, the center will offer 240,000-sq.-ft. of retail space with 50 new stores, featuring Armani, Coach, J Crew, Hugo Boss, Ports 1961, Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren, with more brands to come before the end of 2015.

Also featured are some local retailers, including lifestyle concept store SL (Gastown’s Secret Location) and Italian-style coffee house Caffè Artigiano.

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REAL ESTATE

Englewood Construction completes Hobby Lobby, American Girl projects

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Englewood Construction has finished a 55,000-sq.-ft. ground-up Hobby Lobby store on an outlet pad at Seabrook Crossings, a new retail development in Seabrook, N.H.

In Franklin, Tenn., Englewood recently completed an American Girl store, located in the CoolSprings Galleria mall just outside of Nashville. The store is the 12th Englewood has completed for American Girl. The architect for the project was Morristown, N.J.-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.

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Shopping Centers: Four Strategies for Giving Back

BY Mike Kercheval

Just as the agora in Ancient Greece was the central meeting place where the community could come together to purchase goods from the market, connect with their friends and learn about the latest news, so too are today’s modern shopping centers a place that connects local residents. Today, by leveraging their structure and location, shopping centers can go one step further to affect positive change in their local communities and the nation at large by back to make local residents’ lives better.

But in an era where shoppers are more pressed for time than ever, shopping centers and their managers must be strategic in finding the right ways to engage consumers and bring about the most impact to the community. Here are some of the ways shopping centers around the nation can develop the right programs to give back:

1. Think Local
There are countless ways shopping centers and malls can give back, but to truly reach the consumers walking in their doors they must find partnerships and causes that directly impact the surrounding community. Projects and donations, which provide tangible results that can be seen will be appreciated the most and will inspire a higher degree of donation and support from shoppers.

For example, last month Governor’s Square Mall in Clarksville, Tennessee hosted their own Military Appreciation Day to honor the men and women who serve our country. A local DJ played and raffle prizes were handed out to encouraged families, local residents, and businesses to come together and express their gratitude. Retail discounts were given to service members and veterans and shoppers were encouraged to donate to Fort Campbell Fisher House, a temporary housing facility which provides a comfortable and convenient place for military families to stay while their loved ones undergo medical treatment. And in Chicago, General Growth Properties (GGP) partners with Chicago Cares to hold days of service at local schools throughout Chicago neighborhoods. Together GGP and Chicago Cares are engaging in facility improvement, landscaping projects and interactive programs with adults and children.

2. Go Beyond Donations to Create a Memorable Experience
To truly engage consumers and inspire them to donate their time and money to worthy causes, shopping centers today must go above and beyond traditional donation drives. Shopping centers have a unique position to provide costly resources to help charities and nonprofit organizations kick off memorable events. They can donate their physical space in and outside of the mall for residents to congregate and interact, or they can loan key infrastructure and resources to events such as seating, man power and security to help events run smoothly.

For example, since 2012, The Maine Mall in Portland, Maine has played host to the Strive Rocks Dance Marathon, the largest fundraiser of the year for Strive, an organization focused on supporting and providing skills to kids and young adults with developmental disabilities. The overnight event has not only boosted Strive’s fundraising efforts by decreasing the amount Strive spends on overhead, The Maine Mall has also supplied event management, security, housekeeping, equipment and media support to ensure its success. This year, Strive Rocks raised more than $76,000, one of the largest totals in Strive’s history.

3. Get Personal
Beyond large events and fundraising, shopping center managers should look for unique and non-obvious opportunities to open their hearts and positively impact individual lives, no matter how small the act of kindness.

Recently, Salina Central Mall in Kansas set out to raise funds for a local 16-year-old girl who, as a result of an online scam, lost two years’ worth of savings to buy her first car. A Salina Central Mall manager heard the story and decided to use the power and reach of the mall to help the girl regain some of her money to make the automobile purchase. The mall collected donations and allocated proceeds from its Easter Eggspress train ride to the effort. This generosity resulted in a ripple effect of community giving and a local Ford dealership offered to match mall donations.

4. Rally Tenants
Finally, shopping centers should use the power and connections of their tenants to give back. The shopping center is full of retailers, restaurants, service and entertainment organizations with their own social causes and charitable partnerships. The strong ties and longstanding relationships between shopping center management and tenants provide a plethora of opportunities to create meaningful ways to give back to the local community.

It’s clear that there are no limits to how shopping centers can give back to their local communities through mindful community service programs and philanthropy. As shopping centers keep looking for new engagements and meaningful partnerships consumers are sure to give both their time and contributions to help their communities thrive.


Mike Kercheval is president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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