Monthly Archives: August 2015

What’s a Conscious Place?

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Written by: John M.

consciousplace-logoAt Trademark, we’re excited to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We’ve been working closely with Whole Foods to bring next-generation placemaking to our projects, which lets us demonstrate our purpose: to be extraordinary stewards, enhance communities, and enrich lives. We seek to build special places, that take into consideration the stakeholders not normally considered in development—that includes our employees, who are seeking purpose in their work, and the users of our projects, who are seeking more than just a place to shop. The result of all our work is the Conscious Place.

Our first project designed from the ground-up incorporating the principles of a Conscious Place, Waterside, will feature community spaces, free amenities, and eco-conscious features like rainwater reclamation and solar charging for electric cars and cell phones. All public aspects of the Conscious Place are free to the user with no requirement to shop or spend money at the surrounding retailers. The end results are feature-laden public spaces that are funded by the private sector, which stems from our belief in the core tenets of Conscious Capitalism.

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“Our multi-person solar charging stations combine the low-tech benefit of a community table with the typically-commoditized opportunity to charge your phone or laptop,” Montesi says of the idea behind aRefilling Station WiFi-enabled, plugged-in outdoor area. We can’t force people to unplug, but we can encourage them to share a bench with a stranger and educate themselves about alternative energy. We also provide free chilled, filtered water to encourage the use of reusable water bottles. Friendly reminders and incentives help reinforce other sustainable habits like using reusable shopping bags. One of the goals of a Conscious Place is education and inspiration, and that extends beyond the director visitor benefits. Free solar energy and rainwater landscaping irrigation spark the imagination and start conversations about the ways we can rethink what’s possible. They also reduce the environmental impact of bringing great new places to the communities we build in, which is a demonstration of how we view the environment as one of our stakeholders. Conscious Places care about their neighbors whether they’re on-site or never visit.

MLK QuotesBeyond the built environment, we aim to inspire through blank slates and curated sharing alike. Community message boards, free reservable meeting spaces, and organized events provide a space for public expression, while some of our favorite quotes offer wisdom and inspiration from others. Montesi believes that, “The information station is somewhat disruptive. It is being used to entertain as well as educate and inspire with content such as famous inspiring speeches and classic witticisms.” We gain wisdom from Martin Luther King Jr. and Yogi Berra alike, ultimately aiming to inspire and be inspired by the people who use our spaces. If we can share words that make us think and make us laugh, the Conscious Place becomes an idea that gets taken home when people leave, and that’s the hallmark of an impactful third place.

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In the coming weeks, we’ll share more about the ways Conscious Places engage with their communities, from hiring local artists to use found objects for integral artistic and informational displays to the events that take place in the public spaces to the heritage oak trees we relocated. It is our hope that we can collaborate with members of every community to continue to refine what it means for a place to be conscious. Join the conversation and stay tuned for what’s next. We can’t wait to share it with you.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CONSCIOUS PLACE & WATERSIDE

Global Fashion Retailer H&M Expands in Texas

PRESS INFORMATION
For Immediate Release
04.16.15

h&mGLOBAL FASHION RETAILER H&M EXPANDS IN TEXAS

H&M to Open Location at Premier Shopping Destination, Uptown Village at Cedar Hill

H & M, Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M), one of the world’s largest fashion retailers famous for offering fashion-forward apparel at affordable prices, is thrilled to announce a new location in Cedar Hill, Texas. Measuring approximately 21,000 square feet, the new location at Uptown Village at Cedar Hill is set to open in the fall of 2015 and will add to the fourteen current locations in the state of Texas.

The new H&M location will offer Cedar Hill residents a one stop shopping destination for quality clothing for the whole family, with collections ranging from ladies and men to separate “store within a store” section for accessories and its plus sized line, H&M +. The Uptown Village at Cedar Hill location will also carry H&M’s children’s collection, from newborn to fourteen years. The breadth and variety of H&M collections make it easier for any consumer to find suitable products, no matter his or her style or wardrobe needs. With an emphasis on design, quality, and sustainability, H&M offers inspiring, high fashion at an unbeatable value.

H&M prides itself on its support of local economies by adding jobs with each new location. As a continuously expanding brand, H&M constantly searches for new talent to grow with the company. With the opening of the Uptown Village at Cedar Hill store, H&M is proud to add about 25 people to the current, ever-expanding total of approximately 15,000 US employees. The brand continues to grow in both new and existing markets while remaining focused on quality, high profitability, and sustainability. For available job opportunities, please visit careers.hm.com.

Sustainability is an integral part of H&M; the brand is actively working to ensure that both new and existing stores are sustainable in the long term. Initiatives include recycling waste, utilizing water and energy efficient systems, and selecting environmentally responsible materials such as certified wood and fabrics.

Since H&M opened the doors to its first US store on New York’s Fifth Avenue 15 years ago, the US has been one of the retailer’s most successful markets. H&M is proud to offer US consumers quality fashion at competitive prices at its 361 locations across the country, and looks forward to continued expansion at the best properties worldwide.

Contacts:
Jennifer Ward
Telephone: (646) 336-3200
Patrick Shaner
Telephone: (212) 206-7447

 

Terry Montesi: Universal Strategies for Reinventing Retail

DMagazine: Real Estate Daily Blog
By: Terry Montesi, CEO Trademark Property Co.

We’ve all seen it happen, even in our own community. A once-thriving retail center begins to look a little rough around the edges, a few empty store windows start to pop up, and the parking lot doesn’t seem to be as full as it used to be. The place that was once the hub of neighborhood activity, has lost its spark.DMagazineLogo

It’s a sign of one of the biggest mistakes a retail center can make: not committing to evolve. We believe retail properties must constantly reinvent themselves to maintain their relevance.

From an investor’s prospective, much opportunity lies in rejuvenating struggling retail properties, but how does one go about reinventing a retail property? Where do you start? What should be changed? What should be added?

Those of us in the business know that the “if you build it, they will come” mindset usually doesn’t stand true when it comes to real estate. Engaging the community and other stakeholders is key to understanding how to unlock the hidden potential in retail and mixed-use properties. After all, these are the people who shop, work, eat, and live at your property and will form the important brand perception.

This collaborative development model is appropriate because one size doesn’t fit all. Retail and mixed-used properties must be custom-tailored to the community and the market, and there are a handful of specific considerations that should be taken into account when determining how to accomplish this.

Consideration 1: What’s in a Name?

A name change or rebrand can be a big hurdle to overcome from a brand recognition standpoint, but the payoff can be substantial: A new name or brand enhances the opportunity to completely redefine the property moving forward.  At Hillside Village, formerly Uptown Village at Cedar Hill, our research showed that “Village” resonated with customers, but “Uptown” was confusing to the broader trade area.

To combat this confusion, while maintaining the community connection, we decided to rename the project Hillside Village, utilizing “Hillside” as an homage to the area’s topography.

Conversely, a name change can do more harm than good, so research is important.

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Consideration 2: Evaluating Tenant Mix

If the center is experiencing vacancy, there’s usually a reason. Perhaps the market has changed, or maybe the original merchandising missed the mark. Use market research to understand the demographics and the community to tell you where they want to shop and then decide how to remerchandise. At Hillside Village, we heard customers calling for fashion forward tenants at an affordable price point. Our leasing team went to work, and as a result, H&M and Charlotte Russe will open at the property in this fall.

Consideration 3: Creating an Experience

As part of Trademark’s “Conscious Place” initiative, we strive to create spaces that educate, inspire, and engage stakeholders. We accomplish this through unique-to-each-location attributes such as public art, environmentally-friendly initiatives, educational opportunities, inspirational quotes, events, interesting public spaces, a strategic leasing plan, and a commitment to the local and artisan, and entrepreneurs.

At Watter’s Creek, for example, we’re implementing evolutionary techniques at a property that is less than a decade old. We’ve added public art, fountains, green space, a book-sharing program for children, a car-charging station, and a water bottle-refill station, all with the goal of ensuring that the property stays relevant amongst newer competitors.

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Consideration 4: The Physical Environment

Look around! Is the built environment inhibiting the property’s success? Simple changes like façade changes or upgrades, added amenities, public space re-designs, and other updates can make a big difference in customer experience.

At the Shops at Highland Village, we’ve just broken ground on a multi-million dollar renovation that features enhanced common area and public space improvements, upgraded landscaping, new amenities for adults and children, updated façades, public art, and new signage throughout the property. One of the main elements of this plan is demolition of a passive public space (an existing obelisk and fountain) in the center of the property to make way for an active central common area featuring a bocce ball court, community promotion shed, outdoor fireplace, shaded seating and more. In addition, we are enhancing access and adding shaded seating as well as other amenities to a second existing public space anchored by a pop-up fountain.

Victory Park is another great example of how design can impact performance. The development’s original design was closed off, cold, sterile, and unfinished. After a series of design charrettes and intense community engagement, Trademark put together a list of five initiatives to guide redevelopment. Already, we’ve added a new signalized intersection and crosswalk at Olive Street and Victory Park Lane, and, on Victory Park Lane, we’ve removed existing medians, widened sidewalks to accommodate large outdoor patios, installed new trees and pot corrals, added raised mid-block crosswalks, and put in place making elements like planters, benches and light poles with banners.

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Next up, we’re installing new directories, seating and landscaping and implementing a public art program. In addition, Houston Street and Victory Avenue will be converted to two-way traffic with dedicated bike lanes on Houston Street and shared bike lanes on Victory Avenue by the end of 2015.

We’ve have already seen exciting results from a leasing standpoint: Cinépolis USA, a new anchor tenant, will open an eight-screen, 700-seat theatre, and many more merchant announcements are soon to come.

When it comes to reinventing retail, the above considerations are universal. It’s important to engage customers and stakeholders, and combine that information with place-making experience to help properties continually evolve and grow—a strategy we believe ensures long-term success.

CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE

First ground-up Conscious Place development for Texas developer

Chain Store Age
Melonie Messina

Fort Worth, Texas — Trademark Property Co. announced its Waterside mixed-use development, located in Fort Worth, Texas, will be the first ground-up project developed as part of Trademark’s Conscious Place initiative; a stakeholder-driven development model that aims to ensure that its properties are more than just places of commerce, but also places of community and meaning. In support of this initiative, all aspects of Waterside’s development are being evaluated for their potential to educate, inspire and engage stakeholders; commitment to sustainability; and connection to the local community.

Also announced was the signing of eight new tenants to Waterside, which will be anchored by Whole Foods Market: Taco Diner, Zoës Kitchen, Blaze Pizza, Sleep Train, Massage Heights, Envy Nails, Amazing Lash Studio and Pretty Kitty. The center is currently under construction with a projected opening of phase one in spring 2016.

“As our flagship Conscious Place development, Waterside will be more than just a dynamic district for shopping, leisure activities, offices, hotel and residential living. It will address guests’ aspirations and desire for meaning and purpose by engaging them through details, amenities, initiatives, and hospitality that are not seen in typical retail environments. We look forward to announcing a number of other great merchants in the coming weeks” said Terry Montesi, Trademark CEO.

Planned Conscious Place elements include The Grove, a vibrant public space designed around several heritage trees that will feature micro-restaurants by local entrepreneurs, outdoor seating venues, public art incorporating the site’s history and the re-use of existing assets, a community pavilion, a community promotion shed, and activity areas. Additional Conscious Place elements will include an extension of the Trinity Trails, consisting of a trailhead with a bicycle repair and air station, chilled filtered water for re-fillable bottles, an internal trail system, a signature bridge, canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking, an urban garden, and a riverfront amphitheater, to name a few.

At full build out, Waterside will be a walkable district including 200,000 sq. ft. of retail space and riverside restaurants, 800 multi-family residential units, two to three hotels, and potential for additional single-family housing.

CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE

 

Trademark Property Co. Signs Eight New Tenants for Waterside

FORT WORTH, Texas (Aug. 5, 2015) – Trademark Property Co. has announced eight new tenants at its 63-acre Waterside mixed-use development, currently under construction at Bryant Irvin Road and Arborlawn Drive, along the Trinity River. More than 20,000 square feet of new retail and restaurants, along with anchor tenant Whole Foods Market, will open as part of the center’s first phase including:

  • Taco Diner, a Mexico City-style taqueria serving traditional comfort and street food, will open a 3,900-square-foot restaurant, its second Forth Worth location.
  • Zoës Kitchen, a fast casual restaurant concept serving a distinct menu of fresh, wholesome, Mediterranean inspired dishes delivered with Southern hospitality, will open a 2,800-square-foot restaurant, which will be the concept’s second location in Fort Worth.
  • Blaze Pizza, a counter-serve pizzeria featuring fresh, made-from-scratch dough, healthful, artisanal ingredients flash fired to crisp perfection, will make its Fort Worth debut with a 2,800-square-foot restaurant at Waterside.
  • Sleep Train, a top mattress retailer, will introduce its new prototype store at its 3,602-square-foot Waterside location.

The lineup of new tenants also includes quality service users, Massage Heights, Envy Nails, Amazing Lash Studio and Pretty Kitty.

“We are thrilled to announce these retailers and restaurants as part of our mix at Waterside,” said Terry Montesi, Trademark CEO. “As our flagship Conscious Place development, Waterside will be more than just a dynamic district for shopping, leisure activities, offices, hotel and residential living. It will address guests’ aspirations and desire for meaning and purpose by engaging them through details, amenities, initiatives, and hospitality that are not seen in typical retail environments. We look forward to announcing a number of other great merchants in the coming weeks.”

Waterside is the first ground-up project developed as part of Trademark’s Conscious Place initiative, a stakeholder-driven development model that aims to ensure that its properties are more than just places of commerce, but also places of community and meaning. In support of this initiative, all aspects of Waterside’s development are being evaluated for their potential to educate, inspire and engage stakeholders; commitment to sustainability; and connection to the local community.

Planned Conscious Place elements include The Grove, a vibrant public space designed around several heritage trees that will feature micro-restaurants by local entrepreneurs, outdoor seating venues, public art incorporating the site’s history and the re-use of existing assets, a community pavilion, a community promotion shed, and activity areas. Additional Conscious Place elements will include an extension of the Trinity Trails, consisting of a trailhead with a bicycle repair and air station, chilled filtered water for re-fillable bottles, an internal trail system, a signature bridge, canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking, an urban garden, and a riverfront amphitheater, to name a few.

Waterside broke ground on its first phase of development in 2014 and announced its first anchor tenant: a 45,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, the first in Fort Worth. To date, phase I work has centered on utility and street work, traffic light installation on Arborlawn Drive and Recreation Drive, and structural and pavement work for retail and Whole Foods Market. Phase I is slated for completion in late spring 2016 and will include Whole Foods Market, retail, restaurants, and 375 high-end, multifamily rental homes built by Transwestern Development Company.

At full build out, Waterside will be a walkable, dynamic district including 200,000 square feet of retail space and riverside restaurants, 800 multifamily residential units, two to three hotels, and potential for additional high density single family housing, much of which will be situated along the Trinity River.

For the latest updates on openings and construction, visit watersidefw.com or follow Waterside on Facebook and Twitter.