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Rice Village renovations begin

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Houston Chronicle
Nancy Sarnoff | 10/6/2015

The owner of a Rice Village shopping center is launching the first phase of a renovation and rebranding effort it announced late last year to remake the suburban-style property formerly known as the Village Arcade.

The initial changes will include a new parking management system, street and storefront enhancements, outdoor seating, public art and landscaping. Efforts will focus on improvements to the southwest portion of the village, along University Boulevard and Kelvin Drive.

The Village Arcade buildings have been rebranded as Rice Village and a new logo will be used throughout the district.

Rice University, which owns the 296,000-square-foot property, hired Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Co. to manage center.

In a statement Tuesday, Trademark described what led up to the redevelopment’s launch:

Trademark started the overall renovation process by conducting in-depth design charrettes with Rice Village owners, placemakers and architects in which they studied landscape, streetscape, hardscape, façades and environmental graphics. Trademark then conducted extensive customer and market research with a leading research firm and consulted with retailers. This research provided the background necessary to design and plan Phase I with the goal of improving the overall shopping experience at the buildings formerly known as Village Arcade in sync with the desires of the local market.

Tommy Miller, managing director and chief investment officer of Trademark, elaborated in the statement:

Trademark has put a lot of thought and research into the evolution of this cherished shopping district for the next generation of shoppers and retailers. After consulting with industry leaders and listening to the community, we believe that these updates will create a more welcoming environment. We want to improve our shoppers’ overall experience – from the time they arrive on property, with better parking options and improved building design, to when they stroll on foot to explore the national, regional and local shops and restaurants offerings, to when they stop to gather with friends in the comfortable seating areas.

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