Filling multiple retail vacancies at the same time can help address these problems. Easier said than done…but a District-Wide Retail Open House is a good tool to help you market and fill multiple spaces at once. Two communities I have worked with recently have chosen to go this route. In
Central Fulton Street
So, how does a District-Wide Retail Open House work?
In the case of PACC, the event started with a welcome reception at a local restaurant that allowed property owners and potential business owners to network. A packet was handed out to all participants that included: an event flyer, a handout that included information on every available site, including address, square footage, rent/lease rate and contact information for the broker or landlord. PACC had also recently completed a MetroEdge market analysis, and these market profile summaries were distributed to participants. The profiles highlighted retail categories with market potential, including significant demand in general merchandise, grocery stores and full-service restaurants. The message to attendees? The market in and around
The main focus of the event was the self-guided tour of available properties, which began after the mid-morning reception and ran until 7:30 pm. During this time, prospective tenants were provided with maps and property specifications and were invited to visit the 16 retail-ready spaces. The owners of these spaces rolled-up their gates and were available during the day to meet prospective tenants and discuss possible lease terms.
Local artists also enlivened several vacant storefronts during this event by converting the vacant spaces into one-day art galleries and performance spaces for passers-by to enjoy. These installations combined paintings, fashion, music and dance to invite visitors into the spaces and present different interpretations of the space's potential.
Reflecting on the event, Dale Charles, PACC's Director of Economic Development says, "We see our Open House on Thursday as a pilot project that created a strong foundation to make this a regular event."