Little would like to articulate its position on retail development and design and offer some challenges in the spirit of improvement. These five issues may add to an already rich dialogue and provide insights into how we think.
Powerful Places assure the attraction of great tenants and their customers. Since people visit and live in interesting places that utilize compelling image making systems, make sure the scale of outdoor spaces is dense enough to provide human interest. People make instant decisions based on visual stimuli. And while the visage of their favorite store's sign may trigger a response, often their decision goes beyond the obvious. So make your place visually strong at the get-go.
Place Branding goes way beyond a name, logo or theme. A brand is a promise of the experience any person can expect when he or she comes in contact with it. Offer residents and visitors an experience that suits their needs as well as a variety of compatible experiences.
Authenticity vs. Pretentious should be no contest. Pretentious places date themselves too quickly and there is no such thing as timeless. The development team needs to find a way to creatively harvest the true nature of the place they're building and resist replication at all costs.
Experiences & Happenings need to be balanced. Happenings occur as an event, but do not make a viable living or visit experience in and of themselves. Experiences, including outdoor recreation and people watching, should be cast with a backdrop of architectural interest and diversity.
New Suburbanism claims integration into its community yet is sprawl in disguise. Our challenge is to find opportunities to gentrify locales that have existing infrastructure and, when these locations are not viable, assure that the development is completely connected to the pattern of development surrounding the site.
5815 Westpark Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217
Size of Firm: 300+
Year Established: 1964
Key Contacts: Bruce A. Barteldt, Jr., AIA, LEED® AP, National Retail Studio Principal Raleigh J. Cline, AIA, LEED® AP, Mixed-Use/Marketplaces Studio Principal