Reviving a retailcan have a powerful impact beyond the cash register. In fact, Little can attest to retail's ability to kick-start the revitalization of an entire business district.
Case in point: Rock Hill Galleria. Mall owner Cypress Equities saw an opportunity to turn the underperforming mall around and brought Little in to reposition the outdated public spaces. In addition to successfully attracting targeted consumers to the mall, the resulting interior renovations dramatically impacted new tenantand increased sales.
But then the effect of updating the mall went right out the door. Little went beyond the renewed mall interior and prompted plans to integrate the streets, sidewalks, off ramps and surrounding retail district within the same revitalization effort. “We had the potential to impact the larger picture and expand the mall's positive influence,” says Bruce Barteldt, national retail studio principal for Little. “Instead of repositioning just a mall, we set out to rejuvenate an entire district. It was one of those ‘a-ha!’ moments when you truly see beyond a single slice to the whole pie.”
Plans are under way to update the mall entrance, including the development of street-side restaurants adjacent to a new entry avenue. Little is working closely on this endeavor with the city government, which jumped at the opportunity to revitalize the entire adjacent commercial corridor. This expanded effort unites private and public interests toward a common goal that will ultimately benefit the surrounding community.
“Many projects have these hidden opportunities,” says Barteldt. “It's our job to bring them to the table and see how far the benefits can reach. Each piece, although seemingly unrelated at first, will build synergy off one another and encourage further interaction with the community.”
5815 Westpark Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217
Web site: www.littleonline.com
Size of Firm: 275
Year Established: 1964
Key Contacts: Bruce A. Barteldt, Jr., AIA — National Retail Studio Principal
Raleigh J. Cline, AIA — Mixed-Use/Marketplaces Studio Principal