Shopping Centers Today

OCT 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 / S C T 29 greater understanding of the history of the center itself," he said. "With the history comes a lot of chemistry that has been there for a long time and [an eort] to understand what dierent tenants meant to dierent people, and how it worked within the whole fabric or operation of the shopping center." e biggest challenge in the redevelopment was making a strong connection with the local community, notes Darnall. "We had to understand what was important and what wasn't important to the communities that shop the shopping center," he said. "We also had to make some hard decisions about the tenants by stepping back and taking a holistic view." Focusing on the tenant mix was the most important element in the redevelopment, Darnall says. e food component was essentially lacking, and Edens spent a lot of time re ning the mix to include local, regional and national culinary concepts and to help extend Park Road's shopping hours. One xture is a classic soda shop that has been under the same ownership for the past 18 years. "e minute word got out that we bought the shopping center, a friend of mine in the industry rather than competitive. "Early on, that proved challenging, but now I think we've got a very good, solid fashion mix, and the fashion retailers do a lot of business," said Darnall. e puzzle's nal piece is the opening in January of the 25,000- square-foot AMC Park Terrace movie theater, which is to replace the venerated Regal Park Terrace. Some advice from Darnall to owner-developers in similar situations: "If you are ever lucky enough to acquire something that has been in the community for a long time," he said, "study the history of the center, and understand what it means to the people around it. I think that will provide a much better product going down the road." Edens also makes sure to work with local retailers on marketing and merchandising. "Take your time and curate good locals," said Darnall, "because that, really, at the end of the day, is what is most interesting to the shoppers around them." Q called me up and said he was excited for us, but that if we did anything to that soda shop we would be dead, and people would kill us." Edens thought it best to heed the advice, and the rm also held onto one other long-time, popular tenant: a classic Irish pub called Sir Edmond Halley's. In terms of new oerings, Darnall cites some fast- casual purveyors, including a Burtons Grill & Bar, the Cantina 1511 Mexican restaurant, a Midwood Smokehouse barbecue restaurant and a Shake Shack. Apart from the food component, one of the center's most beloved core tenants is the locally owned Blackhawk Hardware, a 50,000-square-foot store in the former Penney space. Two- thirds of Blackhawk's customers are women, notes Darnall, so the product mix skews heavily toward home goods. ere is also a dance studio that has operated there for years, plus the Howren Music store, a Dolce Lusso Salon & Spa and the classic Suárez Bakery. Fashion was another component requiring prudent overhaul: Park Road is only three miles from the Simon-owned SouthPark mall, one of the largest and most frequented malls in the Southeast, so the Park Road fashion mix had to be made complementary TIMELINE 1956 Park Road Shopping Center opens as the rst open-air shopping center in Charlotte 1967 Porter Byrum buys the center and owns and manages it for 44 years 2011 Byrum donates the center to three universities 2011 Edens buys the center from those schools 2014 Regal Cinemas digs up a 50-year time capsule it had buried in 1964 at the opening of the Regal Park Terrace January 2019 AMC Theatres is to open the AMC Park Terrace The tenant mix was the most important element in the redevelopment

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