Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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LANDSCAPING 320 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 osity from passersby about the food being served, while also providing customers with a view overlooking garden areas. This allows seated restaurant guests to enjoy the view around them and still re- main separate from the action. For example, at Pacific City, a 191,000-square-foot retail center along the Pacific Coast in Huntington Beach, California, Lifescapes designed a number of outdoor gathering areas that are stra- tegically oriented toward the ocean and adjacent to major restaurants, allowing customers waiting for their reservation to admire the coastal view. This view of the landscaped areas is also available to seated guests at the restaurants. Another landscape design feature that added value at Pacific City was the in- troduction of herb gardens near major restaurants. This addition reflected the restaurants' commitment to incorporat- ing the freshest ingredients in their food offerings, and provided a visual incentive that draws consumers into each food venue. INTEGRATING SOCIAL HUBS THROUGH LANDSCAPING Retail owners can add additional value to a shopping center by using landscap- ing to create community areas or social hubs throughout the center. By creating "mini-destinations" through landscaping, retail owners can promote circulation and encourage discovery of shops and restau- rants, thereby encouraging customers to linger at the property. For example, at The Point, an upscale lifestyle shopping center in El Segundo, California, we strategically designed a series of outdoor gathering spaces sur- rounded by lush landscaping that creat- ed intimate and beautiful environments where visitors can gather and socialize. These environments provide shoppers with opportunities to connect with friends and family, which is instrumental in increasing a shopper's length of stay and establishing an emotional connection that encourages repeat visits. The bottom line is this: while retail owners continue to seek new ways to at- tract consumers, it's important to remem- ber that landscape design plays a crucial role in elevating the customer experience, which ultimately drives revenue for own- ers. In the words of one of our national clients, "These days, the landscaped envi- ronment is a must have amenity, or quite frankly, you're toast." SCB Julie Brinkerhoff Jacobs is president of Lifescapes International, Inc., based in Newport Beach, California. Planters, like those at The Point in El Segundo, California, provide landscaping where planted landscaping cannot. The District at Green Valley Ranch added landscaping to make customers feel welcome. Restaurants, especially, benefit from added landscaping. Courtesy of Eric Figge Courtesy of Vestar

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