The Street Sends Love By Mail


129streetThere’s nothing like opening the mailbox and finding something inside to make you smile. Who wouldn’t want a good, old-fashioned love letter? Not something a shopping center can really provide, but perhaps something one can inspire.

That’s the gamble being taken by The Street with this utterly adorable Valentine’s Day promotion. The center is printing up an 11-part postcard series entitled Love from The Street. Each card features a beautiful, romantic winter image (some of which just so happen to prominently feature the center). WS Development will be distributing the cards to twelve center retailers, where shoppers can discover, collect, and —most importantly—mail them to their loved ones.

The postcards are not only free, they include postage as well. All shoppers have to do is come up with a lovely sentiment, and they’ll be putting a smile on someone’s face in no time. The center is even setting up Valentine’s Day mailboxes to collect the cards. From there, The Street will help Cupid out by dropping them off at the post office.

Rumor has it that retailers may also be planning to send a few love notes of their own to their favorite customers as part of the campaign.

The Street will be doing the same with a special set of Perfect Date Night cards, sending them to select shoppers. The cards include checkbox prompts to help those shoppers build a playful invitation for a date at The Street. “Dear Hunny Bunny,” one might begin, “please join me at our favorite spot: Bernard’s. After dinner we can chill out at Pinkberry.”

On the reverse are some helpful suggestions for date night prep, and an offer for free cupcakes. Something tells us the latter might just convince shoppers to head out on a Valentine’s date even if they’re going solo.

You can check out some of these clever postcards on our Facebook page.


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On the Move: Rajesh Gulati


129rajeshBaltimore-based firm DDG is known for its work in some outstanding centers. Guatamala City’s Portales was one of the firm’s architectural design, brand identity and graphics projects, and the center won the 2013 ICSC Latin America Shopping Center Award. The company has also worked on major centers around the world, including Pondok Indah in Jakarta, Turkey’s Istinye Park and more. Now DDG is recognizing the hard work of one of its partners, Rajesh Gulati, by naming him Director of Planning.

“Raj’s appreciation for the human design element and his understanding of the organic quality of a space and how cities, towns, and communities evolve over time have helped him to create groundbreaking, award-winning design projects that capture a definitive sense of connection, ultimately becoming memorable destinations,” said DDG Chairman, CEO, and President Ahsin Rasheed. “We are very fortunate to have Raj play such an integral role at DDG.”

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture in 1985 from New Delhi, Gulati worked briefly for a firm in India before moving to the U.S. in 1987. He earned a Master of Architecture and Urban Design Degree at the University of Texas in Austin, where he studied under renowned American architect Charles Moore. Gulati joined DDG in 1992.

Gulati’s broad experience, including his participation in Charles Moore’s architectural field trips, exposed him to places and designs that still resonate through his work. His influences range from the dusty grandeur of Mexican cities and architectural landmarks to the historic towns of India to small communities across the American Southwest.

Congratulations on the new role, Rajesh.

Have you recently taken on a new position or welcomed a vital new team member? Let us know so we can feature your story in our next On the Move.


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New Zealand Firm Keeps Outdoor Center Cool in the Desert


129desertOutdoor shopping centers are getting more popular all the time, but they tend to cluster in areas that are pretty temperate. After all, the fun of wandering around outside is diminished if you need to wear four layers just to keep from freezing—or if you can’t step outside without baking in the sun.

Engineering firm Aurecon developed something of a fix: an urban comfort assessment model which lets them predict the influence of the elements on an outdoor region. It was originally created in Christchurch, where urban outdoor developments hoped to keep visitors warm on chillier days. Now it’s being used in a very different manner, as Reseller News explains:

“The brief from the Middle East developers to Aurecon was to know whether, by introducing shading and mechanical cooling, they could make outdoor conditions comfortable during the hottest times of the year, which meant having conditions that felt more like 38ºC rather than 50ºC.

The shopping centre is designed to create an outdoor, open-to-the-sky retail/dining destination, replicating the “souk” atmosphere in a modern aspect – it will accommodate a total retail area of around 30,000m2 and will be divided into three modules of approximately 10,000m2.

Mike Green, Engineering Meteorologist for Aurecon, says that there was a certain irony in that the modelling tool developed to identify and mitigate against cold areas, was now being used on the other side of the world for the opposite reason. ‘Spurred by the opportunities with the redevelopment of Christchurch following the earthquakes, we created an urban comfort model that could help in the design of a building or larger precincts and its surrounding areas to indicate the level of comfort people would experience when visiting that area,’ he says.

‘When we were creating this model we were focusing more on protecting people from the cool winds often experienced in New Zealand, rather than the searing 50ºC plus temperatures experienced in the Middle East and the application of our software in relation to an outdoor shopping centre.'”


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CBL’s Stephen D. Lebovitz Nominated for ICSC Chair


129lebovitzIt won’t be confirmed until ICSC’s annual meeting at RECon in May, but it looks as though next ICSC chairman will be Stephen D. Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.

Lebovitz follows in his father’s footsteps, as Charles B. Lebovitz served as ICSC chairman during the 1996-1997 term. Opting not to wait for a perfect 20 year gap, the Board of Trustees nominated the younger Lebovitz during its midwinter meeting.

Of course, as he points out, the industry was significantly different 19 years ago. “At the time my dad was chairman, there was still a wave of new development,” Lebovitz said. “I don’t think any of us had heard of Amazon then.”

“Under Stephen’s skillful leadership, we have watched CBL grow and prosper, even during some very challenging economic times,” said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC’s president and CEO. “ICSC has similarly benefited from his insights and extraordinary energy. I can’t think of anyone more suited to leading our organization in the coming year.”

As chairman, he would succeed Robert F. Welanetz, CRX, CSM, global retail real estate adviser to The Blackstone Group.

Want to know more about this would-be ICSC chairman? The organization has a full profile up for your perusal.


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The Octagon Treats Everyone for Valentine’s Day


129octagonMost Valentine’s Day events skew a bit more towards couples—a reasonable choice, but what about the single shoppers?

The Octagon might just have a plan that suits both: a Valentine’s Day gift fair that focuses on health, luxury, and tasty foods. It’s brought to the center by Feel Fab! Look Fabulous!, a regular part of The Octagon’s events.

Shoppers can spend the day perusing a variety of local retailers that focus on fashion, comfort and well-being. The center is also bringing in a beauty and holistic therapist who will provide shoppers with soothing head massages and reflexology. Just the thing to prepare for a date night—or to forget about romantic woes.

Visitors will also be treated to a selection of tempting treats: hot chocolate and delicious home-baked cupcakes, Caribbean soul food, sugary sweets and even a cake decorating workshop. Whether shoppers want to treat themselves or their partners, they’re covered.

A beautiful ice sculpture will also be on display throughout the day. As it slowly melts away, shoppers will be invited to guess just how long it will take to disappear completely. The entrant who’s closest to getting it right will win a stunning diamond ring worth £600.

Rose Holden, co-founder of Feel Fab! Look Fabulous!, said, “It’s lovely to be welcomed back to The Octagon again and we can’t wait for the event to take place. Our previous 2014 events proved to be highly successful and we anticipate that the upcoming Valentine’s Day Gift Fair will be just as well attended. The fair will be a great place for both couples and those looking to treat themselves to a Valentine’s gift to find all sorts of spectacular treats and so I encourage everyone in the local community to come along and see what’s awaiting them.”


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