November 14, 2018
The heart of each of our centers is the local community whose patronage keeps our retail stores, gourmet restaurants, and lively entertainment spaces alive. Brookfield Properties understands that shopping means more than just access to great brands. It’s about connecting and engaging with the local community who consistently give us their loyalty, trust and support.
As the retail landscape continues to evolve, we are constantly thinking of ways to utilize our spaces for community engagement opportunities. All areas of our centers, including outdoor lawn spaces and indoor courtyards, offer opportunities to engage the local community and create meaningful relationships.
Outdoor lawn spaces have been key in helping us achieve this goal. Oakbrook Center’s lawn area opened in 2014 and began inviting the community to its free, family-friendly Wednesday night movie series. The lawn welcomes guests to bring blankets, snacks, or dinner from one of the center’s dining options. The lawn has also welcomed other activations like the Father’s Day Car Show, exercise classes on the green, and a new music series titled “unplugged." The goal of these diverse community events is to engage community members with a wide range of interests. Whether you are a movie buff, fitness fanatic, foodie or music fan, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.
Baybrook Mall in Friendswood, Texas utilizes its outdoor lawn to engage with its local community as well. Organizing yoga events like Garden Om’, a music series titled Live From the Lawn, and various family movie nights, Baybrook Mall understands that its shoppers are looking for unique opportunities that go beyond a typical shopping experience. Most recently, this mall drew in the attention of families when they opened their lawn to NASA, who offered kids an outer-space experience, bringing in a moon rock and astronaut suit to put on display.
Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest outdoor shopping center located in Honolulu, Hawaii, hosts an annual 4th of July celebration that has been engaging the community for the past 27 years. “Each year, Ala Moana Center’s annual fireworks celebration brings island families together, as well as visitors, providing a truly memorable experience that will last for years to come," says Scott Creel, Senior Marketing Manager at Ala Moana Center.
Every summer, the community looks forward to the celebration’s impressive firework display which launches from three separate platforms at Ala Moana Beach Park. The 5-day event also features a 20% Savings Pass valid at participating merchants, a special sweepstakes and live entertainment.
Utilizing the space within our centers gives us the opportunity to take our local community engagement to the next level and create engaging spaces for families to meet other members of the community and enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment.
Beachwood Place in Beachwood, Ohio offered Earth Day programs that gave shoppers a succulent as a gift with purchase, a Mother’s Day self-care Saturday with facials, makeups and sweepstakes, and a Father’s Day event featuring a visit from the Cleveland Indians mascot.
Some retail centers, such as The Mall in Columbia in Columbia, Maryland, act as community gathering places. With organic foot traffic bringing lots of visitors to the area there are lots of opportunities to engage local shoppers. Hosting community events such as art fairs for children, cocktail crawls, the kick-off to the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure and the annual installation of a Poinsettia tree, ensures that the community has access to opportunities that will not only entertain them, but also enrich their lives.
Our commitment to community engagement isn’t just limited to families and shoppers, it includes local community businesses as well.
Oakbrook Center’s lawn movie series was a wonderful opportunity to engage community families as well as community businesses. “While the initial goal of the movie series was to engage families, Oakbrook took the program a step further and enhanced it to make a community-engaged event” said Suzanne Cook-Beres, Property Management Associate at Oakbrook Mall. By partnering with local companies such as City Ninja Gym and the School of Rock to promote movies like LEGO Ninjago Movie and Coco, Oakbrook center was able to engage families while simultaneously creating awareness of local services, further strengthening community connections.
Community events at our properties continue to grow and foster meaningful relationships between local shoppers, families, businesses, and retailers alike. We are constantly innovating and discovering new ways for our properties to engage, excite and inspire and we invite you to be a part of our community.