Engagement with the community doesn’t really ever stop. Beyond providing a great experience and real estate for the various components of a mixed-use project, developers said social engagement will help owners differentiate and elevate their projects.
Ralph Ireland, vice president of development and operations at Tavistock Development, said that at his firm’s Lake Nona master-planned development in Orlando, there are more than 1,000 events held per year.
“The programming features everything from a guitarist performing at the corner of a restaurant to a 5,000-person 5K race,” said Ireland. “That begets other events that we don’t even do anymore, it’s handled by the organizations that form within the community. It becomes theirs.”
“It’s important to constantly have these projects programmed,” added Paul Neuroth, senior vice president of leasing at Birmingham, Alabama-based Bayer Properties. “So much good comes out of it. I would highly recommend hiring a dedicated, talented social media and event planner.”
Defining success is a moving target for developers depending on their corporate strategy. Some are merchant builders and if they have a fully leased asset that’s attracting both tenants and investors, that’s a major victory. For others, success is measured by how the community interacts with the project long-term.