While mixed-use developments often share a broad definition, it’s rare that they look the same or incorporate exactly the same uses. Unique locations, markets, demographics, development vision, available land, and topographies are some of the factors that contribute to making them different. These varying factors make building successful mixed-use environments distinctive for virtually every project.
Whatever the mix, experts agree that dynamic public space, interesting architecture, and the right mix of retail, food, and entertainment and increasingly medical and business offerings are key ingredients for success.
However, there’s a vital element for success that’s as important than any of the above—creating places where people can connect.
Places Where People Can Connect
“Shopping is no longer only about the transaction. Instead, it is about creating an atmosphere and experience,” wrote Tom McGee, President & CEO of ICSC, in a recent Wall Street Journal post titled How Malls Will Survive in the Age of Amazon.
Where do people want to connect today? Not just any place. People want a place where they have choices – where they can do more than one thing depending on how they feel or who they’re with. On any given day, the consumer may be seeking an experience that includes shopping and having a fun, lively experience shared with friends, family or colleagues. Or, they may want an opportunity to relax, grab a coffee, and reflect on the day. It’s about balancing the uses with the customer experience in mind.
At The Point, Sam Park & Co. has struck an ideal balance among retail, hotel, cinema, grocery, medical office, and restaurants. All while incorporating components that encourage people to interact and connect.
Hotels: Connection Spots & Retail Traffic Driver
Courtyard Marriott, which opened at The Point in May, has already proven to be a place people connect and an impactful driver of retail traffic. Courtyard guests at The Point frequently make use of its restaurant and bar as well as its inviting outdoor seating areas where wifi is available throughout the hotel property.
And, with the hotel consistently booked to capacity, Starbucks at The Point has seen a significant flow of customers from the hotel as they arrive throughout the week. These include business people visiting the I-495 “Think Belt” and its many technology companies such as IBM, Red Hat, Cisco, and Juniper Networks, as well as families attending reunions and groups gathering for wedding parties on the weekends. In fact, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt has created a special partnership with Courtyard offering discounts to the many sports teams and groups that stay at the hotel for special events.
Cinemas Are Blockbuster Connectors
Cinemas provide another shot of energy and a large scale gathering place at mixed-use environments. As visitors to Legacy Place, Patriot Place, and The Street in Chestnut Hill know, a cinema positioned among retail and restaurants adds an unrivaled energy to the customer experience.
At The Point, O’Neil Cinemas has broken ground and will bring movies and live event showings to the mix complete with stadium seating, quality dining options, and the largest and widest HD screen in the I-495 region.
Restaurants Fuel the Fire
Another important place where people connect at mixed-use environments is restaurants. Many of today’s leading mixed-use projects offer a variety of options that offer food and beverage selections throughout the day and intensify the overall energy.
At The Point, there are ten restaurants and eateries located throughout the property. These vary from fast casual restaurants such as Moe’s Southwest Grill to Great Road Kitchen, an oyster bar and grill.
Another restaurant bringing savory menu options and a place to connect is Tavern in the Square, which opens at The Point this fall. A full-service restaurant with a sizeable bar and colorful outdoor patio, Tavern injects a neighborhood vibe and energy level that its legions of fans across Greater Boston crave.
Medical Office: A Growing Trend
“The Point provides Emerson Hospital with a convenient location, tremendous visibility on I-495, and the opportunity to offer its strategic services among the many amenities offered at The Point—all smack in the middle of its patient base,” said Park.
Amenities, Walkability & Events: Bringing it All Together
Creating a walkable environment filled with amenities is the glue that brings successful mixed-use environments together by providing the opportunities for people to connect.
At The Point, Sam Park & Co. has strategically positioned fire pits, community gathering spaces, and outdoor entertainment areas throughout the project linking retail levels. A walking/running trail, a rock climbing wall, and outdoor music areas add appeal to the connection-centric environment.
Community events are also important ingredients. Later this year, The Point is hosting its first annual Fall Harvest Fireworks Festival highlighted by a fireworks display and celebrating community service leaders from the many towns that surround The Point.
Whatever the layout, design, or uses, building a successful mixed-use environment is rooted in providing what people are looking for today more than ever—places and environments where they can connect.
- Posted by admin
- On April 14, 2015
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