Just over a year ago, Trademark began its quest to reinvent Hillside Village. When acquired, it was known as Uptown Village at Cedar Hill, and despite being a young center with a strategic location and top-tier anchor tenants, the Village had experienced years of steady decline in traffic and revenue. Trademark immediately set out to re-brand the center as Hillside Village, a shorter name that more clearly conveys its gardenlike setting, regional topography and upscale atmosphere, while simultaneously working with top research firm Alexander Babbage to intimately understand the demographics and perceptions of the surrounding area.
While the center was originally anchored with compelling tenants, the details and human-level execution were lacking, which meant the project was underperforming relative to its potential. This stuation highlighted an opportunity for the principles of Conscious Place to have a positive impact on measurable performance through enhancements that don’t directly affect traditional revenue channels.
Phase I of work on Hillside Village brought multimillion dollar enhancements primarily aimed at improving the visitor experience. New signage, public art installations, children’s play areas, bocce ball court, and extensive landscaping improvements transformed the built environment while free Wi-Fi and waste reduction initiatives brought increased connectivity and conservation to every corner of the development. With a new name, new amenities, and a new understanding of its surroundings, Hillside Village was prepared to welcome equally new tenants and first-time visitors while offering its core customers a dramatically improved retail experience.
The rapid improvement in identity and ambience at Hillside Village is a testament to the role that ‘intangibles’ play in the making of a Conscious Place. Whether building from the ground up or bringing our core beliefs to an existing project, the power of a people-first, stakeholder-driven approach to redevelopment is impressive. Waste Management recognizes the way small changes conspire to make a big difference and recently named Hillside Village its Cedar Hill Green Business of the Year for 2016.
Trademark’s reputation, re-brand and renovation drove considerable leasing interest to Hillside Village, with H&M’s opening in fall of 2016. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria opens this summer, bringing another top quality operator to the project’s portfolio, while Menchie’s, Claire’s and Hot Topic join the expanding list of national retailers and restaurants that call Hillside Village home.
Less than a year after announcing the rebranding, Hillside Village has experienced remarkable growth and savings. Sales and traffic have increased by over 5% year-over-year while conservation efforts have saved $262,000 worth of precious resources, proving it really is possible to do more with less, even in a world-class retail setting. Visitors recognize the improved ambience and customer-first approach, and retailers have taken notice of the transformation. Trademark has signed and opened over 25,500 square feet of new leases at Hillside Village. Between the public amenities, ongoing conservation efforts, and roster of tenants, Hillside Village has quickly become a rejuvenated community asset and another example of our continued dedication to making every place we work on a conscious member of its community. Watching the public respond favorably to the updates is proof and encouragement that places are far more than the sum of their parts, and we look forward to continuing to share the journey of Conscious Places with you.