Stony Point Shopping Center
Challenge: Stony Point Shopping Center in south Richmond suffered a major set-back when its anchor grocery tenant vacated the property due to the company’s decision to leave the market. Despite having numerous other tenants including restaurants, specialty retailers, and boutique stores, sales at remaining retailers started slowing after the grocery tenant left. Additionally, residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the shopping center started voicing their concerns to elected officials and the owners of the shopping center about no longer having a grocery store in the immediate area.
Solution: Gray Ryan Communications developed a strategic community relations campaign designed to build enthusiasm around the shopping center’s future and to actively engage elected officials in the process. We developed an online survey that focused on soliciting feedback from area residents about the types of tenants they would like to see in the center, how the center can be a more active, engaged neighborhood partner, and direct ways local residents can help with the success of the center. Gray Ryan Communications also coordinated with local, elected officials to communicate the goals the owner’s have for the center and needed resources for pedestrian and right-of-way improvements.
Bottom Line: The results from the survey were used by the owner’s brokerage firm to solicit interest in the shopping center at ICSC resulting in a national grocery chain signing a lease for space at the center. Additional tenants signed leases after the grocery chain was announced. Elected officials were so impressed with how the center’s owners engaged the local community that they added funding in the City’s budget to improve pedestrian access, approved new signage, and added right-of-way improvements.