You can create a sense of possibility and community for your downtown, even when a retail space has been empty for a prolonged period.
Of course, there are always times when storefronts are vacant – it happens to the most vibrant of towns. However, when shop windows are clad in unsightly brown paper for an extended period, the community may start to speculate why the location remains empty. A sense of concern may arise, and any real estate professional will tell you that first impressions are key – empty rooms and brown paper certainly do not help promote a space.
A great solution to this challenge is to install beautifully designed, environmental graphics on the windows of the vacant space.
There are many potential benefits:
- Improve the visual appearance for real estate marketing (simply and affordably)
- Show the community this location’s potential
- Deter vandalism
- Mask the appearance of vacancy, improving community morale
- Market the real estate as a rental opportunity
- Promote and support town branding
Depending on the content you choose to include in the graphics, you can promote almost anything—the opportunities are endless.
Gruskin Creative is happy to have completed a project for Springfield, NJ that significantly improved a large section of their downtown. The design was so successful that we were awarded a Downtown Excellence Award from Downtown NJ. Here is a little more about the project and why it worked:
The Downtown Springfield Revitalization Plan included demolition of a major downtown structure—the Lyons Building—and development of a new mixed-use building to replace it. To deter vandalism of the empty storefronts, brown paper was hung, but this vacant look left the community concerned about the state of their downtown.
The Springfield BID brought us in to improve the downtown’s appearance while the building was awaiting demolition – something that took longer than expected due to complications. Our solution was to design and manage the installation of environmental window graphics—large-scale photos and messaging that depicted vibrant, modern and friendly retail spaces. These visuals not only improved the visual appearance of the empty retail spaces, but also presented the potential of what the real estate in this downtown could soon become.
The building no longer looked vacant, and members of the community and potential retailers were able to see the possibilities of the downtown. Additionally, the environmental graphics created anticipation for the completed project by helping people to imagine living, shopping and opening a business in Springfield. The graphics told a new story and helped to create a buzz about the project, which in turn boosted community pride and optimism.
The intentionally designed graphics sent a clear signal to all passers-by, from both inside and outside the community, that the building’s empty state was temporary, and the new, vibrant downtown would be coming soon.
This is one powerful example of how you can improve the look, feel and morale of your community. If you're interested in exploring how you can affordably improve the appearance of your town with environmental graphics, please give us a call at 973-376-4411. We'll be happy to discuss your design needs!