How’s this for marketing?
The Shops at Atlas Park, in Queens, NY, is giving away $20,000. On President’s Day, center employees started giving $500 a day for 25 days at random public locations in Queens. And for 60 days in a row, they will hand out increments of $1 to $1,000 around Atlas Park.
Center owner Damon Hemmerdinger is reportedly using his own money to finance the campaign, which he says is an effort to stimulate the economy. He came up with the figure multiplying Atlas’ 400,000 sf by five cents. And now Hemmerdinger is issuing a challenge to other landlords.
According to ICSC, he says, shopping centers in the US account for just under 6.9-billion sf of space. If every center-owner were to give five cents per sf to residents, it would equate to a $342.8-million economic boost.
This is a noble idea on Hemmerdinger’s part. But we’d be shocked to see some major owners of that total square footage, such as Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties do the same. It might be good marketing but would undoubtedly lead to unhappy shareholders.
Are we crazy though? Is this a viable, or even desirable step for most shopping center owners?