Wake Forest Renaissance Plan - September 2017


C h a p t e r 5 R e ta i l S t r at eg i e s

how we can compete...”) and synthesizing supportive data and case studies in order to tell a compelling story (i.e. “…and this is where we are headed”). The costs of developing such a brochure would include the staff time, the fees associated with the retail expert who drafts the content, the creative agency that designs the piece and perhaps also a professional photographer who can customize the images, as well as the charges for printing and production. Overall pricing would also depend on the size of the piece, its number of pages as well as any add-ons. Such a tool is often welcomed by property owners and their brokers, for use as ammunition in the marketing of specific retail spaces. But, in this case it could also be featured as the centerpiece of an initiative to introduce downtown Wake Forest to different kinds of prospective tenants as well as a larger pool of potential buyers and developers. Specifically, it would target the kinds of micro-entrepreneurs that would be most likely to take an interest in the various RMU formats. These are not the sorts of tenants that are normally found at major industry events, like the annual “Deal- making” conventions of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC); they must be reached through other means. Outreach might involve a concerted effort to raise downtown Wake Forest’s profile in local business and lifestyle publications, like the Triangle Business Journal or Indy Week. However, given the growing distrust of traditional advertising, the heightened visibility would be the result of favorable attention from high-integrity sources, like writers, critics and columnists.

public, non-profit and/or private sectors who have spearheaded or sponsored successful RMU initiatives elsewhere, so as to gauge their interest in doing the same in downtown Wake Forest or at least to learn from them about the specific steps that would need to be taken. The Town’s marketing campaign would also hone in on the sorts of investors that take a special interest in and have a successful track record with mixed-use projects in analogous downtown settings. These demand a certain type of experience, expertise and commitment — that is, a different kind of developer (and lender) than the ones that erect (and underwrite) strip malls along major arterials like Capital Boulevard/US 1. In addition to local business publications, their interest could be piqued by presentations at conferences where they tend to congregate, like the Triangle District Council of the Urban Land Institute or the local/regional events of the ICSC. Also, given the suburban bias of the development community, it might be worth exploring similar channels in other metros besides Raleigh. Additionally, the existing Wake Forest Downtown Inc. website should not only be modernized in its look and established as the portal for downtown (rather than overlapping with the Town’s website), but its “Business Opportunities” tab should reflect the content developed for and the “pitch” contained within the brochure as well as include a downtown-specific database of available spaces (versus the Town-wide database provided at www. wakeforesteconomicdevelopment.com).

At the same time, the Town should identify, research and contact individuals in the

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