Shoppers Value Convenience. Who Knew?

I want to pass along an article from the 7/19/10 edition of the Press of Atlantic City by Sarah Watson concerning a developer's willingness to spend more than a million dollars to extend an existing dead-end so as to create an access road to alleviate area traffic.  For those familiar w/ the area, the planned development is called Gravelly Run Square, which recently received preliminary approvals from Hamilton Township.  It would be across the Black Horse Pike from Hamilton Commons (Regal Movie Theater) and current plans call for 296,000 sf of space within 8 buildings similar in design to Hamilton Commons, which was also developed by Benderson Development, the developer in question.  (Fingers crossed for a Fresh Fields!)  It is expected that work on creating the access road will begin in 2011.

Now, a developer agreeing to create an access road is not news.  Alleviating traffic congestion is admirable in and of itself and SOP to get projects approved.  (Also greatly needed in that area, as the article points out.)  But there is more to it than just reducing traffic and getting the project approved.  For one thing, the access road will benefit commercial properties other than Gravelly Run Square.  For me, though, I love the fact that the developer clearly saw the access road as a way to increase the value of the project.  Check out this quote from the developer:

“In order for businesses to succeed, they need to be convenient and traffic needs to be able to move as efficiently as possible,” Wainberg said, in response to questions as to why a commercial developer would invest so much time and money into an off-site road. “We’ve done projects of this kind everywhere, and we know what it takes for projects to be successful. They have to be well-planned.”


In other words, shoppers value convenience.  Duh!  Seems obvious, but not everybody is willing to go that extra mile. (Excuse the pun!)

If you develop/own/manage retail space, is there anything you can do to make the shopping experience more convenient for your visitors?  Granted, you may not be able to do anything about parking or traffic, but are there any smaller or unconventional ways to make the shopping experience more convenient?  If so, wouldn't greater shopping convenience add value to the property? 

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