Retail Properties of America (RPAI) is an REIT that owns and operates high quality, strategically located open-air shopping centers, including properties with a mixed-use component. Additionally, they wanted to add an amenity to their property, One Loudoun in Virginia. The enhancement should provide a special experience and a unique sense of place. RPAI’s focus on innovation means that they were uniquely positioned to provide a solution for online and smaller businesses to test markets and expand their concepts. The incubation stage gives both tenants and property owners a chance to learn, adjust, and plan for a long-term solution.
As one piece of their overall project, Boxman Studios provided two 20’ x 8’ modified shipping containers completed with glass storefronts, herringbone wood details, and slat walls that allows vendors to easily showcase their products. To further their placemaking concept, RPAI also included a custom refurbished light pole, tables, chairs, and custom corn hole sets (refurbished from train parts that had graffiti). All of this sits on a gorgeous cedar deck that’s heated during cooler weather. String lighting and additional seating set the ambiance for Four Corners’ incubator pop up shops.
Their first two short-term tenants are Nollypop (a boutique that focuses on trendy women’s clothing, accessories, and home goods) and B. Donut (a Peruvian doughnut shop). While RPAI is still gathering data and testing the concept, they know it has increased exposure and sales (by about 300% each) for both their new tenants. We can’t wait to see how their incubator concept evolves and we’re so grateful to have been included in this effort to support local entrepreneurs!