Published On Apr 07, 2017 in 
Areas of Expertise

When banks compete, you win. This may be true according to the familiar advertising slogan. Competition can certainly be a good thing. But whereas relations between municipalities and businesses are concerned, when public-private partnerships exist…communities win.

The old stereotypical relationship which once existed between government and shopping center owners (with the city as the rule enforcer and the property owner as the big bad developer) is changing. Municipalities and property owners share a common goal. Retailers may come and go, but the physical real estate and the community where it is located is there to stay.

It’s a long term relationship. This is why in 2016 Phillips Edison & Company launched its "Community Engagement Initiative" to focus on relationships with local municipalities, and to build solid partnerships within the communities served by its shopping centers.

As an example of this collaboration, Phillips Edison partnered last month with the community of Murphy Texas, and also with the Murphy Chamber of Commerce, to host the town’s annual "Spring Fever" event which took place at the Murphy Marketplace Shopping Center.

The event was considered by all to be a huge success. Beautiful weather welcomed over 1,000 visitors to the shopping center who had the opportunity to enjoy good food, great music, and to visit the center’s retailers and more than fifty vendor booths.

Partnerships like the one behind the event held in Murphy can provide shopping center owners with an opportunity to work with both community leaders and also public partners in order to connect with the communities where they own property.

In this case, for Murphy’s “Spring Fever” event, Phillips Edison participated by donating its land for the event, while the local chamber and municipality donated time and resources.

Without engaged property owners offering their support for local events like these it can often be difficult for community organizations and their affiliates to find space for their activities. Especially in markets where an abundance of space is not readily available.

"We worked closely with Phillips Edison on this event.” said Debra Mandala, Executive Director for the Murphy Chamber of Commerce. “Everyone was so very cooperative in helping us to make this happen. We very much appreciate Scott Adair, Kory Clay, and the rest of the Phillips Edison team (Greg Clough and Terry Burian) for their support and for their efforts."

As public-private partnerships begin to flourish in our small towns across the country so too will the communities where said relationships exist. Even with gentrification and the globalization of commerce, good business can still be local. Retailers may face competition in the online marketplace, but they can rest assured that some experiences, like enjoying a good hot dog while listening to music and window shopping with friends, can only be enjoyed offline.

Scott Adair
Scott Adair
Vice President of Economic Development
Community Engagement