Landlords with empty Denver storefronts to sell ads in the space
The Denver Post
Several vacant storefronts in Denver are about to get dressed up with eye-catching advertisements as landlords with empty street-level spaces look for ways to make them pay, even without tenants. Sturm Realty Group is working on a deal with New York-based Inwindow Outdoor to liven up its empty retail space at 158 Fillmore Plaza. Gart Properties recently signed an agreement with Orlando, Fla.-based Monster Media for the former Virgin Megastore windows fronting the 16th Street Mall.
“Given our particular situation, where we have intentionally held some storefronts off the market, it at least provides some activity at the street level,” said Taber Sweet, real estate manager for Sturm Realty Group, owner of the Fillmore property. “It livens up a storefront that otherwise would sit empty.”
Gart wants Monster Media to swap out its ads frequently so the content doesn’t get stale, said Susan Cantwell, the company’s director of leasing.
“We’re much more interested in something exciting and cool than we are in making a little bit of cash,” Cantwell said.
That said, the arrangement does help landlords offset revenue loss associated with rising vacancy rates. Companies such as Sprint, Snickers, JetBlue and Pepsi pay Inwindow Outdoors to create temporary displays for the windows.
“It’s dressing up the storefront to make it more attractive, and in most cases it does attract people and maybe prospective tenants to the space,” said Ray Lee, Inwindow’s managing director of real estate. “We’re taking a storefront with no activity to a perceived value with a sense of activity. Neighboring merchants like it because they’re not sitting next to a vacant set of windows.”
Inwindow expects to have its first ads in Denver by the fourth quarter, Lee said. In addition to the Cherry Creek property, Inwindow is working with landlords at 1520 Market St. and 910 15th St.
The ads themselves range from static to interactive, with components such as touch screens, 3-D, holograms and Bluetooth to engage the pedestrian.
Sweet said he has not been told which company will be advertising on Fillmore.
While the concept of third-party advertising in empty windows is relatively new to Denver, keeping vacant storefronts interesting is common.
Larimer Associates, for example, has wrapped the windows of the former Z Gallerie space on Larimer Square with a bright collage of photos promoting Larimer Square to ensure that the vacant space conveys the district’s vibrancy.
“We’re trying to keep the area vital, colorful and exciting,” said Margaret Ebeling, spokeswoman for Larimer Associates. “If you have empty storefronts, people have this natural belief that something’s wrong. That’s not always the case – it’s just space in transition. It’s window dressing.”
Margaret Jackson: 303-954-1473 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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