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National  + Maryland  + Washington DC  + Retail  | 

KTGY Design Breathes New Life into Former Sears Auto Center

By Dennis Kaiser

A former Sears Auto Center, adjacent Valley Mall in Hagerstown, MD, has been given a new lease on life. Michael Tseng, AIA, associate principal at KTGY Architecture + Planning, shares how the team approached the architecture, planning and design assignment in our latest 3 CRE Q&A.

Q: What was the repositioning vision for this former Sears Auto Center?
At the site of the former Sears Auto Center adjacent Valley Mall in Hagerstown, MD, plans called for the division and expansion of the 7,800-square-foot Sears pad building into three tenant spaces to accommodate BJs Restaurant and Brew House (7,800 square feet), Sleep Number (3,000 square feet) and Verizon (3,750 square feet). Using the building’s existing bones, KTGY Architecture + Planning delivered a modern design that emphasizes patio space, ease of vehicular access and wide sidewalks with amenities to encourage foot traffic.

Q: What were some of the objectives you were seeking to achieve and how were they executed?
We wanted a clean, minimalist design with warm, natural earth tones. We used weathered, metal paneling, unpainted concrete masonry blocks along with wood accents to create a timeless architecture that was inviting to pedestrians. We are very thrilled with the results, and how these types of adaptive re-use projects can give new life to existing buildings and serve as a draw to bring more patrons to the shopping center.

Q: How does the re-designed site reflect today’s trend towards more experience-driven retail?
The repositioning of pad buildings like the Sears Auto Center in Hagerstown represents a shift toward creating more experience-driven retail, restaurant and entertainment options that are invigorating retail properties and communities. Architects and developers need to work closely with the respective cities, stakeholders, retail leasing agents and surrounding neighbors to determine the highest and best use for each site, and create a design and tenant plan that cohesively fits the context of the site and neighborhood. You don’t always have to level a building to make way for something new. Architecture, planning and design are the tools with which we provide solutions for the built environment that entice both tenants and consumers.

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Inside The Story

Connect With Connect with KTGY’s Tseng

About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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