Submitted by Jaren Wells, Gensler
Our March luncheon took a deeper dive into Unlocking the Hidden Value of Art and Community Messaging in Commercial Real Estate. Kathleen Jordan, of Gensler, led a lively discussion with panelists Carla Hanzal (Arts & Science Council), Jenny Vallimont (Gokatta) and Carla Hickey (ArtPop Street Gallery). Our panelists discussed how Art not only is becoming increasingly valuable as an opportunity for community and corporate messaging, but can also provide unexpected Return on Investments in the process. Process and “how to” information was also shared, including what to include in your project budget.
Community Messaging & leadership: Not everyone can go to a Museum. Therefore, bringing art to the community, making it accessible to all, has been highly encouraged and supported by our City & County leadership. They are in support of the arts, innovation and risk taking. Corporations also see the advantage in expressing their values especially at a time when uplifting and encouraging messages are much needed.
ROI: Art can have an influence on property value. It is no longer an add but expected by tenants, therefore helping ROI by connecting with the community as an integral part of the developments. As sales increase, the value of the community that cherishes and supports the arts increase. What goes immeasurable is the PR publicity through social media.
Process: All of our consultants recommend early integration into the Design process, in Schematic Design phase. Integrating art into the design, such as an architectural screening mechanism, can save money. Timelines will vary depending upon development and art media used.
Jenny Vallimont: During the Pandemic, people are looking to find effective means to Connect. Supporting local needs and activism through Art, utilizing a virtual means via technology, like AR (Augmented Reality).
Carla Hanzal: Activated art is a big trend, involving socially distanced interactive art, such as “Balancing Act”, located at First Ward Park across from Imaginon. The Social aspect of art is equally as important. Providing more resources integrated with art such as community gardens and recreation opportunities.
Wendy Hickey: How do we create great workplace environments? Art can have the power to heal. More people are aware of this. Expanding beyond murals, corporations are looking to integrate support of local artists in a unique way to represent their organization. Whether an event or gift.
Closing remarks were given by Board Liaison Molly Carroll: “Developers and owners need to think about art as part of the tenant experience, just like when they chose finishes and building features in order to attract tenants. Having gorgeous buzz worthy art, especially local, gives the impression to prospective tenants, that the Ownership thinks differently, appreciates and supports what art brings to the table. The impression that the prospective tenant sees is that the building has a cool, hip, creative vibe that they will be part of if they lease that building. It sets buildings and owners apart.”
Jenny Vallimont added: “How do we show Corporate values even in environments that haven’t spent money in public art? Tenants coming from other cities, and bigger markets, expect different things. We need to think about comparisons of what they are seeing.”
ASC – https://www.artsandscience.org @asccharlotte
Jenny/Gokotta – https://www.wearegokotta.com @wearegokotta
Wendy/ArtPop – https://www.artpopstreetgallery.com @artpopstreetgallery
Gensler – Kathleen_Jordan@gensler.com