Despite the growth in digital shopping, Market Street in The Woodlands is flourishing with shoppers.

The upscale outdoor shopping center has become a popular choice and residents find themselves enjoying the combination. Building memories is what Market Street aims to achieve along with being a go-to place for residents.

“That’s really what we aim to achieve here is to be that go-to place for these families where they can come dine, do their shopping and also build memories at the same time with their families,” said Noemi Gonzalez, marking director for Market Street.

Since Trade Mark Property purchased the property and opened the center in 2004, Market Street has grown. Now owned by Miller Capital Advisory Inc., it has gone through a change of investors over the years. Trademark still maintains some ownership of the property, says Jenny Taylor, general manager of Market Street. All of the operations, daily transactions, ins and out, and accounting are all managed by Trade Mark.

The concept of Market Street is not the first idea for that particular piece of land where it now sits, says Nick Wolda, president of Visit The Woodlands.

“People were enamored with the concept and the demand was there from the first day,” he said. “Careful design and thought planning are the significant factors leading to the success.”

An outdoor shopping center wasn’t available in The Woodlands at the time of its inception and because there was such a demand for retail centers like that, the planning and development had begun for Market Street says Robert Heineman, vice president of planning and design for Howard Hughes Corp.

“Market Street marked the first mixed use, pedestrian oriented, regional lifestyle shopping experience in The Woodlands,” Heineman said. “It broadened the shopping experience from the traditional enclosed regional mall. It combines shopping, dining, lodging, entertainment and office activities, organized around a major public open space amenity. Which is what makes it different from the traditional shopping developments at that time. It broke ground really for this area.”

The public space amenity at Market Street is used mostly to showcase outdoor art, community activities, and events. With the combination of these elements it provides a different experience in The Woodlands at the time it was first developed, Heineman added.

With the growing population of The Woodlands, the outdoor shopping center was an addition to the economy as well.

“When you take a look at other towns with a population like ours, you will be hard-pressed to find such a development,” Wolda said. “It is a benefit to the overall economic vitality of The Woodlands which helps residential investors, the individuals and families who own a home in The Woodlands.”

As the community around Market Street continues to grow, so does the center.

“You have to evolve to stay current but all of the changes that have happened just with our little foot-print here, whether it be changes over at the mall the convention center, things at the Pavilion, Hughes Landing came out of the ground. There has been so much in our community that has changed as well which has just elevated the entire experience for the customers,” Taylor said.

Future growth depends on consumer shifts. As time goes on and the shopping center, along with the community, grows so will the need for expansion.

“I think that how Market Street changes and grows it’s definitely through our tenant mix. The overall interactive experience for the customer and just being very experiential having those types of moments with the consumer so that is how we grow and change. It may not be physically but it’s through our offerings,” Taylor said.

Part of the uniqueness of Market Street is the ambiance and the visual aspect of it all. The architecture has been a steady compliment says Taylor.

Wolda says the residents of The Woodlands benefits from Market Street because of its regional and international appeal to visitors.

“When you take a look at other towns with a population like ours, you will be hard-pressed to find such a development,” Wolda said. “It is a benefit to the overall economic vitality of The Woodlands which helps residential investors, the individuals and families who own a home in The Woodlands.”

To enhance the experience, a few renovations were done in April to make it easier and more convenient for consumers to shop. For example, the installation of synthetic grass in the park is to avoid closing the lawn on rainy days.

Chairs and tables with umbrellas are adorned outside. More seating was added that was not available before because there was no room for physical seating. There is a place for children to play and a beautiful fountain to piece it all together. They’ve thought of it all.

“Throughout the years, as loved as we were, it gets a little ware and tear. Needed a little up keep, a little transformation and to become more current and in what the consumers were looking for,” Taylor said.

The renovations and visually compelling ambiance is inviting for customers which helps with giving them that one-of-a-kind shopping experience that Market Street is focusing on providing for their community, along with aiming to be an approachable center where families can enjoy their time.

“To sum it up, people love to go there,” Heineman said.

laraib.hashmi@chron.com

Original Article from: https://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/woodlands/news/article/Market-Street-remains-a-retail-destination-after-14881341.php