Place-making

Today something really cool happened; today I got to step onto the site of one of CenterCal’s properties, The Collection at Riverpark. CenterCal has devoted countless hours to meetings, permits, leases -blood, sweat, and tears- into this development, and there it was, beneath my feet.

To be present in that moment was an amazing feeling and a feeling I have most enjoyed in my time here so far. This sudden realization of the tangibility and the impact of this business on people’s quality of life hit me like a truck. Children were playing in the fountains, women were catching up over lunch, young couples were sharing their first date: people’s lives were being lived in this center.

The CEO of CenterCal has built his company around “place-making,” but seeing it first-hand, right there in front and all around me, it clicked. There are stigmas against macho, greedy developers coming in and dropping cookie-cutter mega-malls in places previously inhabited by tight-knit communities. These stigmas exist because in many cases they are true. But not at CenterCal. Place-making is built into every facet of this company, from the diligent attention to detail in its plans, to the state-of-the-art coffee machine in the front lobby where people gather in the morning. I have been blessed with the incredible opportunity to be a part of this company for the summer.

Next week, I will be joining the team on quarterly visits to two of CenterCal’s grandest properties: Station Park and The Village at Meridian, as well as put on a hard hat to walk a new site in Northern California and I couldn’t be more excited.

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