We’re stir-crazy for life to get back to normal—to dine at the restaurants we miss, to shop in person rather than relying on curbside pickup for everything, and even to get back into the office. As a commercial property owner, you can take steps to create an environment where people feel comfortable as we hopefully move out of this pandemic.
The key is to maximize your outdoor spaces so you can give guests peace of mind that they can safely shop, dine, work and play on your property. Here are several property enhancements to consider as we move into spring.
Expand Outdoor Gathering Spaces
Does your commercial property have designated, pleasing areas where people can meet, wait, eat or simply enjoy the outdoors? For years, restaurants have been opening their doors to add al fresco seating so guests can dine in the fresh air. With COVID-19, all businesses are recognizing the necessity of outdoor areas.
If your commercial property already offers patio spaces with distanced seating, you might consider expanding those areas to accommodate more guests—and more business. If your grounds lack this amenity, we suggest including a welcoming outdoor space to your list of landscape enhancements.
You can keep a project simple by bringing in container plantings to dress up benches and chairs. Another way to designate an outdoor gathering space is to define the area with landscaped beds. A more involved project can include a hardscape patio with retaining walls that double as a boundary and seating.
These features are also valuable for HOAs, allowing residents outdoor areas where they can invite guests.
Invite Guests to Sit and Stay a While
There’s a reason why lifestyle centers have been replacing the traditional indoor shopping mall. People like to be outdoors, even during winter. So, borrow concepts from these mixed-use properties to offer guests an experience other than grab-and-go errand running. Any commercial site can create landscaped areas with even basic seating that makes the property more of a destination—especially amid Covid-19, as we look for safe, outdoor places to see friends and family. Also, by adding spots for visitors to gather outside, you’ll encourage those who come to your commercial property to take their time.
Build In Some Creature Comforts
In the Northeast, our winters can drag on into April, but there are many ways to make your commercial property’s outdoor spaces comfortable for guests no matter the weather. First, take the chill out of cool weather by adding exterior heating with freestanding patio heaters, units that are mounted in an overhead structure, or a gas fire pit that adds warmth and ambiance. Next, extend the hours visitors can safely enjoy your outdoor spaces with landscape lighting. Finally, consider covered structures that define an outdoor room and offer shelter.
Deck the Halls Year-Round
Who says twinkle lights are just for Christmas? Holiday lights can be a year-round enhancement for your property that draws attention (and business) to your property, creates a festive environment and provides lighting after dark. Some ideas: wrapping tree trunks with classy white lights, or stringing bistro-style lights across walkways or over gathering spaces. Our commercial holiday decor team can share many more on-trend ways of incorporating lights into your landscaping.
Invest in the Outdoors
A silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a push to spend more time outdoors. Here at Neave Landscape Management, we’ve always embraced outside and landscaping as an asset that gives people opportunities to relax, socialize—and now more than ever, safely gather. As you plan for upcoming property enhancements, we have some ideas that will give your guests peace of mind while they spend time on your grounds.
Ask us for a free site consultation. Contact us at 914-271-7996 in Westchester, 201-591-4570 in New Jersey, 845-463-0592 in Hudson Valley and 203-212-4800 in Connecticut. Or, fill out our contact form and one of our landscape experts will reach out to you.