For Regency, the community is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to putting Our Values into action. Not only do we serve the surrounding neighborhoods with retail that is reflective of their lifestyles and interests, but we also aim to create inclusive and welcoming spaces. Our teams are directly sourced from these communities to deepen local expertise and understanding, and our charitable efforts and contributions are laser-focused on opportunities unique to their markets.
For 60 years, Regency Centers has been a committed and active participant in the communities where we live, work, and play.
Connecting with our communities is an extension of our people. We leverage our long-standing partnerships, dedicated employees, and company resources to build community support. We give to a wide range of nonprofit community programs, seeking to support as many aspects of our diverse communities as possible.
For example, 2022 marked the third year of Regency Centers’ ouRCommunities program. This effort affords our employees the opportunity to participate in selecting an organization to receive a gift to support work furthering a cause that is important to them and makes a difference in our communities. Each organization is required to create a proposal which is then submitted and voted on by our employees. Three candidates are selected, and funds are distributed in accordance with their vote counts. Our 2022 recipients consisted of Quigley House: an advocacy and education group focused on survivors of domestic abuse; Blessings in a Backpack: an initiative dedicated to food-insecure households requiring assistance outside of school-provided meals; and Comfort Zone Camp (CZC): a nonprofit bereavement organization for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, primary caregiver, or person of significance. It was a record year for submissions, and efforts are underway in 2023 to expand and improve upon this impactful program.
Through our continued relationship with groups like Habitat for Humanity®, The United Way®, and YMCA®, our employees clocked in approximately 1,850 volunteer hours and a record-breaking donation total of $1.5 million in 2022. This includes a dollar-for-dollar corporate match of additional charitable donations from our employees. Although Regency is made up of less than 500 people, we are proud to serve as an example of a small group making big differences with the right focus and energy. Our passion for giving is an integral part of our culture and operations that will continue to guide our business decisions and behaviors.
Investing in Communities
Supporting Local and Family-Owned Businesses
Just as every community has attributes that make it unique, each can benefit from different kinds of support to make it a great place to live, work, play, and do business.
Regency Centers’ proprietary Fresh Look® strategy places great importance on the merchandising mixture of local and family-owned businesses in our portfolio. It is important that our centers are not just reflective in design and appeal, but also in the services they offer that are unique to the cultures and lifestyles that surround them. However, even a local favorite can use some assistance from time to time, and Regency has developed methods to assist those in need.
One of the many new elements developed out of the COVID-19 lockdowns was our Merchant Success Toolkit. This award-winning strategic document outlines best practices across multiple market channels and tips on using them specifically for retail and in our centers. Over the years, we have added, honed, and sharpened the content to ensure it is accurate and effective, with a constant promotional campaign both inside and outside of our portfolio. In special cases, Regency provides third-party mentorship to a retail specialist who can help guide our tenants through a customized format to move forward on a better path.
Community Environmental Partnership
We support both local and national programs dedicated to the conservation of natural resources. Regency welcomes new employees with a cultural gift that speaks to each of the elements of our wellness program — “Live Well. Work Well. Be Well.” — supporting physical, emotional, financial, and community health. The gift includes, among other things, a voucher to plant a tree. The trees are planted by a partner organization, which manages multiple reforestation projects around the world. This initiative ensures that the people we welcome into our workplace are aware of our culture and commitment to the environment with an opportunity to contribute. In 2022, we planted 88 trees, and when mature, they will absorb approximately 4,200 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually.(1)
(1) Source: US Department of Agriculture
The Crossing Clarendon | Arlington, VA
Furthermore, as a part of our ecological awareness efforts, Regency collaborates with the Alveole social beekeeping company. Alveole partners with hundreds of other companies and schools for these installations, whose buzzing occupants collect nectar and pollen from flowers within a three-mile radius of the property. The bees serve as a valuable learning tool and provide the surrounding community a greater tie to nature and some locally sourced honey.
Ensuring access to nature's benefits to enhance our communities' daily lives is important to Regency. Through our development and re-development, we find opportunities to design spaces that include lush green landscaping, updated and modern architecture, improved community connectivity through branded crosswalks and signage, as well as enhanced water features and updated playground equipment for children.
Indirect and Direct Economic Impacts
Regency’s operations play both direct and indirect roles in the local economies of the communities in which we operate. In 2022, Regency incurred approximately $195 million in real estate property taxes, ~$1.8 million in franchise taxes, and ~$190,000 in transfer taxes. A majority of these tax revenues directly benefit our local communities, including the funding of infrastructure improvements (i.e. roads, water, sewer), public services (i.e. law enforcement, fire protection, libraries) and public schools.
The presence of our shopping centers provides socioeconomic benefits as amenities and gathering spaces for our surrounding communities, and indirectly benefits surrounding residential property values while providing a source of sales tax revenue from retail stores. Our centers are also a source of job creation, starting with the initial construction of the center through to its completion and ongoing operations – ranging from construction jobs to retail store employees to the leasing and property management functions.
Westbard Square | Bethesda, MD
It is important that our tenants and the communities they serve feel welcome and comfortable at our centers. To contribute to our overarching goal of tenant satisfaction, we regularly communicate with our tenants via one-on-one conversations to better understand their unique needs. Our teams leverage insights from these dialogues to adapt and better serve individual tenants whenever possible.
Our most recent tenant satisfaction survey solicited feedback from a multitude of tenants across our portfolio in areas such as property maintenance, communication, store performance, and overall satisfaction. While the survey demonstrated a higher-than-average volume of participation, we aim to continue seeking new ways to increase tenant participation and improve satisfaction.
Health and Safety Impacts to our Tenants and Their Customers
Regency strives to provide a safe and secure experience for customers and merchants. Top-quality tenants draw customers; however, a safe environment retains their continued business.
Nationally, our market presence stretches across 22 offices, over 400 centers, and 51 million square feet. We host more than 8,000 tenants that serve an average of 130,000 people per location. Our efforts and operations touch a lot of lives in more ways than just shopping, and we take that responsibility seriously.
Regency’s in-house Property Operations team handles day-to-day oversight of center maintenance, security, and tenant relations. These professionals are located in each of our office locations, providing valuable boots-on-the-ground service. Our Property Operations team uses the Regency Playbook, a nationally mandated Crisis Management Program and protocol. It is used in every market and has proven to be a critical and effective method of ensuring the right people across seven departments access the required information as quickly as possible. It has been used to communicate everything from natural disasters to active shooters, and is reviewed on an annual basis to improve its effectiveness and the security of our shoppers and the integrity of our tenants.
Our Property Operations team also performs frequent activities for the benefit of our centers, including: