Federal Realty Investment Trust’s Mercer Mall is an important retail destination site in Lawrenceville, NJ, pursuing contemporary appeal in an active market. With the tenancy of the Charming Charlie jewelry and accessory store to the pad site of footwear retailer DSW, Federal Realty called in Lighthouse Architecture for renovation of the parcel’s façade.

“We needed to find a way to change the look of the façade to coincide with other upgrades and new construction at the center,” says Lighthouse’s principal architect Peter Porretta. “Our goal was to do this creatively on a modest budget.”

The project involved improving an existing retail building that had been added to and renovated over the years, leaving it with a dated ribbed masonry façade interrupted by smooth-face concrete block infill at former openings.

“We removed the existing canopy and changed the look of the façade with paint, stucco accents at storefronts, and new fabric awnings,” Porretta explains.

“We also added sidewalk landscaping, including two wire trellises to create partial green walls with climbing vines.”

Through this use of color and landscaping, the Philadelphia architecture firm’s design brought a fresh look to the site at considerable cost savings. The renovations are scheduled for completion this month.

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