Flower Hill groups come together

The owners and management of Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade recently initiated meetings with the shopping center’s merchants in an effort to develop ways to maintain the “independent business nature” of the center, a recent news release stated.

The meetings are an attempt to inspire more creative thinking to ensure vitality for the center, as well as an effort to foster a positive outlook during a tough economy, according to the release from the Promenade’s management office.

A pair of retail consultants were invited to the first meeting on Feb. 23 at Taste of Thai restaurant. Representatives from seven of the mall’s shops and restaurants also attended, along with the management staff and Jeffrey Essakow, chief executive of La Jolla-based Protea Properties, which owns the center on Via de la Valle.

“There’s no such thing as landlord versus tenant, or tenant versus landlord - we need to work together,” Essakow said. The group is scheduled to meet monthly.

Essakow said some of the ideas that came from the meeting included hosting more charity events, coordinating trunk shows and developing an art walk and a summer concert series.

“The meeting was very positive, and the group of high-quality professionals who attended was extremely motivated,” said Jodi Dickson, owner of The Poached Pear. “I believe in the success of Flower Hill and am excited to be part of great things to come.”

“I think this process dispels the ‘us and them’ mentality between management and merchants,” said Rose Jabin, who oversees leasing and management.

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