Setting a higher standard of safety

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The Shops at Highland Village thrives as a vibrant hub of retailers, eateries and office space conveniently laid out across 43.5 acres at the town’s busiest intersection.

Recently purchased by AEW Capital Management, the shopping center continues to grow and plans for expansion.

The center’s operator and developer, Trademark Property Co., is looking forward to the September opening of a 38,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, which highlights the list of enhancements currently in the planning and development stages.

“We are in an excellent location with tremendous potential, and we will use our retail and place-making expertise, combined with the Whole Foods opening, to enhance the merchandising mix and take this property to the next level,” said Terry Montesi, Trademark founder and CEO.

The center itself won’t be the only thing growing. With expansion comes increased traffic and customers, so The Shops will increase its interaction with the Highland Village Police Department, with plans for a police field office in the near future.

“I think it’s a proactive move on the part of both organizations with the anticipated increased traffic,” said The Shops at Highland Village Marketing Director Kelly Smith. “Along with our security presence, the HVPD field office will be another great enhancement.”

Standing at the forefront of the relationship between the center and the police department is 10-year HVPD veteran Cpl. David Harney. The mall provides an onsite security force which patrols the parking lots 24/7, but in addition, Harney regularly holds a meeting with the retailers to discuss safety methods and tips.

“The fact they regularly visit the property and come inside to meet with our retailers … that kind of service is going above and beyond expectations,” Smith said.

That level of service is nothing new to Harney and the department.

“When The Shops opened seven years ago, management employed a private security firm and we felt it was important to establish a relationship with them,” Harney said. “We opened a line of communication with the retailers and their security with the goal of making our city’s shopping center safe and enjoyable for everyone.”

Considering the high amount of traffic and the abundance of retail outlets, Harney visits and updates the mall community on crime trends affecting Highland Village, Flower Mound or areas off FM 407.

One of the current partnership programs Harney oversees is Operation Shield, a program which reduces the opportunity of business burglaries by installing a metal “shield” on doorways for reinforcement—at no cost to the business.

“We worked directly with the department to implement Operation Shield here on our property,” said Ravi Wadhwa, general manager of The Shops at Highland Village. “These shields help prevent a burglar from prying open the rear doors of local businesses and we are happy we have 100 percent participation by our merchants.”

“Anybody that lives in this community knows our department is very proactive; we don’t like to be reactive,” Harney added. “We make our presence known to prevent things from happening and feel that’s much more effective than doing nothing and showing up to take a report.”


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