Birch & Broad: Shopping Center Repositioning

Falls Church, VA

A successful shopping center repositioning entails more than just a change of color on a building or slick upgrades. It’s a holistic process, where something outdated that no longer fits the community is transformed into an inclusive, inviting space that works for today's shoppers. Falls Plaza was an 11-acre local shopping center that served the Falls Church community and surrounding neighborhoods. Federal Realty Investment Trust aimed to upgrade the existing shopping center to elevate the customer experience and transform the space from a simple stop-and-shop center into a comfortable community space, where visitors would want to make multiple visits, as well as linger and connect with their neighbors.

Cooper Carry’s Retail, Branding and Experiential Graphics Studios worked together to transform Falls Plaza into Birch & Broad, a walkable, modern retail district designed in a Falls Church community context.

The renovation design focused on taking advantage of key moments of intervention by expanding sidewalks to enhance outdoor dining experiences, elevating the existing retail alley, and refreshing the tired facades to create a modern farmhouse design. This features white-washed brick, contrasting metal roofs, and metal accents. Landscape upgrades include new paving, site railings, lighting, planters, and furniture. The property is anchored by a new chimney, creating a hearth for the community to gather around.

The new name for the property, Birch & Broad, is location focused. It originates from the streets Birch and Broad being the historical crossroads for the city of Falls Church. The brand tone and personality are welcoming, down to earth, casual, and familiar, reinforcing the farmhouse style. A family of wayfinding elements draws visitors through the shopping center, highlighting hidden destinations and retailers. Experiential graphics extend the brand through the space, providing landmarks and whimsy.

The project reopened in late December 2021, and was fully leased in March 2022.

Since the renovation, Birch & Broad continues to add new tenants.

What Others Are Saying


project scope

Façade Renovation, Landscape Improvements, New Name and Brand, Signage and Wayfinding


Federal Realty Investment Trust

We’re really, really happy with the way it turned out. We think the investment that we made in public spaces and gathering spaces is exactly where retail’s going. — Jay Brinson, Vice President of Development, Federal Realty Investment Trust