The program evolved from Developers Diversified's dedication to enhancing the communities it serves. The company embarked on creating a smart new program for customers that challenges, informs, and educates in an entertaining and stimulating manner.
Stars Over Developers Diversified Realty is being implemented at 24 of Developers Diversified's shopping centers - both small and large markets - across the country beginning August 2009 and running through October 2009. The compulsory element of the program is The World at Night photography exhibit, a special project for the International Year of Astronomy created by Astronomers Without Borders. The exhibit is a collection of photographs from the best nighttime photographers around the world showcasing international landmarks such as Yellowstone National Park in the United States, the Parthenon in Greece and the Lotus Temple in India, all set against the celestial attractions. Together, the 24 Stars Over Developers Diversified Realty properties will serve as the largest exhibition of The World at Night in the United States.
"One driving factor when developing Stars Over Developers Diversified Realty was that it had to work in various shopping center types and in both large and small markets," said Scott Schroeder, vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "The World at Night exhibit provided that one cohesive element that transcends marketplace and can make an impact at all of our centers."
"Astronomers Without Borders is very pleased to partner with Developers Diversified Realty to bring The World at Night to so many venues around the United States," said Mike Simmons, president of Astronomers Without Borders and contributing editor to Sky and Telescope. "Shopping centers are ideal locations where visitors will experience the wonders of the night sky that are invisible from the well-lit cities and towns where they live. With the high traffic and large number of venues of this program, Stars Over Developers Diversified Realty will serve the goal of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 -- increasing astronomy awareness among the public -- as well as any exhibition in the world."
In addition to The World at Night exhibit, each property will incorporate an education element as well as customize the program to best utilize its space and create programming that appeals to its customers. As a result, properties have been able to take existing programs and enhance them to fit within the Stars Over Developers Diversified Realty program, including "Dancing Under the Stars" or "Movies Under the Stars" or create new supplemental initiatives such as Boy and Girl Scout astronomy badges, a contest to win a trip to space camp, partnering with industry organizations such as the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, science fairs, fashion shows, and children's events such as creating constellations and telescopes.
The International Year of Astronomy has been a great platform for Developers Diversified to evolve Stars Over Developers Diversified Realty. Already a huge global initiative, Developers Diversified's program is serving as a significant supporting program to the International Year of Astronomy's United States node and has generated strong support from those involved.
Developers Diversified Realty Corporation, as of June 30, 2009, owns and manages approximately 690 retail operating and development properties in 45 states, plus Puerto Rico, Brazil and Canada, totaling approximately 151 million square feet. Developers Diversified Realty Corporation is a self-administered and self-managed REIT operating as a fully integrated real estate company that acquires, develops, leases and manages shopping centers. Additional information about Developers Diversified is available on the Internet at www.ddr.com.