Beachwood Place launches parking app in a nick of time

It’s a December 13th and Clevelanders are rushing around and fighting crowds at area of the malls and shopping centers. At one of them, however, the familiar headaches of searching for a parking space, and then later wandering around the lot with arms loaded up with bags while muttering where the heck did I park? are a thing of the past.
Beachwood Place just made the parking process a little easier with its new parking feature in the Beachwood Place App that allows shoppers to find a parking space, locate the most convenient entrance for a specific store or simply check to see how busy the lots are in real time.
The app was created by the mall’s parent company, Chicago-based General Growth Properties (GGP) and released for Beachwood Place last month.
“One of the biggest things we’ve found in customer shopping and the customer experience is that parking can be a real pain point,” says Neisha Vitello, senior general manager of Beachwood Place. “With everyone turning to technology to find solutions, we’ve created a better shopping experience.”
Shoppers can download the app to their phones on both Apple and android devices by searching got “GGP Malls” or access the information online.
The app features a map that highlights available lots in green; lots with limited availability in yellow; and full lots in red. Or, users can choose the store they plan to shop in and the app will highlight the closest parking option and entrance to that store.
Users can even plot a future trip to Beachwood Place and see the forecasted parking situation for that day and time. “You can look at [the app] in advance to see what parking is available,” says Vitello.
Perhaps the most useful tool, she adds, is the ability to record where you park – making it easy to find your car after hours of wandering and shopping in the mall. “One of the best features I enjoy is you can drop a pin in your parking spot,” she explains. “You can get turned around inside. When you leave, you can access where you parked and the app will guide you to your parking space.”
Furthermore, once inside the mall users can refer to the app for directions to a particular store. “It’s a palm directory,” Vitello explains. “It will guide to right to the store. You really have a directory in the palm of your hand.”
GGP developed the app more than a year ago, according to Vitello, and began testing it with some of the company's malls in July. The app became available at Beachwood Place a month ago, and will be available year round.
Local feedback on parking app has already be positive. “It’s been fantastic,” says Vitello. “We want to make the [shopping] experience the best we can.”

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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