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Tenant Communication in a crisis, Urban Edge Case Study


Learning lessons from previous storms, Urban Edge used the Mallcomm platform to keep tenants informed and supported when Hurricane Fiona hit.

Urban Edge Properties is a NYSE-listed real estate investment trust focused on managing, acquiring, developing, and redeveloping retail real estate in urban communities.  The company owns 76 properties, including two malls in Puerto Rico totalling 17.2 million square feet of gross leasable space. 

In 2017, Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico, leaving it with no electricity, no communication, and extensive damage. Urban Edge had no way of keeping tenants and team members at The Outlets at Montehiedra and Las Catalinas Mall informed.

Learning lessons from this and previous storms, the Urban Edge corporate and on-site property management teams refined and improved the emergency response and critical communications strategy to be prepared prior to the next hurricane season (June 1 – November 30). Subsequently, in 2021, they implemented Mallcomm, a tenant engagement app, that would allow the Property Management team to proactively focus on preparedness and communication to address emergency risks.

Centralized Communication

When Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico in September 2022, Urban Edge’s properties were left without electricity or water. The Mallcomm platform was utilized to keep tenants informed of safety and evacuation details, reduced hours of operations, and where to find resources for their employees. Response personnel were also allocated to stay at the properties overnight to ensure the necessary supplies were in place.

The ability to maintain constant communication before, during, and after the passage of the hurricane resulted in significant time savings and efficiencies, allowing both shopping centers to reopen the next day. Mallcomm was essential to this happening so quickly after the storm. 

Making a Positive Impact

Mallcomm’s impact extended beyond operational efficiencies. Urban Edge quickly developed a campaign to collect baby items to be donated to families impacted by the storm. Through the centralized communication platform, the team notified tenants of this initiative and received overwhelming support.

Hurricane Fiona Emergency Response Statistics
  • 2 Properties
  • 185 Tenants
  • 91% Tenant Mallcomm Adoption
  • 54 Mallcomm Messages Sent 
  • $4,000+ of Baby Items Collected
  • 54 Families in Need Served

“Mallcomm gave us the ability to instantly send mass communications to tenants and receive responses on the same platform. Eliminating the need for individual calls or printing memos to deliver by hand made a fundamental difference to our response and recovery strategy.”

-Lineth Rosado, Vice President Puerto Rico Operations, Urban Edge Properties

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