Bigger Than Real Estate: Enriching Community Through Mixed-Use Development with Emalia Tamanikwa and Jules Hislop

Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast
Episode 67

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In today’s day and age, people seem to be busier than ever, with packed agendas, competing priorities, and limited attention spans. So how do you get them to slow down, embrace the moment, and enjoy themselves enough to visit your space again?

Guests Emalia Tamanikwa and Jules Hislop of EDENS may just have the answers. As the owner, developer, and steward of a nationally leading portfolio of more than 100 open-air retail and mixed-use shopping centers in high-growth markets coast to coast, EDENS designs places that achieve 3.5 trips per week and 5 hours of dwell time, reaching over 15 million people daily. In this inspiring episode, Emalia and Jules share the innovative strategies behind such success, such as how they use experiential design practices to help people become more present, connect meaningfully with others, and recognize they’re part of something bigger than themselves – something they’re eager to care for and contribute to moving forward. 

Emalia and Jules also discuss two active EDENS projects including Lulah Hills in North DeKalb County, Atlanta, and the Duke District in D.C. – which includes significant integration with the reputable Howard University and other local organizations. Additionally, the guests dive into the state of retail development post-covid, underscoring the importance of creating vibrant, inclusive spaces that combat isolation and promote human connection. Tune into the conversation to learn how EDENS’ disciplined approach and entrepreneurial spirit has helped them thrive despite market challenges, achieving authentic destinations where communities can thrive.

Discussed in the Episode: 
Howard University
North DeKalb Mall
Lulah Hills
Union Market District
Gallaudet University
EDENS CEO Jodie McLean
Mr. Brainwash Mural in Union Market District for International Women’s Day 2016
Let Girls Learn
Duke Ellington
National Gallery of Art
Anni Albers
Emalia Tamanikwa on LinkedIn
Jules Hislop on LinkedIn

About Emalia Tamanikwa:
Emalia Tamanikwa is a visionary real estate leader who cultivates vibrant communities through innovative design and deep community engagement. As Development Director at EDENS, she drives transformative projects in Washington, D.C., seamlessly blending residential, commercial, and historic preservation. Recognized by Bisnow as a D.C. Region Woman Leading Real Estate (2022) and a member of the ICSC Next Generation Leadership Group, Emalia’s expertise spans underwriting, market analysis, and full-cycle development management. She is currently spearheading Union Market’s dynamic 418,000-square-foot, mixed-use expansion, harmonizing 374 residences with 31,306 square feet of retail space in The Penn & 4th Street Project.Emalia also champions the evolution of over 100,000 square feet of retail space and collaborates closely with partners to redevelop historically significant sites at Howard University’s gateway. Her projects are a testament to inclusion, strengthening Shaw’s cultural legacy for a contemporary world. With a Master’s in Real Estate from Georgetown University and prior experience with JLL, Emalia champions mentorship and diversity initiatives. Passionate about placemaking, she inspires reimagined spaces that foster authentic connections and lasting impact.

About Jules Hislop:
Jules Hislop joined EDENS in 2022 as developer and leasing associate, playing an integral role in shepherding the company’s overall development process, conducting financial analysis, and crafting the merchandising vision on major mixed-use projects in the national $6.5 billion portfolio. These projects include Lulah Hills in Atlanta and Howard University developments in Washington, D.C., as well as the Penn & 4th Street NE development and the redevelopment of the 5th Street NE historic spine—both within Union Market District. Prior to joining EDENS, he was a member of JLL’s Occupier Services team representing the General Services Administration (GSA) and corporate organizations throughout the Greater Washington, D.C., area. Originally from New Jersey, Jules holds a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College.

About Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast
Dot Dot Dot is the continuing conversation around art and placemaking in the built environment. Episodes explore art, culture, community, and more with a range of reputable business leaders. Tune in biweekly to learn how an original art experience can boost your business and make a positive social impact. Episodes are available wherever you get your podcasts!