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Ashbrook Marketplace in Loudon County, VA with Diana Shipley

Episode #: 024
Ashbrook Marketplace in Loudon County, VA with Diana Shipley

Guest: Diana Shipley
Topics: Ashbrook Marketplace, grocery anchored centers


Chris Ressa 0:02
This is retail retold the story of how that store ended up in your neighborhood. I’m your host, Chris Ressa. And I invite you to join my conversation with some of the retail industry’s biggest influencers. This podcast is brought to you by DLC management.

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the rock is your crystal ball and the key to making well informed decisions with confidence in today’s evolving retail climate. Welcome to retail retold. Today we have Diana Shipley. Diana is the VP of leasing for Sol centers. She’s been in the retail real estate business for over 30 years and brings a perspective that I think will excite everyone. Welcome to the show, Diana.

Diana Shipley 1:19
Thank you so much, Chris, for having me on your podcast. The pleasure to be here.

Ressa 1:24
You’re welcome. So Dan, why don’t you tell us a little bit about you and what you do and what Saul centers is up to these days.

Shipley 1:32
Sounds good. Um, I’ve been in the retail business as you said, over 30 years, I’ve had experience on all aspects of the business. I started in retail on 1988 working for combined properties, which is a grocery anchored center locally to the DC market. And I started under construction department and learning the cost of construction, learning how to read blueprints, etc. And went from there to experience in land, representing dabka, which is the largest franchisee owner of Wendy’s International in the DC market. In addition of short Fenton, brokerage, and then assisting an acquisition of a shopping center malls downtown properties with Joseph fit. He’s the founder of Thor equities in New York. And currently, I’m a vice president leasing as call centers, where I’ve been here for about 14 years. And it’s been very exciting here. Wow. So Saul centers, was formed in 1993, and has over 65 Grocery anchor centers. And over 9 million square feet of grocery anchored. And we serve pretty much the community day to day needs. Not like a mall, but more just the local community. And Sol center space and Bethesda, Maryland, majority of our centers are all locally, Maryland, Virginia focus. We do have a couple of centers in Atlanta, Florida, in North Carolina, and one in New Jersey.

Ressa 3:10
So a couple things. One, you started out in the construction department, which I think is unique, most people who are really on the DL side, don’t start in the construction department. You think that helps you?

Shipley 3:25
It’s so funny. Yeah, I do. Because way back then I wanted to get into leasing. And I remember my boss saying One day, you’ll thank me for being in the construction department. And I will say I thank Him every day because it does make a difference in understanding what the costs are. And you know, putting a bathroom from the front to the back. And certain things that people want to do that really isn’t cost effective has really helped quite a bit. I can

Ressa 4:00
only imagine. Yeah, we spend a lot of time in working with our construction department where have me having the leasing team work with the construction department, the construction department worked in the leasing team, they both report up to me today. And so that cohesiveness is really critical to make sure everyone’s on the same page of a deal and how to make sure that the deal pencil so I’m sure that’s paid dividends really. You’ve got a huge focus in DC, understanding the grocery retailer prospective saw centers is public.

Shipley 4:34
We’re a real estate investment trust. So we are in the pocket.

Ressa 4:39
Got it. So you guys, you guys are a REIT. And so what are you guys seeing today? What’s going on in the world give us the state of the industry from Diana’s perspective. What are you seeing as this evolution of retail continues to happen?

Shipley 4:52
I’m excluding COVID-19 today.

Ressa 4:56
Yeah, outside of that, let’s let’s go pre COVID 19

Shipley 5:00
All right, so pretty much. I’m saying that. I mean, we just finished a brand new center in Loudoun County. And understanding the project from both strengths and weaknesses are very important to overcome some obstacles that each center may have. I think everybody is looking for local, day to day. Well, again, it goes back to being a community center somewhat discussed that focus and creating a momentum. to lease up the new center in a suburban area. Inner city centers have more density and population advantages in a suburban areas, that community focus center needs, services for that community. And that’s, that’s kind of, I mean, so far, we we did a great job in the Loudoun County area. And, for me, I focused on generating new traffic to this particular center. The retail industry is constantly evolving. brick and mortar stores are here to stay, I don’t care what anybody says. I think e Commerce has helped generate more traffic, especially in times like these, when I started retail, we didn’t have the luxury of technology. I’ve had geofence software, real time access of technology, with millennials and Generation Z, changing the way things are done. I’m grateful that they don’t mind me hanging out with them. But I’m usually the mother of the group that keeps me young. The younger generation is more familiar with using social media and grew up with computers. I also needed to adapt my experimenting, an expertise with Facebook, and LinkedIn live videos to drive some traffic to our centers. And to see how how that works. And to me, it generated traffic to the centers. But it didn’t always help with leasing vacant spaces. So the basic leasing space is still seeking out new tenants. And what does the area need, how to fill a void in that particular market. It’s also about a lot of signage, new ways to put signage like we use flags around the center to generate some, some eye traffic to the center. Elsa needs just to follow up on phone calls, emails is so important to the task of leasing up the new center. Going back

Ressa 7:51
a little bit, if you were to summarize the state of the world, let’s call it pre COVID-19 of retail. If I unpack what you said it’s changing, but you believe that technological advances are helping both tenants and potentially landlords in bringing tenants to that, right, because because we have new technologies like geofencing, location analytics and potentially new ways to communicate and find business owners and and they have abilities, whether that’s, you know, all the technologies, they have loyalty programs and their data collection where they hopefully can do more business is that, did I get that or my off?

Shipley 8:42
No, again, you definitely got it. Right. I mean, we have so many resources at our fingertips now that we didn’t have years ago, that tenants are making better judgments on if they need one store in the market or two, I still think there’s a lot of growth, both connecting Old School New School ways of finding real estate and if it’s going to be successful or not, because there are software programs that have algorithms that are supposed to predict what certain sales volumes are going to be. And I don’t think that’s down to a perfect science yet, because I’m seeing software programs that are being analyzed with existing retailers, current openings that do not have accurate numbers. So just for example, a war Rogers that’s doing 1.5 million in a certain area. When they put the software together. It didn’t predict that number, it actually predicted lower. So I still think we’ve got a lot of growth to go on those algorithms. That stuff times the old school, when you go to a site, you see the traffic patterns you, you feel what’s going on, there’s kind of that gut instinct, still some of the basics you need to see if there’s full access and stuff like that. But I think they are helping make less mistakes in the marketplace. And I think social media has helped drive local traffic to local centers, which has been very successful. But in terms of like I said, filling vacant spaces, not so much. What do you say to

Ressa 10:34
the headline news reporter that says, retails dead? Look at all these stores that are closing, how could you argue that retail is not dead? What do you say to that person?

Shipley 10:45
I say it’s still evolving. I don’t think I think that, again, we didn’t have the smartphone years ago, the smartphone has changed a lot of ways of how we purchase merchandise with Amazon. But I think that brick and mortar appear to stay, I think that the cover has made a couple conclusion that said, You know what, in order for us to drive more traffic, they hit a certain feeling in their volumes, if they’re just online, that they need a certain presence where people can come and feel the product or see the product. And you had a podcast, or anchor shops really delivered that message pretty loudly and very innovative in the way they they brought brands that couldn’t afford their first store to the marketplace. Yeah,

Ressa 11:46
I agree. I had this woman on our podcast, Melissa Gonzalez, who actually said the numbers like $10 million, that’s when the digitally native only retailer probably starts to look at a brick and mortar presence, presence to scale because the economics of E commerce only get really challenging, and for branding and more sales, that’s typically when they start. So we’ll see. I think the big myth is that, and I keep saying on a lot of different podcasts, not just mine, that the cost of e Commerce today is actually greater than the cost of, of brick and mortar. The myth is that it’s cheaper, the cost of entry is cheaper. So it’s for, you know, Diana, and Krystal put up a t shirt shop, it’s cheaper for us to start than to spend a lot of money on construction and open a store, but to scale. If you know, if she orders for and returns three, and doesn’t pay for shipping, well, then those economics are broken, and it doesn’t work. So we’re gonna see how that plays out. But and to scale, you know, the, the brick and mortar real estate is seemingly less expensive than to scale the digitally only. So we’ll see how that plays out. For sure. You didn’t mention though, that you don’t think these technology innovations are helping landlords actually lease space. And so what did you mean by that?

Shipley 13:20
So I actually tried it out. Our company allowed me to work with a PR firm, to do a couple social media, like Facebook Live videos and a couple of our centers in Loudoun County. And we did see a pickup in traffic to those particular centers that we worked with some of the tenants, because people are more about emotion now not so much a product and they get excited when a new restaurant opens up. And we do we did one for for the shack at Lansdowne. That went crazy when we first announced that they were coming. And I was pretty amazed at the traffic that could be generated. And literally within a minute, that happened so quickly. I can’t remember how many views it just it actually broke my Facebook, I was knocked out for a while.

Ressa 14:21
That’s crazy. So I’m going to challenge you here for a minute. Why don’t you think social media helps

Shipley 14:26
lease space. So because I think when it’s good for someone to come there, but if somebody sees a vacant space, they really don’t know what the next step is. So if you get a phone call from somebody that wants to open a restaurant, and you might have second generation space, but they may not have qualifications, they may not have a business plan, they may not have their ducks in a row. So Social media can. It’s nice to be able to show that there’s a senator there, but you really still need to meet that person and get to know them and really work with, especially mom and pop to get them to the table to lease space and what that’s all about. Still a very relationship base, and still boots on the ground still, in my opinion. Yeah.

Ressa 15:26
I don’t disagree with that. But I disagree with the premise that social can’t help the lease space, I think it can. But I don’t disagree with the fact that at some point, you have to take an online conversation to an offline and I think this is larger than just commercial real estate. This is everything. I personally believe it can help. And I think the the art is how, how creative you are, I think it goes back to it goes back to the fundamentals. Social media is a different channel. But of of marketing and selling, it comes back to do you believe marketing can help you lease space? Social media is just another form of that? Do you believe that? It can help you sell space? And so if you believe that marketing, in general can help you sell whatever your product is, right? Obviously, people have bought into that from a consumer products perspective, right? You see commercials for tide and commercials for Nike and whatnot, and they believe that spending money on marketing will drive sales, I guess?

Shipley 16:40
No, there’s no doubt that brand awareness is, is out there. So I will say like if you have tied in a product, their brand awareness, and yes, that’s more of a recognition through social media. I’m not knocking social media where I did a LinkedIn video when we first started breaking ground at ashbrooke. And when we started breaking ground as well, we were able to create the momentum for the center. So I did use a social media platform for that to get started. So it’s still a learning curve for me. Again, I’m not in that generation that knows a lot about it. So I’m still embracing it and trying to pick it up and follow it to see how it works. I do think I property capsule you guys use where you can send sites instead of having to go and show space has been great. But it really is a mix of both now, kind of like E commerce. What when it comes to retail stores, they have to have a brick and mortar store as well as ecommerce he can’t do without vote.

Ressa 17:52
That I don’t disagree with. But I hope I’m about to change your perspective. So I was trying to get in I’m continuing always trying to get quality guests on my podcast. That’s a I’ll call that a sale. When I get them on. I made a sale. Did you and I ever speak on the phone before? We are recording this today?

Shipley 18:18
And how did I find you? On LinkedIn,

Ressa 18:22
on social media? So no, I don’t think this is any different than signing a lease. In my perspective,

Shipley 18:30
so that’s interesting. I don’t know that I’ve gotten Well, I will say that Facebook Live. So there’s a correction. So I guess it depends on which platform you choose. There’s so many different social media platforms. So there’s Instagram and Facebook Live and LinkedIn I have found is better. As my experience has been growing, to use for business, contacts more than Facebook Live,

Ressa 19:02
I’m going to bring it back to to me It depends on your belief and marketing because you could do something right you know, on Instagram or Facebook and you could buy an ad and target that against all nail salon owners and try to land on the newsfeed of nail salon owners and I find that most small business owners man and control their social media sites so when it shows up on nail salon, one’s newsfeed, the person who’s seeing that is the owner of that nail salon. So I think there’s things that I think it depends on the creative and the marketing, less on if the the power of the platform. I heard something a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk said he was interviewing someone and he was meeting with I think it was He’s the CEO of Anheuser Busch. And he was trying to say, you know, put a lot of money into social media. And I guess the CEO said something about when was the time with the election and Trump and he said, You know, I don’t know if Facebook had to change the face of the election. And his comment was, so let me get this. So I understand it, you believe that the platform has the power to change the never the democratic landscape, but you’re not sure if it can help sell your beer. And, you know, that was prospective for me at the time when I was like, You know what, maybe there’s nuance and how to use it. But to me, whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, I think they all podcasting, I think that they all have power to facilitate a sale, there is no doubt there’s nothing that beats the human connection. And to your point, I believe that going and meeting with people in that face to face relationship will always be there, and nothing beats the human connection. But I also believe that these are new tools that could potentially help. No doubt in today’s world signing the lease, you’re probably going to get to a face to face at some point. That said, there are people buying commercial properties on That never see the property. There are people that are buying cars on Carvana never see the car, and it just shows up. So I think there’s, there’s gonna be some movement. We I think it’s early, but I think it’s going to evolve. If you told me in 15 years, I was going to be able, and I’m probably early, but I was going to be able to go hey, Alexa, put in a bid to go lease x space in X shopping center. That doesn’t seem far fetched to me.

Shipley 22:02
My husband does technology. And I’ve done real estate. And I find that a both of our worlds have kind of collided, and I’m still low tech, these very high tech is so it is really learning and there’s so much to learn. It’s like you then they have one platform. And now all of a sudden, there’s another platform and which one’s better. I mean, now they’ve got tick tock. So it’s like, there are so many. And it’s, it’s happening so quickly. But all I can tell you is that if you choose to do social media, you take one, two or three platforms, and you have to do it. Well. If you don’t, it doesn’t, it doesn’t really stick.

Ressa 22:50
I agree, you know, that doesn’t change the fact that you got to do it well, right? No different than TV commercial, you can do a TV commercial. But if it stinks and doesn’t lands, well, then you’re gonna miss. I don’t think it’s any different. So I agree with that totally.

Shipley 23:07
But I think you’re finding a generation of, you know, above 60. And, you know, those people are even challenged to try and figure out Facebook and stuff like that. And, and to put analytics on top of that. It’s a little bit of a learning curve, you have to constantly be embracing change, which is something nobody really likes.

Ressa 23:34
Totally agree. So moving on. So I’m gonna pivot a minute, that was really helpful. I really appreciate the whole real estate tech perspective. I guess, the next thing that is interesting, we’re not going to talk about one store, you actually were part of a new retail shopping center being built amidst these, you know, evolutionary times, which there’s not a lot of new retail shopping centers being built. And so you being a part of what I think brings interesting perspective, why don’t you tell us the story of that shopping center and how this all got done?

Shipley 24:12
Sure. You’re, you’re referencing ashbrooke marketplace, it was my responsibility to lease up. I’m proud to say that the center is now 100% leased, and within one year of moving dirt last January 2019. And I mentioned earlier this project is located in Loudoun County in Northern Virginia. This area is the most affluent county in the US and the median incomes about an average of 142 and a one mile radius. Loudoun is the fifth fastest growing county in the US and within with 84% growth since 2000. Our center had a lot of obstacles to overcome because was only 85,000 square feet is that on 13.7 acres are very limited and in sizes that we needed to really give this serious planning before we really did too much. And so we we laid it out with three pads. And I’ll tell you it took a lot of teamwork coordinating the construction team development team, when the site went under construction to keep the project within our budget. So ashbrooke had the immediate competition. Actually directly behind us. We have 171,000 square feet anchored Center at Paris theater on good AC more Bank of America Wendy’s Broadway shoes, and we were on the corner that front their particular site and then across the street on Route seven Riverside square shopping center that has another 100,000 Under Construction less than a half a mile and that is a non grocery anchored center and find a fitness center in Texas Roadhouse, she gas station, and then half a mile next to that, which is a beautiful project called one Loudon. RPI is placing it now. And that project is mixed use with a lot of residential and creating that live work feel with Alamo cement Drafthouse, or Louise Nando’s of Oreos, Trader Joe’s. And more I mean they they opened the first Barnes and Noble which was nice to see and Martin County, and the center is is doing well. So then from there, you’ve got Commonwealth center, that’s 1.2 million square feet next year. I’ve got a Top Golf, it’s 65,000 square feet, I fly that’s 9300 CDs, they’re under construction with water work in a shooting range and another fitness center. And then they have a silver diner. And that’s coming to the market, which is exciting. So I was very concerned when we first started breaking ground because my project was very, very small. But we needed to make it work. So one of the main things we had to do was find an anchor, which we worked on quite a few before we landed Lidl, and Lidl is a German global discount supermarket with a strong European presence. Yet, when we started, they’d had no doors open in the US. And at the time, it was hard as a landlord to create a center around an unknown retailer. However, call centers, we worked with them and to create a deal that worked for both parties. And we we got that deal done. And Center has some great leadership team that every time we had an obstacle we would meet and really talk about how do we get where we need to go. And we worked really together and make this successful. And everybody had an important part even down to the facilities manager where we installed the flag signs, have you seen the ones that are flying out now that we recreated this buzz around the dirt that was moving, I don’t suggest putting flags around a construction site, because they definitely don’t make it true a year. Because when you start moving dirt, some of these guys don’t really care about a sign. So there’s a few times a few times we’ve had to fix them, put them back up. That was really kind of difficult in the beginning, but it did create some of the momentum that we needed. And we started putting up each building we had three buildings, three pad sites. And when you have a center that we just had an anchor, that it was really challenging to make sure that each base we were designing didn’t have columns in the middle when you didn’t have leases signed, who knows what that side was going to be. For a while we picked two buildings. So we first building B and C. And we waited are building a because we weren’t sure how this was going to go. As we started. We got pizza and we’ve got dentist Cafe Rio signed. We got rowhouse yoga thick, and a salon. So we really started moving along. We got dunkin donuts on a pad novoline And it came together and we have the first McAllister is in Loudoun County. All these moving parts weren’t easy. So I totally understand.

Ressa 29:54
Give me some context. How long have you guys own the dirt?

Shipley 30:00
I got the dirt. Probably I want to say within two years,

Ressa 30:05
this isn’t something they’ve owned for 30 years, and they’ve been land banking and waiting. They proactively went in, like, we know, this is an opportunity. Let’s go buy this land.

Shipley 30:19
Actually, it was in our trust. So the trust besides that, you know, when they want to sell, so they sold it

to sell centers to do the leasing. So we’re, we’re different entities there.

Ressa 30:36
Okay. And had the trust had this land for a long time,

Shipley 30:41
I assume. So I’m not really privy to some of that information. We definitely have even more across the street, we have another 52 acres across the street that we’re looking at possibly rezoning and doing mixed use there. So this, this was a decision we made thinking at the time, Trader Joe’s hadn’t find a deal, and they were looking in Loudoun County market. So when we first started, we thought we could land them. And we had a great relationship with them. And as you know, sometimes when you start some of these projects, the end goal that you start in your mind isn’t always what actually happens in the marketplace. Trader Joe’s, RPI RPI had fresh market, and they ended up closing. So instead of building from scratch, Trader Joe’s decided we’re just going to take an existing roaster in this market. So over a year, that decision had changed drastically to a different site than what we had originally planned. So that was a hiccup in the market.

Ressa 32:00
Understood, yeah, that’s it. That’s a big one. If you think you’re getting Trader Joe’s and then they, they go away, that happens. But that’s really, that’s really challenging. You mentioned a bunch of the tenants that you brought to the marketplace.

Unknown Speaker 32:16
Going back a little bit,

Ressa 32:17
I think one of the things that we keep hearing in retail, and retail real estate, and anywhere in commercial real estate, is that construction costs are rising. And so fortunately, it’s you know, what I know about Loudoun and Northern Virginia, it’s a strong rental market, meaning the rents are higher. So sometimes you can offset some of those costs. But did you have any hiccups as it related to construction costs? And did you get to the returns that you thought you were gonna get to?

Shipley 32:51
I will say that this project was not an easy project. By any means, because we had estimated our construction costs, I worked with our development team, every day, or every week, we met once a week. And to make sure because we had designed each building, so building a was about 18 to 20,000 square feet, building D was about 14,000. And Building C was about 10,000. Now, in the middle of us going forward, Lidl had announced that they were changing their prototype and canceling contracts. So that didn’t help at all. So

Ressa 33:43
but, of course, that’s what happened. Yeah,

Shipley 33:47
so what we did is in my competition, really, really dug your heels on that one thing. Lita was never going to come to ashbrooke marketplace. So Lidl was very committed to the deal. And they wrapped their site when they were under construction with their logo, which really helped us and committed once they started moving their dirt. Everybody knew they were coming. So that was a big help. And they were really great to deal with on on a couple of things that we had asked them to help wrap the fight with our logo,

Ressa 34:20
did you lease it or sell it to Lidl

Shipley 34:24
so that was a ground lease to Lille. And that was probably their very first ground lease in the marketplace, because they had chose to purchase all of their sites. And this was the first one that that they were ground leasing and we were building a shopping center around them. That was also a challenge. Understood. So getting back to the numbers, so having a small site and making sure that we kept on our budget and made the numbers Yes, we move project came in. Everything was Perfect Storm to say that I worked with construction. And that’s where my construction background did help. Because I was in the construction department all the time, because what happens is they order materials, HVAC, and all this stuff ahead of time. Glass, bronze, storefront, everything, we had to make a few modifications. But because I brought them in so early in the game, when you have a restaurant, those guys require more HVAC tonnage than a dentist does. When you have a boutique fitness, you got to be concerned about sound, you don’t want them to be next to a spa and not have them coexist well. So we had to spend a little extra money on a sound specialist to come out. And really helped design the space to make sure that the building would be soundproof, not really proof, but found where it can interrupt the other tenants. So that was also initiative. But like I said, we have a great professional team here. I was in their office pretty much every day. And we work together really closely on this project. And this was a team effort to get it to where it was successful. So

Ressa 36:24
and how many tenants is it today?

Shipley 36:28
Ah, so we have, let’s say, a really think we’ve got a total of tea. Yeah.

Ressa 36:39
And so, Lidl and who’s the second largest tenant?

Shipley 36:44
Fitness, Planet Fitness?

Ressa 36:47
And so is anyone open today?

Shipley 36:52
No. So right now. The only little half that was that was interesting. We didn’t think legal was going to open till March 20. But they open they wanted to be open for Thanksgiving. So they opened in November. And we were we’re still opening up the rest of building a and Planet Fitness will be opened, hopefully the end of this month. We’ve got row house and yoga sticks gonna be open probably April and Rapanos. Cafe Rio, are supposed to open today, but I think they’re delaying for weeks because of what’s going on out there. But yeah, everybody’s going to be open soon.

Ressa 37:42
I guess that brings me to my next question is just piggybacking off of what you said, you know, Planet Fitness, opening the end of this month, a couple of tenants opening in April, you just mentioned Cafe Rio, what do you think COVID-19 Does to tenant openings, right? If if I was a tenant, you know, I’m trying to think how I would be thinking about that right now. And we’re in the midst of it. For those out there. It’s Monday, March 16. This, this podcast will probably not get released for a little while. But you know, we’re in the midst of this. So maybe by now, this is old news. But as we’re dealing with it, you know, we’re we’re live in real time right now. What do you what’s your take it maybe not just for this project? You know, just in general, how do you see retail openings in the United States right now being a retail expert?

Shipley 38:37
This is definitely unfamiliar territory.

Ressa 38:40
Yeah, uncharted waters, for sure. Yeah.

Shipley 38:43
But I definitely think we’re just beginning. And I think holding off for a little while is probably wise. I think that we all still need food. We’ll need conveniences. We’ll still need all these retailers. I just think we just don’t know how long we’re going to be in the state of lockdown. We’re not quite locked down yet. But being in our home, because that’s, that’s the million dollar question right now is how long are we going to be doing this? And it could be two weeks. It could be four weeks? It could be eight weeks? It could be six months? I don’t think anybody knows. And if anything, just like I started this project that you know, we didn’t have much to start with. And I think everybody doing what they can do and being safe and washing their hands and everything like that and being socially responsible and Imperials stay home. And once we get through this, because we will get through this and we’ll still need retail will still I still have the mom and pop and once opened up a bagel children still have the needs that the kid no local high school in Egypt place to go hang out and get something to eat, or still need local registers or yoga studios. And so it’s it’s definitely an even today I spoke to one of the largest grocery providers out there in the marketplace. And he said, It’s not that we don’t have food in the products. It’s just we can’t ship it fast enough. So I just think right now everybody’s in a state of panic. And the uncertainty and fear is very paralyzing. But I think once we stay calm, and know that we can get through this. And maybe it’s really to think about, you know, just a moment for now and getting through this, because we will just to stay encouraged and hopeful. Because we’re all still going to need retail. Yeah,

Ressa 41:05
I don’t disagree with that. I think, you know, clearly there’s some economic impacts that are happening, and nobody knows what those will be. But we are certainly going to probably start to feel them soon.

Shipley 41:20
Well, I grew up in Houston, Texas. So in 1984 was the worst time ever. People were making your home. And transpo tower was vacant. Those that are from Houston, remember, and DC has been somewhat insulated. But when you have a pandemic like this, I don’t think the world’s ever seen something like this, especially the US.

Ressa 41:47
Yeah, I don’t think so either. Right, we have governments are forcing that you know, people to close, that’s different than the economic scenario being challenging when a government is forcing restaurants in Illinois and bars in Illinois and forcing Ohio, you know, New York and whatever states there are too close, and it feels like it’s gonna start to roll everywhere. I think it’s, that’s going to be a challenge, you know?

Shipley 42:21
Yeah, I definitely do. Like I said, I don’t think we’ve been in this kind of situation before. I do think that kind of was very strong before we got here. So a lot of this. Watching the news, and I just think it’s very uncertain about what’s going to happen. And I think nobody really knows. But I would think that, again, it’s, it’s gonna get difficult. But stay in faith and be hopeful we’re gonna get through all this. So um, so

Ressa 43:10
I appreciate that. So, and good little story. I mean, awesome to hear some trials and tribulations of how a new center in this retail evolution was able to be fully leased, get best in class retailers and service uses to sign up and now you’re 100%. Leased. Anything else interesting. We didn’t talk about about this project about Lidl, and Planet Fitness and the yoga guy and the other tenants that you brought this collection of cool uses. And were able to figure out how to get them all signed up in this really competitive marketplace, in Loudoun, and then this in Northern Virginia, and in this really, you know, evolutionary time in retail, anything that we didn’t cover, and real estate specific, retail specific, any little tidbits?

Shipley 44:07
No, I don’t think so. I think like I said, it’s working with each retailer, trying to provide them, give them what they need. And also just coming from the retail perspective and a landlord’s perspective, we both have performance we both have needs to be met and negotiating together and those strong relationships to bring it to the end result was really working with these retailers to give them what they needed. And it’s no longer a very can’t really push your way to have your deal term. It really is about meeting in the middle of making a fair deal for both parties.

Ressa 44:53
All right, they enter that was a cool story of how a a new development which We don’t hear about a lot got got done. And I’m glad you met your pro forma on construction. Even in this crazy construction environment we’ve been living in the past few years and got some great retailers, especially after the Trader Joe’s dream got smushed, you were still able to persevere. So, really cool. Thanks for story. We’re gonna pivot to our next part of the show retail wisdom. And I know, you know, this, this part of the show, so I’m just gonna get on with it. Are you ready?

Shipley 45:39
Yes. All right.

Ressa 45:42
Best piece of commercial real estate advice to the listeners out there.

Shipley 45:48
best piece of advice. You know, my, my wisdom would be to work hard. Stay the course do all that you can to make it work. And leave the rest up in God’s hands. And when you’ve done all you can do have a little faith and hope in the future.

Ressa 46:11
faith and hope probably probably some sage advice given everything going on now.

Shipley 46:17
Question to

Ressa 46:21
extinct retailer, you wish you’d come back from

Shipley 46:23
the dead. Right now FAO short, because I think everyone has a little kid inside of them. And it would be nice to go and see some of the fun and play. You know, I don’t think any of us play enough. So that would be a great retailer to bring back and miss those guys. Love that. All right, well,

Ressa 46:46
given everything going on. At DLC, we are working remotely. And I needed a new chair for my home office. So I wasn’t getting anything crazy. But I went to Staples and went brick and mortar shopping and went to Staples. And I got the staples Rutherford, luxury manager chair in black. What did that retail for? What did I purchase the staples Rutherford, luxury manager chair for?

Shipley 47:20
Thank goodness, I’m 100 bucks. 30 bucks.

Ressa 47:26
That’s a big difference. 100 or 130 100? Wow, impressive. It was 9999. I’m going to count that as a win. Thank you for playing. Most people do not when you are a winner. The Karma is going to be with you on your project. ashbrooke marketplace. That is That is awesome. Most people don’t get that right. So kudos to you.

Shipley 47:59
Oh, Chris, I’ll invite you out when Planet Fitness has a grand opening.

Ressa 48:03
Sounds good. I hope it’s sooner rather than later. And thank you for joining the show today. Really appreciate the insights.

Shipley 48:12
Well, thank you, Chris. I appreciate you having me on your show.

Ressa 48:20
Thank you for listening to retail told if you want to share a story about a retail real estate deal that you were a part of on our show. Please reach out to us at retail retold idlc This show highlights the stories behind the deals from all perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a retailer, broker, entrepreneur, architect or an attorney. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to retail retold so you don’t miss out on next Thursday’s episode

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