Shopping Center Business

MAY 2016

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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COMPANY PROFILE 202 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 DIVERSE INVESTMENTS "My dad said that if you put all your eggs in one basket, and you have some bad years, you'll get hurt. If you are diversified, one business might be down and the other ones up, and it can help keep everything on an equal playing field. My brother and I have kept that philosophy," Wilson says. The company has done several resi- dential projects. "We have one now — a property my father bought back in the mid 1990s where we have the potential land area to build homes for the next 30 years in Montgomery. Today we have 250 homes there and are adding 100 lots as we speak. As a part of the development we worked with the local YMCA and the Montgomery Public School system to build a YMCA and an elementary school in my father's honor." Wilson says. They've also invested in gaming in Okla- homa. Wilson explains: "We got involved with the Indian tribes. We own gaming machines at the casinos. That has been a good business for us. When development slowed, and really stopped, we were look- ing for other things to do and we had an opportunity to work with some friends we had worked with before. "Our non-retail diversification has in- cluded the apartment tax credit syndica- tion business with a newly formed com- pany called 42 Equity Partners, as well as hotels and office buildings, and we are in negotiations now to buy two non-retail businesses. Our goal is to buy good com- panies with outstanding management where we can add our expertise and grow the business," he says. "But retail is still our main core business," he stresses. A RETAIL FOCUS On the retail front, there hasn't been any real growth for retailers for several years, Wilson notes. "Now after a few years of struggling, the economy is do- ing better. People feel better about how things are going. Gas prices are down; people have been able to pay off their credit cards, and now they are thinking about buying a dress or shoes or taking the family out to eat. We believe retailers are ready to capitalize on the improving economy." Retailers that are new to the Montgom- ery market tend to look first at EastChase, Wilson says. "They might not be able to afford us, but we get the first look. Food is such a big component now. A lot of new restaurants coming into the market are looking at EastChase with us. We're get- ting to where we are about to run out of developable property — and it is a 330-acre development. We thought it would take longer to complete the build out in Mont- gomery. It has been a great development. Our partner, ALFA, has been wonderful to work with; they are very knowledgeable about retail and real estate." But retail has changed a bit over the years. Wilson says, "Back in the day, I'd get a call from a department store and they'd say, 'Will, go look here for us. We want a new store here.' With that, I could build my puzzle and put it together. Today, you have to find the site and the timing has to be right. But then, can you lease it? You really have to have the perfect storm." Looking back even further, Wilson ex- plains that, "When my dad was coming along, the plan was always four depart- Bowie is one of the largest cities in Maryland. Bowie is also an excellent business location, easily accessed from Washington D.C., Annapolis and Baltimore. Bowie's proximity to these major cities brings business and workforce into the area via Routes 3, 50 and 301. Bowie has more than 90 restaurants, 200 shops, and a dozen recreation opportunities. With this winning combination of location, access and amenities your business is certain to grow and succeed. For space available details call: Bowie Marketplace Brian Berman, 301.816.1555 Bowie Plaza Lance Marine, 703.905.0331 Bowie Town Center Melodye Grim, 317.685.7295 Collington Plaza Scott Faloni, 410.693.3248 Free State Shopping Center Rich Abruscato, 301.998.8188 Hilltop Plaza Bruce Levine, 410.486.0800 x116 Pointer Ridge Plaza Jim Farrell, 571.382.1229 Shoppes at Bowie Town Center & Shoppes at Highbridge Sean Weisbord, 410.771.1700 For more information on ALL of Bowie's Opportunities, contact: John Henry King, Economic Development Director, City of Bowie, Maryland 15901 Excalibur Road, Bowie, MD 20716 301.809.3042 | fax 301.809.2315 | Retail Opportunities to make your Mark in Bowie Median Household Income over $106,396 Average Household Income over $119,456 Bowie is Bullish on Maryland!

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