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 204 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 ment stores in an enclosed mall. Then we went to the open-air lifestyle centers." He laughs and says, "My dad was screaming, 'We've got to put a roof on it — it is too hot in Alabama!'" "It is an ever-changing business, which is exciting," Wilson adds, noting that the way today's deals come together is quite different from deals in the past. Each project is different. "In Arkansas, a friend called and asked me to come take a look at a site. I went and looked at the property, then I met with the mayor and the cham- ber of commerce people and they showed me what they wanted to do. Then I sat down with Dillard's and they had interest in the project," he says. "For the Charles- ton property, a marketing company called me and said, 'The owners are looking....' They knew our reputation and invited us to come look at the property. We actual- ly went up against three other developers and were selected." He adds, "But what we build isn't what we built 10 years ago. People shop online. Younger kids are shopping online. They don't think first of shopping at malls or the lifestyle centers. You have to have the food and entertainment. You have to build a little city so that it has a constant heartbeat. Sales don't occur only on the weekends or after 3:00 in the afternoon. Rather, centers need to be available 24/7. It is a completely different animal, which is fun for the development company be- cause it is all something new." He mentions new tenants are also changing the face of retail: "The catalog tenant now wants some street frontage. You still have to get the tenants, but they are different than they were," he says. "Before I would be thinking about strict- ly retail and soft goods, some food. Now I'm spending more time thinking about food, entertainment, theaters, whatever it might be. Now you have the live/work portion of it. Do we put apartments or condos on top or somewhere else on the site? We definitely want hotels integrated with our project and we also want office space in a project. When you have that urban feel, where people are living and working and shopping, then they don't really leave. People want to have every- thing at their fingertips. We want to create a sense of place. We want the women who drop their kids off at school to meet their girlfriends here for coffee. We want each of our centers to be the place you can see and be seen, the cool place to be. We cre- Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham, Alabama, helped put JWA on the map. Built in 1985, the project combines a super-regional mall, office tower, hotel and other uses. Today, General Growth Properties is a 50 percent owner of the retail center with JWA, while JWA remains the sole owner of the office tower and Hyatt Regency/Wynfrey Hotel. Inside Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham, Alabama.

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