The Wilbert Group Blog

Posts by Patrick Christman

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 6/15/17

Share

Unknown1. The Wilbert Group is proud to have helped shine a light on a compassionate and important organization, Destroy Pancreatic Cancer. Spokesperson Mark Gelinas and board member Mike Broxterman were recently featured on HLN’s MichaeLA to discuss the foundation’s mission and founder John Couvillon’s legacy. You can watch the full segment here.

2. Amazon has a plan for a new distribution hub in Atlanta that will ultimately employ about 1,000 full-time workers. The new “fulfillment center” in Jefferson will be Amazon’s second in Jackson County, and the announcement comes amid the Fortune 500 company’s push to provide rapid delivery — including same-day — to more customers. Jared Wiesel, partner at Revenue Analytics, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Scott Trubey that Amazon’s push to open more fulfillment centers is part of its goal to enable delivery within hours, saying “Two of Amazon’s greatest competitive strengths are around convenience and price.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 2.39.52 PM3. Preferred Apartment Communities Inc. (PAC) recently purchased Rockbridge Village, a roughly 102,432-square-foot retail center in Stone Mountain that is anchored by a 68,632-square-foot Kroger grocery store. Commercial Property Executive profiled PAC’s new asset, which it acquired through its wholly owned subsidiary New Market Properties LLC. The company financed the purchase through a non-recourse first mortgage loan originated by The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

4. General contracting firm New South Construction Company has completed construction of two Georgia senior living communities. The Glen at Lake Oconee in Greensboro and Thrive at Frederica in St. Simons are the latest to join New South Construction’s portfolio of senior living communities across the Southeast United States. New South president Huntly Gordon spoke with Multi Housing News about the projects, saying, “We’re proud to deliver modern luxury accommodations for future residents.”

5. In the past few years, there’s been a flood of intown Atlanta chefs and restaurateurs expanding OTP. While that hooped highway known as the perimeter can often feel like a solid wall when it comes to cultural differences, the fact is that literally millions of people live in the suburbs outside 285, all of whom eat and many of whom have the disposable income to eat quite well. A recent Creative Loafing article on the phenomenon profiled several OTP high-end food locations, including Avalon in Alpharetta, home to Ford Fry restaurant El Felix, a sister concept to intown Superica.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 3.00.52 PM

 

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 5/23/17

Share

photos.medleyphoto.14115631  1. During the height of rush hour on March 30, thick black smoke swelled above Atlanta. First responders sprung to action to tame the massive fire roaring beneath I-85 in Atlanta. According to North American Properties’ Mark Toro, “This breathtaking moment was a shock to our system – a shock our city sorely needed.” In this Atlanta Journal Constitution op-ed, Toro challenges all Atlantans to use the I-85 collapse as a lesson for why we need to commit to expand MARTA and make it a part of our daily commute.

2. Change is afoot in the commercial insurance industry. The forward-looking technology landscape and the growing regulatory environment are reshaping the vital ways in which the industry engages with customers, especially in the U.S. Laura Calugar recently interviewed Franklin Street’s Ted Holler in Commercial Property Executive to discuss how his company had adapted to recent changes.

3. For investors in Amazon, the most important number to remember is 20. When online MW-FM357_amazon_20170511175400_MGsales hit 20 percent of all purchases in a given retail category, a surge in Amazon growth is sure to follow. But not all retailers are falling prey to Amazon’s business model. In this MarketWatch article, Revenue Analytics’ Jared Wiesel said, “Most pockets of retail success today have some sort of protective moat around their business that helps them fend off Amazon.”

4. Recent headlines about Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly have undoubtedly increased awareness regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. With the heightened interest amongst employees regarding workplace rights, Fisher Phillips’ Michelli Rivera says, “Metro Atlanta employers should brace themselves for more sexual harassment-related inquiries.” In this op-ed for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Rivera offers proactive steps that can better protect Atlanta businesses – and hopefully keep them out of the headlines.

5. On the heels of back-to-back grand openings of two major mixed-use developments, the Bayer Properties team arrived at ICSC’s RECon conference in Las Vegas with a fresh viewpoint on how retail is changing and what today’s consumers are seeking. In this Shopping Centers Today article, CEO and president Jeffrey Bayer said, “We are excited to be here this year surrounded by retail experts to learn from each other and discuss the future of the ever-evolving industry.”

draper

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 4/25/17

Share

 

mia-nickgarzia1. Are indoor shopping malls becoming extinct? Or is a resurgence upon us? That depends on whom you ask. Many retail industry watchers are down on malls—and with good reason. Big bankruptcies are driving big vacancies. The flip side is, these big vacancies are driving strategic redevelopment opportunities that could revitalize models with an experiential retail twist. GlobeSt.com recently caught up with Nick Garzia, director of leasing for Atlantic Station to get his take. “I don’t think malls are becoming extinct, but I do think they are changing. A stratification of product type has been taking place over the past several years.”

2. If you’re headed to downtown Atlanta this spring, you’ll want to read this Atlanta Journal Constitution article detailing the top restaurants within walking distance of the city’s major sites. Our favorite is Peachtree Center’s retail center, whose culinary options include Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Panbury’s Hand Pies, Tin Lizzy’s Mexican, Aviva by Kameel Mediterranean and several other spots.

3. Teen members of the U.S. Bank Boys and Girls Club in Cincinnati now have a space all for themselves. Aaron’s, Inc. partnered with Boys and Girls Clubs of America in 2015 to renovate clubs across the country and their latest renovation occurred last week in The Queen City. The teenagers helped design the space and associates from Aaron’s took over from there. See this local CBS article and video for more information about the Teen Center, which is now equipped with new technology, sectional sofas, tables and chairs and a new sound system.

4. Another quarterly earnings season is in the books, and while there were a few star performers, it was another dismal one for retailers. It seems almost a daily occurrence — headlines littered with the next retailer that struggled under the weight of aggressive competition and changing consumer preferences. To help make sense of what retailers can expect from the coming price war, and how they can win each battle, check out Revenue Analytics’ Jared Wiesel’s article in Total Retail.

5. On the latest episode of NPR WUKY’s Business Side, Brennan Fielder talked with Lindsay Bayer-Shipp, creative director and brand strategist at Bayer Properties, the Alabama-based developer set to debut the Summit at Fritz Farm, a sprawling new retail and dining complex on Nicholasville Road at Man O War Boulevard in the shadow of Fayette Mall. The grand opening event is this Thursday, April 27th.

SFF-Steel-City-Pops

To Get the Most Out of ICSC, You’ll Need PR

Share

Are you attending ICSC RECon this year? If you go without a PR strategy, you’re wasting an opportunity to make a name for yourself in retail real estate. The evidence?

  • ICSC social pages have a BIG audience. Are you a part of that conversation?
  • Media will be there, including National Real Estate Investor, Bisnow, Commercial Observer, Chain Sore Age and more. Do you have a plan to organize interviews and get news out to the right people?
  • And what about your local media? Chances are, they’ll be looking for experts to discuss the conference when you’re back home.

You can make your mark in an impactful way. Check out our SlideShare below to learn how The Wilbert Group can help.

Contact:

Caroline Wilbert

404-748-1250

404-405-6479 (cell)

cwilbert@thewilbertgroup.com

 

www.thewilbertgroup.com

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 4/12/17

Share

image21. Hard hats and construction trucks are beginning to move out of Avalon’s new wing, Boulevard East. The experiential mixed-use mecca in Alpharetta will unveil its second phase expansion to the public with a 13-hour grand opening celebration this Thursday, April 13. To see a preview of the new shops and eateries, read this Atlanta Journal Constitution article, which features an inside look at Avalon’s highly anticipated Boulevard East.

2. Any businesses relying on independent contractors – including shared economy or “gig” economy businesses – should pay close attention to a recent court ruling that granted Uber a significant victory in the industry’s ongoing misclassification battle. That’s according to Fisher Phillips Columbia, S.C. attorneys Steve Mitchell and Sheila Bias, who penned an op-ed in Midlands Biz detailing how employers can apply the lessons this ruling teaches. Reviewing the factors the court cited should assist in establishing preferred practices that will minimize the changes of a misclassification lawsuit and maximize the chances of success should such a lawsuit be filed against your business.

hive_mind_arise_13. Atlanta has a new destination where you can grab some lunch and see dozens of artists creating work right in the heart of Midtown: The Creative Hive Project, which has brought individuals and arts organizations to Colony Square. Mixed in with restaurants, retail and offices are a dozen artists or arts groups working right out in the open. To learn more about when you can see the Creative Hive Project at Colony Square, listen to this WABE story.

4. Edward Andrews Homes’ Alpharetta community, Larkspur, is a new take on the “active adult” formula. Its target market is “a generation of buyers that are trading in their large family homes and entering a new chapter lived on their own terms,” says Caroline Simmel, senior vice president of marketing. Imagine yourself living in one of these beautiful homes with this Atlanta magazine article.

5. A new standard of luxury can be found in the Maisonettes at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, a collection of three villa-style private residences (from $2.8 million) that are part of The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. Each three-level abode features a one-of-a-kind floor plan and plenty of outdoor space. Hardwood floors, marble accents, massive windows, and hand-crafted stone fireplace mantels give the units a sleek, elevated feel. Check out the incredible pictures and learn more in this Robb Report article.

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 4.19.18 PM

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 3/29/17

Share

online-retail1. Retail is a fickle industry. With a mix of eCommerce stores versus brick-and-mortar locations, it’s important to understand what consumers want year to year to ensure your business continues to succeed. Jennifer Post recently published an article in Business News Daily with the top four upcoming trends to watch in retail. Revenue Analytics’ retail expert Jared Wiesel said in the piece, “Retailers should connect on the individual customer’s terms. They need to be included in the process, and whether they want emails, texts or alerts through an app, companies should adhere to those preferences.”

2. Mark Toro is a hugely successful businessman who founded the Atlanta office of North American Properties. But how did he get there? 11 Alive’s “Executive Profiles” shined the spotlight on Toro last week, with an in-depth video detailing his journey to the founder of the Atlanta office of NAP. Some highlights include: Toro coming from a family of builders, his studies at Rutgers University, his instrumental role in the development of several high profile real estate projects across metro Atlanta such as Avalon in Alpharetta and his role repositioning Atlantic Station as a premier destination in Atlanta.

Ichicoro-Birmingham-Pizitz-Food-Hall-Door-Signage-1600x20003. High-end European-style food halls, which bear only passing resemblance to their Americanized shopping-mall cousins, are cropping up all over the South. The establishments, like St. Roch Market in New Orleans and Krog Street Market in Atlanta, act as hatcheries for emerging local culinary talent by combining dozens of small-kitchen operations that feature everything from raw bars to ramen, burgers to bakeries—all built around communal seating banks. Just opened: Pizitz Food Hall in Birmingham, Alabama, which was profiled in Garden & Gun magazine, detailing the 18 food stalls and 30,000-square-foot space.

4. President Donald Trump hasn’t yet made clear how his administration will deal with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — which is tasked with making sure American employers are creating safe workplaces for their employees. Construction Dive’s Kim Slowey interviewed Fisher Phillips partner Ed Foulke this month to discuss what he expects out of a Trump OSHA, with Foulke saying the organization “will likely focus on a lighter approach and help employers comply with regulations rather than hitting them with stiff penalties and several citations.”

TheMain-2026a15. Last Friday, the main event in the city of Norfolk, Virginia was The Main, the city’s newest downtown hotel and conference center. Dancers danced, champagne flowed and the governor of Virginia anointed The Main as a transformative property that will help reposition not only the port city, but also the state, as a prime tourism and conference destination. This VirginiaBusiness.com article covered the event and new hotel, quoting Rob Uhrin, a principal with Cooper Carry, who said the hotel was designed to actively engage the community with plenty of public spaces, including outside patios off the beer garden and a small outdoor park off the building’s main first-floor seafood restaurant, Saltine.

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 2/28/17

Share

1. At Birmingham’s new Pizitz Food Hall, operated by Bayer Properties, you only have to walk a few steps to travel the world. Guests will find food stalls and restaurants offering cuisine from Vietnpizitzoutsidesignjpg-bb9e36a85b444416am to Ethiopia, Mexico to Nepal, as well as all-American favorites such at burgers, biscuits and waffles. And this mixed-use foodie’s paradise is getting some much-deserved media attention. AL.com and Thrillist have both profiled the Pizitz, which opens in a 94-year-old former department store, housing three restaurants, a bar and 14 food stalls.

2. According to ExpandLab’s Juliana Martins, now is the time for retailers to invest in mobile e-commerce systems. During the 2016 holiday season, mobile commerce (m-commerce) exceeded $24 billion, with 68 percent of those sales coming from smartphones. Other research predicts that by the year 2020, mobile will account for 45 percent of the $632 billion in total e-commerce sales. Martins’ article in Total Retail further details the mobile phenomenon and how retailers can ultimately ride the m-commerce wave to big profits.

3. Pollack Shores, the real estate group behind The Battery Atlanta, released details last week about its three planned apartment complexes, some of which will overlook SunTrust Park – the new Braves stadium and your backyard if you lived there. The Battery is the the pizitzmixed-use haven where folks can do everything from catch a show at The Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre, grab a slice at Antico Pizza or head to work in some of the 700,000 square feet of retail and office space. Pollack Shores explained in this Atlanta Journal Constitution article that the three pet-friendly apartment communities named Residences, Parkside and Flats together will be called “Home at The Battery Atlanta.”

4. Senior executives at consumer products companies are caught in a tight bind these days. Wall Street still has high expectations for growth, but many of the companies’ growth strategies – such as expanding into China and emerging markets to balance slower growth in developed markets – have not panned out. Obviously, these problems aren’t easy to solve. But Revenue Analytics’ Jared Wiesel and Jim Armstrong recently penned an article in Consumer Goods Technology detailing how top CPG companies can identify and capture areas of growth at a granular level by leveraging advanced analytics.

5. One of North America’s oldest rooms is making a big comeback: the keeping room. The what room? In short, it’s a space adjacent to a home’s kitchen where people can kick back and keep thecook ckeeping-room-628x354ompany. Megan Harris, part of the design team at Atlanta-based builder Edward Andrews Homes, weighed in on the benefits of a keeping room, saying “this cozy area could serve a multitude of activities, including cooking prep, sewing, and other small household tasks.” Read more about keeping rooms and Harris’ comments in this Realtor article.

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 1/13/17

Share

1. newsEngin.17001262_121816-Avalon-Biz-01Mark Toro has a hard deadline to meet, and he knows it by heart. “April 13, 10 a.m.,” the managing partner of North American Properties said on a recent tour of construction for the second phase of Avalon, the company’s marquee Alpharetta development. That’s when Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Brooks Brothers and a number of other luxury retailers, restaurants and a new office tower are slated to open. A recent Atlanta Journal Constitution profile on the property more details regarding what’s coming for the development, which J. Scott Trubey says, “has set the bar for walkable urban centers… and for the gospel of ‘experiential retail.’”

2. It has been 13 years since Kurt Warner last played football for the St Louis Rams, but a part of his heart remains in the area. Last month, Kurt, wife Brenda and oldest son Zack presented fully-furnished new homes in north St. Louis County to a pair of single working mothers as part of the “Homes for the Holidays” program, in partnership with Aaron’s, Inc. and Habitat for Humanity. Read more about the companies’ donations in this St. Louis Dispatch article.

3. Temperatures are already warming in Atlanta, but that doesn’t mean winter is over quite yet. The seasonal celebration continues at Atlantic Station, which right now is hosting the city’s largest outdoor ice skating rink. In fact, Fox5’s Paul Milliken took to the ice himself this week on the 10,000-square-foot rink, which opened in November and will remain operational through February 19th. General admission to the rink is $13 and $10 for children under the age of 12.

4. Cass Hollis has returned to law, joining Fisher Phillips’ employee benefits practice as of counsel after taking an eight-year hiatus to raise her children. Hollis, 45, had practiced for a decade at Powell Goldstein (now Bryan Cave) before leaving in 2008 to become a full-time mom. She said she started thinking about returning to practice this summer as her three children, now aged 10 to 15, got ready for the new school year. Fisher Phillips’ Atlanta’s managing partner D. Albert Brannen told the Daily Report, “It’s an investment—but we think she’s the right person in the right area.”

5. Americans are likely to mention a good brand experience to an average of nine people. This means setting the experiential stage in a way that is relevant to a retailer’s best shoppers is critical for long-term loyalty. However, experiential marketing is fluid, requiring constant evolution to remain relevant. North American Properties’ Liz Gillespie spoke with Forbes’ Bryan Pearson regarding strategies her company has implemented to connect with consumers, including supporting free community yoga classes with complimentary yoga mats and water bottles.

Bloomingdales_DearEvanHansen

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 9/19/16

Share
  1. 21076931-mmmainDiners at the Pizitz Food Hall in downtown Birmingham’s soon-to-reopen historic Pizitz building will have their choice of everything from banh mi to biscuits, Latin street food to Israeli cuisine, developer and Wilbert client Bayer Properties announced. Jeffrey Bayer, president and CEO of Bayer Properties, said, “The wide variety of cuisine we secured for The Pizitz Food Hall is unlike anything else in Birmingham or even Alabama. We can’t wait for the city to experience these unique and exciting culinary delights.” An AL.com article further details the revitalized Food Hall, which includes 13 food stalls, two restaurants and a bar.
  1. A recent Think Advisor article profiled the state of the financial tech (fintech) industry and detailed what’s coming next. Wilbert client Marlin’s Russell Walraven, vice president of marketing for Marlin’s Funding Stream, which provides small businesses with loans, gave an extensive interview on the various players in the industry, saying, “Technology has created new opportunities to connect consumers with service providers, but those new providers sometimes encounter growing pains. Non-bank companies saw an opportunity after the financial downturn for small businesses looking for capital they weren’t getting from traditional banks”
  1. Do you pay for Amazon’s ‘Subscribe & Save’ program? You may want to rethink that or at least give your monthly bills a little more scrutiny. The New York Times’ Brian Chen detailed the drawbacks of the program in an article interviewing Wilbert client Revenue Analytics’ resident retail expert Jared Wiesel. Wiesel said of Amazon, “I think they’ve violated the psychological concept of a subscription with their customers in changing prices like this. When people think of a subscription, they think of locking in a set cadence of receiving a good.”
  1. cbs-n2n-2Last week, Avalon hosted a fall fashion event benefitting Bert’s Big Adventure. Noon to Night kicked off with a cocktail reception offering fare from Avalon’s famed eateries followed by a fashion show featuring Bert’s Big Adventure families and Atlanta celebrities modeling more than 100 looks carefully curated by Avalon’s retailers. CBS provided previews of the event, where all proceeds raised helped provide a magical, all expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families through Bert’s Big Adventure.
  1. Set high atop Buckhead’s five-star Mandarin Oriental hotel is the largest high-rise condominium home in Atlanta, a two-story unfinished unit that’s part of the final phase of Wilbert client The Residences at Mandarin Oriental. The penthouse, which is on the market, can be custom designed or the buyer can use the floorplan from architect Robert Tretsch, director of Harrison Design’s Modern Studio, who was enlisted to create a design for the 10,000-square-foot space. To read more about your potential future home, check out this Atlanta Magazine piece.

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-11-22-45-am

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 8/4/16

Share
  1. Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 2.31.12 PMA recent New York Times profile on innovation in cities across the country had a great feature of the Pizitz Building in Birmingham, Alabama, which is owned by Wilbert client Bayer Properties. The Times wrote that the ethnically diverse food hall is opening this fall, featuring an unusual start-up incubator program for chefs. Bayer has preserved much of Pizitz’s original architecture, even restoring its ornate, terra-cotta facade from the 1920s. It will have six floors of residential space with 143 multifamily apartments and modern office space on the mezzanine. Bayer worked with the group What to Eat in Birmingham – a Birmingham food blog – to choose restaurants and local products to include.
  1. Amazon recently released its Q2 earnings report and, to say the least, it was impressive. Sales rose 31 percent to $30.4 billion, net income surged to $857 million, up a whopping nine times from a year ago. So what exactly can be attributed to this success? According to Wilbert client Revenue Analytics’ Jared Wiesel, much of it is due to the e-commerce giant’s prime program. Wiesel was featured in Financial Times and USA Today, discussing his thoughts on the earnings report.
  1. pokemon go_1468282374984_3947820_ver1.0We’re sure you’re all aware of the Pokemon Go craze and the lengths folks are willing to go to “catch ‘em all.” But Pokemon Go players could put their jobs at risk if they play the game while they’re on the job, according to Wilbert client Fisher Phillips’ Michael Elkon. “It’s especially important for hourly employees,” Elkon told 11Alive’s Jennifer Leslie. “If you’re clocked in and being paid for your time, then most employers are not going to look too fondly on playing Pokemon Go. Employers could find that you’re not getting your job done or wasting their time,” Elkon added. In Georgia, a right-to-work state, you could even be fired for it.
  1. For those in the hospitality space, property tax bills can be a huge burden. But if they take a proactive approach to property tax assessments, they could see a low-risk high-reward proposition. In a recent Hotel News Now article, Wilbert client Real Property Tax Advisors’ Anne Sheehan detailed the matter from a property tax perspective, saying, “You have to be knowledgeable, and you have to know how to segregate out these intangible components from the taxable real estate and the taxable personal property. That’s not something the CFO of a hotel company can pull out of his books.”
  1. Looking to move this fall? Oozing with Southern charm, the nearly 10,000-square-foot penthouse at Wilbert client Residences at Mandarin Oriental is now on the market for $7.3 million, making it the most expensive in the city. The pad is also the largest penthouse currently for sale in Atlanta. The financial and real estate firm selling the property, iStar, is offering it as an unfinished unit so the buyer can create a completely customized interior. The buyer and iStar will then work with a local architecture firm to design the finalized layout. The current suggested layout includes four bedrooms, a fitness room, a music room, a library, a catering kitchen, and a spiral staircase connecting the two floors.

mandarin-oriental-penthouse-bedroom