Southeast Real Estate Business

OCT 2016

Southeast Real Estate Business magazine covers the multifamily, retail, office, healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors in the Southeast United States.

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Page 36 of 56

36 • October 2016 • Southeast Real Estate Business R E TA I L S N A P S H O T: S AVA N N A H RESIDENTS, TOURISTS VITAL TO SAVANNAH RETAIL MARKET'S SUCCESS The Savannah retail market has a regional population of 700,000 people, 18 colleges and universities and two significant military bases. Within a 50- mile radius, Savannah has a 10 year predicted growth rate of 18.6 percent, ahead of the national trend by 9.7 per- cent. Factors contributing to Savan- nah's growth are the expansion of the Port of Savannah, the attractiveness of the area as a place to retire, ease of ac- cess to cultural centers (daily, non-stop flights to New York City, for example), the production of filmed entertain- ment, and the growing awareness of Savannah's beauty, walkability, edu- cated and available workforce and fa- vorable business climate. Residents are seeing new retail de- velopments in Pooler as well as within the urban core of downtown Savannah along Broughton Street and various re- tail and mixed-use pockets around the city's famous 22 historic squares. The Savannah retail market is also driven by 13 million tourists annually. The city habitually tops lists of best places to visit, and was recently named the top wish listed U.S. destination by Airbnb. As a retailer, developer or in- vestor, these two customer demands — residents and tourists — are the keys to success. Savannah and its tour- ists represent a diverse customer base — from families to Millennials to Baby Boomers — and they all seek similar shopping experiences. They want to spend time in walkable, culturally ful- filling places. Ben Carter Enterprises (BCE) saw great opportunity to create these types of places, so it ventured into the Sa- vannah market in 2014. In 2015, BCE developed and opened Tanger Outlets Savannah, a 420,000-square-foot up- scale outlet mall adjacent to the Savan- nah International Airport in Pooler. BCE created a space that responds to the city's surrounding architecture. The firm incorporated square foun- tains similar to downtown Savan- nah's, and it designed a small-scale lighthouse like the Tybee Island light- house. The open-air outlet center at- tracts a variety of customers from both near and far. In August 2016, BCE sold its stake in the outlet center, which was 99 percent leased at the time of the transaction, and acquired full ownership of the sur- rounding 56 acres of outparcels. BCE plans to develop more than 500,000 square feet of commercial space to include a Holiday Inn and Suites ho- tel, Vaden Chevrolet of Pooler dealer- ship and a 151,000-square-foot shop- ping center leased to Dick's Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby, Home Goods and Ulta Beauty. Additional for sale and for lease site opportunities remain available for restaurants, hotel, enter- tainment, medical and retail uses. BCE continues to see much interest from retailers because they recognize the fa- vorable growth of the submarket. Down the road from Tanger Outlets Savannah, in downtown Savannah's Historic District, BCE recently com- pleted the renovation of 37 historic buildings located along Broughton Street. Before we acquired the proper- ties, Broughton Street was dotted with abandoned storefronts and underper- forming tenants. Many of the second and third stories were abandoned for 20, 30, even 40 years. Now, each histor- ic building offers a mix of uses, includ- ing street-level retail and second- and third-story residences and offices. The project, called The Broughton Street Collection, offers a blend of national, regional and local retailers, which includes a yoga studio and juice bar, fashion retailers like Club Monaco, Michael Kors and J. Crew, and popu- lar brands such as lululemon athletica and Victoria's Secret. The Broughton Street Collection's retail component is over 50 percent opened and 80 percent leased. The project resonates with both locals and tourists who seek to experi- ence and spend time in walkable, au- thentic, urban districts. Returning the Broughton Street as- sets to their highest and best uses is paying dividends beyond the main street. We are now seeing a spillover effect on the Bull Street corridor, from Park Avenue to Victory Drive and even south of Victory Drive. As an ex- ample of Savannah's emergence as a regional draw for shopping, Vantosh Realty Group led the effort to find a suitable, intown location with parking for a West Elm to come to downtown Savannah. West Elm will soon open in the former Center for the Blind at 214 Drayton St., next door to Parker's on Drayton. The 10,000-square-foot building, designed and built in the 1950s, has been repurposed and fits well into the eclectic mix of Savan- nah's design aesthetic. In addition to Broughton Street, the Starland District, a revitalized neigh- borhood in downtown Savannah, is naturally and organically developing into a magnet for local, independent boutique retailers, restauranteurs, art galleries and other creative ventures. With neighborhood leaders and orga- nizations — such as Art Rise Savannah — proactively and thoughtfully work- ing to revitalize Starland and other sectors, Savannah gains additional economic and creative opportunities that will continue to attract retailers to the market. Ben Carter Enterprises is currently underway on 56 acres of outparcel development around Tanger Outlets Savannah, and the Broughton Street Collection, a $90 million mixed-use portfolio project in downtown Savannah. Ben Carter Enterprises retained Beth Vantosh of Vantosh Realty in Savannah to help lease the Broughton Street Collection project. Ben Carter Chairman and Founder, Ben Carter Enterprises Ben Carter Enterprises completed the renovation of 37 historic buildings in downtown Savannah's Historic District, creating a project known as the Boughton Street Collection. Beth Vantosh Real Estate Advisor and Associate Broker, Vantosh Realty Group Redi-Dock ® Provides Instant Drive-In Access to Your Facility • Modular • Minimal site prep • Low maintenance • Delivered & set • Easily relocated • Lengths to 50' • Infinite widths • Heavy duty rating • No future demolition • ADA ramps available Call: 800-724-4881 Call for an immediate consultation.

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