30 Apr 2024

Spring Retail Roundtable Discussion Recap

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Earlier last month, gathered in the vibrant City of Thomaston; downtown buzzed with excitement as industry experts, retailers, and economic developers converged for our Spring Retail Roundtable Discussion; thanks to Jared Huckaby and Taylor Smith for hosting our great event in Thomaston!

Throughout the day, a great group of experts in commercial real estate discussed strategies for marketing properties and promoting downtown redevelopment. Kicking off the roundtable was our Manager for Retail-Commercial Development, Daniel Martin, followed by our expert speakers, Ryan Roberts from ForCast Real Estate and Kelly Breedlove of GoTo Foods, formerly Focus Brands, who shared their insights on topics ranging from retail brokerage and development to site selection and franchising.

Taylor Smith, Director of Economic Development for Thomaston, held attendees attention with his compelling case on downtown revitalization and rural zones. Jared Huckaby, the entrepreneurial face behind Huckaby Properties, rounded out the lineup with invaluable perspectives on downtown redevelopment and engaging with local government.

For those who were unable to attend, you missed an outstanding lineup of practitioners in the commercial real estate field along with healthy discussions about strategies to market your sites and foster downtown redevelopment. 

Our three key takeaways, which we will call the 3 “P’s,” – Product, Proactive, & Planning.

Let’s delve into them a little more:

1. Product: It’s time to think beyond traditional real estate listing platforms. LoopNet and The MLS are no longer sufficient for identifying prime retail sites. Local leaders and economic developers must roll up their sleeves and uncover unlisted gems, initiating conversations with property owners to unlock hidden potential.

2. Proactive: With the impending closure of numerous Family Dollar stores and ongoing retail mergers, it’s essential to plan for potential backfills now. Initiating dialogues with prospective tenants can mitigate the impact of store closures and ensure continued vibrancy in our communities.

3. Planning: Community attractiveness for retail development hinges on thoughtful planning and incentive programs. Rural Zones, Enterprise Zones, and other tools can be leveraged to create environments that entice developers and foster growth.

What attendees had to say…

“From the retailer’s lens was really compelling.”

“Fascinating how Taylor has helped to revitalize downtown Thomaston.  I will be studying the different funding sources he spoke about, along with the rural zone information.”

“The advice on compiling a list of sites and ensuring those prepared for retail development (permitting, zoning, incentives, city codes) was great. All the speakers were good. Same for the venue and community.”

As the event wrapped up, the Spring Retail Roundtable had not only sparked dialogue but also ignited a flame of inspiration for retail development and community revitalization, collaborations and exchange of a myriad of ideas. We look forward to seeing you at the next Retail Roundtable!