Developers increasingly take mixed-use approach

Developers increasingly take mixed-use approach

Shopping Centers Today
March 31, 2016

Office and residential developers are increasingly working with retail property owners and developers to boost profits. CBL & Associates Properties is adding apartments to two of its properties and is also working with Cary, N.C., zoning officials to add nonretail uses to its Cary Town Center project. “It’s market-driven,” president and CEO Stephen D. Lebovitz told investors on an earnings call. “And we’re not converting the malls to complete mixed-use projects, but we are adding different uses depending on the markets. We’re looking at other opportunities throughout the portfolio, and a lot of it depends on having the available land or the capacity to do it. So if we’re able to recapture a department store, then we’re looking at opportunities to add other uses in addition to retail.” Westfield, too, is adding residential units to two of its flagship malls in London.

The mixed-use activity is not confined to the mall sector. Regency Centers announced plans to develop a 46,000-square-foot, Publix-anchored retail component at the 4.33-acre East San Marco mixed-use development, in Jacksonville, Fla. Construction is scheduled to begin late this summer. ArchCo Residential and co-developer Whitehall Realty Partners will be responsible for the overall construction. Jacksonville-based Whitehall has led local efforts and will continue in that role for the duration of the development. Upon completion, ArchCo and its partner Bluerock will own and manage the residential portion of East San Marco, while Regency will own and operate the retail elements.

Some retail developers are doing the mixed-use work themselves. Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust is mulling over adding office space to some of its future projects, having inherited some mixed-use office space through acquisitions. “We will be very conservative,” said President and CEO Dennis E. Gershenson. “If we’re going to consider building any office, it would have to be significantly preleased. But because we own these larger shopping centers, the whole concept of live-work-play has become more and more an element in people’s lives, especially for the Millennials. So we’ll be selective in what we do, but we certainly are open to the possibility.”

Click here to view the full article.

Three counties account for half the growth in Alabama – Huntsville/Madison County is growing

Three counties account for half the growth in Alabama
By Challen Stephens
March 30, 2016
Alabama is growing at the edges.

Baldwin County at the Gulf, Madison County on the Tennessee border and Lee County along the Georgia line combined to account for 49 percent of the residential growth in the state since 2010.

In recent years, Baldwin, Madison and Lee have continued to add thousands of residents each year. And there are no signs of slowing in the latest reports.

Shelby County outside Birmingham, Tuscaloosa County, Limestone County next to Huntsville and Cullman County in north Alabama also saw sizable gains over the same one-year period.

But most Alabama counties are shrinking, especially in rural areas and across the Black Belt.

Click here to view the full article and see all the changes.

13 Reasons To Drop Everything And Move To This One Alabama City – RCP looks forward to adding to this list with our local properties and projects

13 Reasons To Drop Everything And Move To This One Alabama City

Only in Your State

By Jennifer
March 15, 2016

Recently, Livability ranked Huntsville (The Rocket City) as the most affordable U.S. city to live in. This special ranking was created by using the following criteria: median household income, consumer spending, income equality, entertainment options and economic conditions. 

Click here to view the full article and see why.

More details on new-to-Alabama hotel, CityCentre project in downtown Huntsville

More details on new-to-Alabama hotel, CityCentre project in downtown Huntsville
By Lucy Berry
March 4, 2016

A fast-growing hotel brand with Spanish roots will be the first tenant to break ground this year at CityCentre at Big Spring in downtown Huntsville.

AC Hotels by Marriott will anchor the $100 million mixed-use project across from Big Spring International Park and the Von Braun Center. The 150-room facility will begin taking shape in May/June and be run by Yedla Management Company, which owns and operates Starwood, Marriott and Hilton franchises.

Huntsville-based RCP Companies is the master developer of the former Holiday Inn property razed in early 2015 to make way for the multi-phase complex. Odie Fakhouri, RCP’s new director of acquisitions and asset management, said CityCentre will showcase “cutting edge, high-tech living” in a comfortable, low-tech atmosphere with retail, food and outdoor amenities.

“It’s utilitarian and beautiful, and it coincides with our commitment to create new experiences in Huntsville,” he said. “Our partnership with Yedla and AC Hotels Marriott reinforces this commitment.”

The name of the hotel was revealed Thursday during a Huntsville City Council work session. Leaders say it will be the 10th U.S. location for AC Hotels, a global joint venture with Spanish hotelier Antonio Catalán.

RCP spokeswoman Lindsay Harper said AC Hotels develops custom facilities that are European-inspired and modern at a smart value, meaning guests won’t pay for things they don’t need. The design-led hotel offers “Select Service,” which includes a staffed lounge with waiters but no room service.

The AC Hotels website said guests can also look forward to modern rooms, an AC Lounge area, kitchen with self-serve European fare, Wi-Fi everywhere, mobile check-in and check-out, and a 24-hour fitness center. Floor plans and square footage for the Huntsville location are still subject to final design, Fakhouri said.

Judy Ryals, president and CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said AC Hotels by Marriott will add to the momentum CityCentre has created since first announcing its plan for downtown Huntsville in 2014.

“AC Hotels by Marriott will be a part of the innovative and much anticipated CityCentre development project and will be very attractive to all travelers and convention attendees,” she said. “These additional rooms in close proximity to the Von Braun Center will help Huntsville attract larger conventions for an even broader economic impact.”

CityCentre as a whole will feature approximately 50,000 square feet of retail, upscale homes, structured/street-level parking, and regional and local cuisine. It will also have pedestrian crossings, bike pathways, walkways and a linear park that connects visitors to Big Spring Park, the VBC, Twickenham Square, medical district and other nearby properties.

A Central Food Hall + Market will operate in the heart of CityCentre with a collection of concepts, including:

  • Best of local and regional chefs and artisans
  • Communal tables and counters
  • Specialty cuisines with homegrown appeal
  • Local art and music
  • Stalls to sell goods
  • Outdoor component

Pennsylvania-based planning firm Urban Design Associates is partnering with RCP on CityCentre. RCP, which is also working on a plan to revitalize Madison Square Mall, currently has more than $500 million in projects under construction or in pre-development in Alabama and Georgia.

Fakhouri said the city is not providing any incentives toward construction of the hotel but is supporting the project. He said the Central Food Hall + Market will be the main avenue of activity at the site, which will feature a second hotel to be named at a later time.

Srinath Yedla, CEO of Yedla Management Company, said the custom-designed AC Hotels by Marriott in Huntsville “will embody the unique look and vibe of the city.”

Click here to view the full article.