Halpern to exhibit at ICSC Carolinas, open 8 new centers in North and South Carolina

We're exhibiting at ICSC Carolinas Conference & Deal Making, Booth 735

Halpern Enterprises will make its debut appearance as an exhibitor at the ICSC Carolinas Conference & Deal Making convention in Charlotte, NC, on March 8, 2016.

While Halpern currently owns and manages a single shopping center in the Carolinas (Rock Hill Crossing in Rock Hill, SC), the developer has eight centers coming to North and South Carolina, with some opening as soon as Fall 2016.

“We’re thrilled to be tripling the size of our South Carolina footprint and to enter several booming North Carolina markets,” shared Jack Halpern, chairman of Halpern Enterprises.

Anchor tenants will be grocery stores, including Publix and Walmart Neighborhood Market. Several centers, such as the Greensboro center at the intersection of Friendly Ave. and Hobbs Rd., will be mixed-use developments that bring luxury homes to the retail centers. Hotel brands are also being considered for introduction to the centers.

“These new centers in the Carolinas represent our commitment to grow and diversify business opportunities,” according to Bill Brown, Halpern’s president. “Retailers are excited about the opportunities we’re bringing them to expand into growing markets like Wilmington, Greensboro, and Raleigh.”

Visit Halpern at the ICSC Carolinas convention in Booth 735 to secure space for your brand in the eight new centers Halpern is developing in North and South Carolina:

Rawlinson Crossing, Rock Hill, SC | Opening Fall 2016
Ebinport Market, Rock Hill, SC | Opening Winter 2016
Ogden Marketplace, Wilmington, NC | Opening Summer 2017
Friendly-Hobbs, Greensboro, NC | Opening Winter 2017
Ocean Isle Beach, NC | Opening Spring 2018
Southern Pines, NC | Opening Spring 2018
Oak Island, NC | Opening Summer 2018
Leesville-Strickland, Raleigh, NC | Opening Summer 2018

For leasing information, contact:

Dan Gagne dgagne@halpernent.com | (770) 508-3322

Rianne Bell rianne@bellmooregroup.com | (704) 529-6720 x302

As retail development stays hot, here’s what to keep in mind

by Mark Kirchhoff, CCIM


Marc Kirchhoff, CCIM, Vice President, Build to Suit Division

As we start this new year, the pace of retail development in the marketplace shows no signs of slowing down.

Gone are the days of speculative construction in geographic areas where growth is expected to take place. Instead, we’ve seen good sites and existing space in core markets utilized and absorbed, as retailers and restaurants steadily catch up to consumer demand.

Demand is so high that the RBC Capital Market Report recently estimated that around the country, retailers plan to open almost 80,000 new stores over the next two years — a staggering number. Restaurants are leading the charge in new development.

The focus on development continues to be on sites in dominant retail corridors, and since many users have essentially the same site criteria, it creates price pressure and a shortage of available sites. This means developers must become more creative in site selections.

1. How is the focus on high-quality locations impacting the real estate development process?

High-demand locations continue to dominate. Consequently, available sites in these areas tend to get a high level of interest from buyers. In many cases, retailers and restaurants relocate from under-performing locations, which means more retailers are looking to move to the same prime spots.

These conditions are why it’s important to identify a range of sites that fit the criteria for the retailer you are working for. This is a strategy Halpern uses to locate sites and create value from the start of the development process for the clients we serve.

2. What can industry professionals do to manage rising costs?

As development and construction costs continue to rise, returns get squeezed. At the same time, sites often contain challenges to be overcome — which is why it’s critical to have quality architectural and engineering partners on your team who can help value-engineer a project from the start.

Ultimately, the retailer or restaurant makes a decision based on its own economic model. Those models vary across the board, so it’s important to have quality partners from the start to maximize a project’s potential value.

3. What are the sweet spots in the marketplace right now?

Outparcels and parking lots where you can build represent some of the best options for creating successful projects in prime locations. “Carve-outs” are situated within the parking lot of a retailer, and though they are more complex projects to complete, they can yield good results for the developer and retailer.

4. What are some smart strategies developers should use in the year ahead?

If a site holds more potential for a different type of retailer than with the current retailer, it could make economic sense to buy the site with an existing tenant and relocate the tenant, or buy out the lease and repurpose the property for a better user.

In one example from my experience, an owner replaced a large casual dining chain’s location in Columbia, Missouri, with a new Chick-fil-A, which required scrapping the existing building and having the new location built from scratch. The payoff: The Chick-fil-A that replaced it has significant drawing power for the center and creates new traffic that would not be there otherwise.

Doing this is more complicated from a legal and planning perspective, but it’s worth considering as it can create substantially more value for both the retailer and developer.

Chick-fil-A location in Columbus, MO

“This was a challenging site and Marc Kirchhoff’s assistance to navigate the approval complexities proved instrumental in getting this deal across the finish line and our new store open in Columbia, Mo.” – Lynmarie Eade, Manager, Real Estate, Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Marc Kirchhoff, CCIM, is a Vice President at Halpern Enterprises, leading the company’s build-to-suit retail development division which finds and develops sites for national tenants.

This piece was originally published in Shopping Center Business.


Jack Halpern named Smyrna, Ga.’s “Citizen of the Year”

Mayor Max Bacon (l) presents Jack Halpern (r) with the Smyrna Citizen of the Year award.

Mayor Max Bacon (l) presents Jack Halpern (r) with the Smyrna Citizen of the Year award.

After taking a leading role in transforming an area of Smyrna, Ga. with the new Belmont mixed-use development, Jack Halpern takes great pride in giving residents “a sense of identity and a connection to others,” he says.

And Smyrna recently said “thank you” to Jack, the Chairman of Halpern Enterprises, by naming him the 2015 Smyrna Citizen of the Year.

At the heart of the new Belmont development is Smyrna Elementary School, a state-of-the-art facility that now anchors a new community that will feature single-family homes, luxury apartments and retail. Halpern Enterprises played a key role in encouraging the Cobb County Board of Education to build a school on the site.

For his part, Jack credits Smyrna leaders with having the vision to work with Halpern Enterprises to transform a location that was once the site of the old Belmont Hills Shopping Center, at one time the largest center in the Southeast.

“Smyrna has been blessed with fiscally responsible, visionary leaders,” Jack says.

For more on the award, read Jack’s profile in the Cobb Business Journal.

Publix to open at Dawson Crossroads shopping center

Grocery anchor leases 45,600-square-foot space, scheduled to open in 2016; two new tenants announced

Publix will anchor the Dawson Crossroads shopping center, opening in 2016.

Publix will anchor the new Dawson Crossroads shopping center, opening in 2016.

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. (Nov. 6, 2015) – The grocery-anchored Dawson Crossroads shopping center, opening in the fall of 2016, has signed Publix as its newest tenant, in a 45,600-square-foot space.

The store’s prime location, on the southeast corner of GA 400 and Dawson Forest Road, is at a high-traffic intersection that sees over 33,000 vehicles per day. And with the nearest Publix over nine miles away, Dawson Crossroads is well positioned across the street from the North Georgia Premium Outlets and a Walmart Supercenter.

The 98,400-square-foot shopping center, developed by Halpern Enterprises and currently under construction, has six committed tenants in addition to Publix: Brooklyn Joe’s Pizzeria, Lee Nails, Great Clips, the newly-signed Totally Running and Top Cleaners, and a Chili’s restaurant outparcel. The center has an additional five outparcels available, and numerous other leases are currently under negotiation with national and local tenants.

“We have a strong relationship with Publix and enjoy working with them,” said John Brozovic, Regional Leasing Director at Halpern Enterprises. “Publix is a high-quality brand that fits in well with other tenants and will certainly benefit the 35,000 nearby households.”

“The Dawson County Development Authority has been working with Publix on different possibilities for site locations and ideas for a number of years,” said Charlie Auvermann, Executive Director of the Dawson County Development Authority. “Many citizens over the years have requested a Publix, so we are quite excited they are coming to Dawson County.”

Dawson Crossroads is Halpern’s fourth Publix anchor, joining the shadow-anchor at The Shoppes at Royale in St. Petersburg, Fla., a store at Cheshire Square in Atlanta, Ga., and a store at the Village at New Georgia in Dallas, Ga.

Dawson Crossroads is located at 4130 Dawson Forest Road in Dawsonville.

icon-129-cloud-downloadDownload hi-resolution images of Dawson Crossroads (.zip / 42 MB)


About Halpern Enterprises
Headquartered in northeast Atlanta, Halpern Enterprises owns 35 retail properties located in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. With leasing, management and maintenance staff assigned to each shopping center, Halpern’s tenants receive personal attention and high value for their rental dollar. Halpern is continually growing its portfolio, both through acquisitions and new development, and all Halpern properties are well located in high-traffic areas convenient to major residential developments. More information is available at www.halpernent.com.

Halpern’s centers set themselves apart with a Halloween tradition

As part of a longstanding tradition that shows our commitment to giving back to the communities we serve, Halpern is again treating shopping center shoppers with candy this Halloween.

For 12 years, Halpern has purchased Halloween treats for trick-or-treating in three of its Georgia shopping centers: Old Orchard Square in Ellijay, North Griffin Square in Griffin, and Newton Plaza in Covington.

This ties into the need to do interesting things at shopping centers for the holidays, both to entice potential visitors and to keep centers relevant and at the forefront with regular customers.

“We like to plan unique events and holiday traditions at our shopping centers,” said Carolyn Oppenheimer, Executive Vice President at Halpern. “These types of traditions not only attract visitors and create a positive experience for shoppers, but also help increase customer traffic to our tenants. These events help to solidify our reputation as a committed, caring partner in the communities where we do business.”

In Atlanta, restaurants drive retail traffic more than ever

The tenant mix of Atlanta’s shopping centers is leaning more and more towards chef-driven and fast-casual restaurants, said participants at a recent Atlanta Retail Roundtable hosted by Shopping Center Business magazine.

Halpern's president, Bill Brown, participated in the Atlanta Retail Roundtable hosted by Shopping Center Business.

Halpern’s president, Bill Brown, participated in the Atlanta Retail Roundtable hosted by Shopping Center Business.

Bill Brown, president of Halpern Enterprises, participated on the panel along with more than 25 other retail real estate professionals in the Atlanta area. Comments from the roundtable were featured in the October issue of Shopping Center Business.

With more than 85 chef-driven restaurants planned in Atlanta, “restaurants are the new department stores,” said Michael Habif of Habif Properties.

In Halpern’s case, its new Smyrna center, The Shops at Belmont, will feature several restaurants including Creatwood Tavern, the latest dining concept by the owners of Whitehall Tavern, and Cielo Mexican Restaurant.

Besides seeking the ever-popular restaurants, Brown explained that grocery-anchored centers have shifted focus from soft good retailers (such as clothing stores) to service-related tenants (such as nail salons), due to changes in consumer demand.

Growth on MARTA’s Gold Line will revitalize Doraville area

All along MARTA’s Gold Line, which runs northeast from Atlanta’s downtown and Midtown areas, transit-oriented development is taking root.

New developments are planned near MARTA stations in Brookhaven and Chamblee, and in Doraville, the massive former General Motors auto plant has been torn down to make way for a film studio and a major mixed-use development.

Jack Halpern, Chairman of Halpern Enterprises, is also chairman of the Doraville Downtown Development Authority.

The GM site redevelopment, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will be a “game changer” for Doraville because it is expected to bring thousands of new residents and workers to the city. “Our company owns about 300,000 feet of retail and wholesale space in the Doraville market and we are excited about the potential growth and redevelopment coming to our area.”

To read the full story at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, click here. (Note: A subscription is required to see the entire story.)


Three retailers commit to Dawson Crossroads as interest in the Dawsonville center grows

Partial rendering of Dawson Crossroads, Dawsonville, GA

Partial rendering of Dawson Crossroads, Dawsonville, GA

Leasing activity has picked up and is going strong at Halpern Enterprises’ new Dawson Crossroads center.  Several retailers and restaurants have signed leases in the 29-acre Dawsonville development, which is expected to open in 2016.

Brooklyn Joe’s Pizzeria, Lee Nails, and Great Clips are the first tenants to commit to go inline at the center, which will be anchored by a major national grocery store.  There is space available for a junior anchor and an assortment of other shops and restaurants. Chili’s restaurant is coming to the corner outparcel, and there is also a high level of interest in the property’s other outparcels from popular franchises.

“Dawsonville is becoming a shopping hub for the entire surrounding area, and Dawson Crossroads will be right in the middle of that activity,” said Dan Gagne, Regional Director of Leasing for Halpern. “With excellent highway access and a prime location, the center will be a good fit for tenants looking for a high traffic area.”

The area already features the North Georgia Premium Outlets, a regional draw for high-end, off-price retailers as well as Walmart and Home Depot.  Dawsonville is rapidly becoming a bedroom community for Atlanta, within easy reach of northern suburbs like Alpharetta and Cumming.

Site work for Dawson Crossroads is expected to start in August, with the first shops to be ready for tenants next summer.

For more information about leasing opportunities at Dawson Crossroads, contact Dan Gagne at dgagne@halpernent.com or (770) 508-3322, John Brozovic at jbrozovic@halpernent.com or (770) 508-3314, or Benjamin Halpern at bhalpern@halpernent.com or (770) 508-3325.

Six Tips for Developing Relationships with Municipal Officials

by Brad Oppenheimer

For companies that own or operate shopping centers, developing and maintaining relationships with local municipal officials can be extremely beneficial to your business.

At Halpern Enterprises, we find that investing in property must extend further than the real estate. It also requires investing time into establishing relationships with local officials.

As an example, we often face challenges when we are helping tenants open a new business, and have found that strong personal relationships with professionals within the local government may help facilitate the process.

This comes into play both in large cities and in smaller communities. In smaller cities, there are fewer obstacles to connecting with key officials. In a town like Covington, Georgia, where government employees and Chamber of Commerce staff often work together and live within the same close-knit community, making connections may be much easier than in, say, the large and complicated network within the city of Atlanta.

Either way, it’s important to build these relationships. For retail real estate professionals looking to grow their network, here are six tips for doing this, compiled with the help of my Halpern colleague Jimmy Cushman:

  1. Start by getting to know one municipal official who can then introduce you to his or her colleagues. The key is to form the relationships before an issue comes up. You don’t want the first call to an official to be one where you need help right away. Odds are that the official will know the best opportunities to meet other key people – from chamber of commerce events to a go-to lunch spot in town.
  2. Look for ways to become a resource of information for municipal officials.This relationship should be a two-way street. When you meet an official, ask if you can be of help. Can you supply retail-related information when they need it? Or maybe you can serve as a sounding board for their ideas.  We have even gone so far as to help establish and chair the local business association to help strengthen the relationships between business and government leaders.
  3. As you build relationships, look for ways to help municipalities avoid decisions that could hurt your business. In one community where we own multiple properties, there was talk about instituting a two-week limit on any banner at commercial locations. We explained that leasing banners need to be up longer, and that filling up shopping centers with tenants is critical for the town’s economic future. So an exemption was put into the regulation for leasing banners.
  4. Find out what kinds of retailers the municipality would like to have as you work to attract new tenants for your retail centers. In Doraville, Georgia, the local officials let us know they would love to have a sports-related restaurant/bar. This was helpful information that resulted in us leasing to a Louisiana-themed restaurant called The Bayou Boil. Working to help the town accomplish its goals deepens the relationship.
  5. You have to get out of the office to make this happen. As an example, we make it a priority to attend local Chamber of Commerce and City Council meetings in communities where we own shopping centers. By building close relationships, we have helped get the word out about leasing opportunities at our centers while getting to know people who could be helpful to us in the future.
  6. Have a reason to call or email when you reach out to your municipal contacts. Everyone’s time is valuable. So instead of simply calling to “check in” with a contact, have some information to share or a certain topic to discuss. If the relationship is working for everyone involved, your contacts should look forward to hearing from you, knowing you are helping them do their jobs better.

Brad OppenheimerBrad Oppenheimer is a property manager for Halpern Enterprises, based in Atlanta. As part of the company’s property management team, he has experience with site identification and acquisition, as well as with tenant negotiations for planned and existing developments. 

This post originally appeared in Shopping Center Business.

Halpern family donates $10,000 to Doraville Police Department

Halpern family makes generous donation to city police department

by Robert Kelley, Doraville Insight

(L-R) Jack Halpern, Carolyn Halpern Oppenheimer, and Chief John King. photo credit: Robert Kelley

(L-R) Jack Halpern, Carolyn Halpern Oppenheimer, and Chief John King. Photo credit: Robert Kelley

Local businessman Jack Halpern and his sister, Carolyn Halpern Oppenheimer, were recently recognized at a city council meeting by Mayor Donna Pittman and Doraville Police Chief John King for a generous gift to the Doraville Police Department (DPD). Halpern and his sister made a $10,000 donation to the DPD in memory of their parents, Halpern Enterprises founder Bernard Halpern and his wife, Shirley.

Halpern Enterprises, based in Doraville, is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most experienced shopping center development and management companies.

Chief King noted that the donation was used to purchase two significant pieces of equipment for each officer. One was Officer Survival Packs, that every patrol officer will have in his or her patrol car.

These packs are compact and loaded with the following contents: 1-OSS Combat Compression Dressing; 2-Hemostatic Gauze Packs; 1-Swat-T Tactical Wrap Tourniquet; 2-Sterile 3 inch Gauze Rolls; 6-Sterile 4×4 Gauze Sponges; 1-12 ply 5×9 Sterile Trauma Pad; 1-3×9 Petrolatum Non Adherent Dressing; 1-Set of Rescue Shears; 1-1 inch Cloth Medical tape; and 2 pairs of Black OSS Nitrile Gloves.

This Rip Away Patrol Pack is a two-part Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (M.O.L.L.E.) system. The back-plate is designed to be affixed to any M.O.L.L.E. component with the pouch being affixed to the backplate with a Velcro backing. This is a tri-pouch compartment that will fit any blowout kit with extra room for additional squad support items or medical supplies.

The kit allows officers to provide immediate first aid on trauma victims awaiting medical assistance.

“Also purchased with the donation were top-of-the-line reflective vests that our officers can wear while they’re on the freeway, especially useful in meeting new Depart of Transportation requirements,” said Chief King. “The roads are pretty dangerous for our officers, especially at night, and the new vests should provide additional protection.

The donation was at the bequest of Shirley Halpern before her recent passing. “This was such a gracious thing for her to do, to think of our police department,” said Mayor Pittman. “She loved the police department and this equipment will be much used and appreciated.”

Reprinted with permission of the Doraville Insight (Vol. 2, Issue 2, Spring 2015).