Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 2014 NC CCIM Triad Market Forecast. Being that I am a designee now I thought it was time to get more involved in chapter events. Seeing that I am attending ICSC Carolina Idea Exchange at the end of the month in Charlotte I wanted to broaden my networking opportunities, thus attending the luncheon last Wednesday. The time started off with an hour of networking and while seeing old friends I really tried to introduce myself to those people that I didn’t know. Business cards flying, small talk, the often “Boone, oh didn’t know Boone had Commercial Real Estate brokers” looks, I pressed on and promised myself I was going to make it a point to follow up. After all what good is a business card if you don’t do anything about it. I learned that lesson the hard way from ICSC last year.
The program included remarks from Mark Howe, CCIM, current Chapter President and Robbie Perkins, CCIM, Moderator for the two featured speakers. While most people ate lunch I was listening intently and trying to take notes the best I could on my ipad.
The first speaker was Michael Ortlip, SVP with Grandbridge Real Estate Capital. His presentation entitled “Capital Markets” went through a number of interesting facts and figures. A few nuggets to point out include Grandbridge closed 4.9 Billion in financing in 2013. The Charlotte office has thirteen on staff and a third of them hold the CCIM designation. Student housing has done well along with other multifamily. Everyone who was lending in 2006 is now lending again in 2014. New construction is making an appearance again however is either heavily preleased or is multifamily. Discussions regarding market LTV, DCR and vacancy were discussed. As always I appreciate the commitment that Grandbridge has made not only to the NC CCIM Chapter but to the Commercial Real Estate industry in general. Mr. Ortlip’s remarks were both concise, factual and I leave knowing that the lending market is getting better slowly but surely. I agree with Mr. Ortlip that “the borrower continues to be the key”.
The second speaker was Steven B. Tanger, President & Chief Executive Officer of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. Mr. Tanger was a wonderful speaker and kept the crowd engaged throughout his speech. Though much was said I wanted to share some of his thoughts and comments. “had an idea and a vision but no money, when we raised 100MM we thought we were pretty cool”. See for those of you that don’t know Tanger is now a publicly traded company (NYSE: SKT). How would you like to have a company that has provided a 17% compounded annual return for the last 20 years. Tanger has one of the most robust delivery plans over the next several years along with expansion of existing stores and will produce meaningful growth and future. Here is a fast fact for you, 86% of the GLA is unencumbered by mortgages, thus having virtually no exposure. I loved the golf analogy, “able to recover quickly from a bad shot and still post a pretty good score”. Tanger went onto to state that outlet stores have become a core distribution channel to brands. “In good times people like a bargain and tough times people need a bargain”. In 2013, this company had an EPS of 1.94. While Mr. Tanger continues to run a successful company he is not afraid of learning and adapting. His first center was 35,000 sf and would not work today and has constantly tweaked the format. Tanger is currently testing a new format of being a bridge between two casinos over two levels. “Regional mall development is down while outlet center development is rising. The online shopping experience is not the same as going out and seeing other human beings and after all getting a good deal”. Another fast fact, Tanger has never ended a year lower than 95% occupied. In closing, Mr. Tanger stated “outlet shopping is more fashionable than ever”.
Mr. Tanger allowed time for questions that included social media, particular past developments and business in North Carolina. Mr. Tanger is a man who has made a commitment to his community. I applaud his financial contribution to the Greensboro community and while many are grateful his closing response was unforgettable and showed great integrity. “You should do the right thing not to get noticed but because it is the right thing”.
If you are interested in attending a NC CCIM market forecast there is one in Raleigh, NC on March 19, 2014 and another in Charlotte, NC on April 9, 2014. Go to NC CCIM website for more information.