In my last President’s Message, I talked about how much had been accomplished in 2013 and how the year ended with a flurry of activity. Well, the first quarter of 2014 has been wild in many ways also (including the weather)!
This year began with the groundbreaking of Magnolia Marketplace in New Orleans, a 100,000+ square-foot shopping center we are developing with JCH Development that will bring new retailers to an underserved portion of Central City. And just days later, we announced the contract for Perkins Rowe, a high-profile, mixed-use property with 364,648 square feet of retail and 126,000 square feet of Class A office space, plus upscale apartments and condominiums. The contract to provide leasing, sales and property and construction management services represents the single largest such contract in Stirling’s history.
Additionally, we celebrated 2 Grand Openings during the 1st Quarter. The first was for Phase I of Fremaux Town Center in Slidell, a regional shopping center anchored by Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy & T.J.Maxx that we are developing in partnership with CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. A new, full-service Walgreens also grand opened in Terrytown on the Westbank of New Orleans, which was followed a few weeks later by our announcement that we will be developing a full-service Walgreens in Metairie at the intersection of Veterans & Power Boulevards.
As our business continues to boom, so too does the Gulf South Region. I have had the opportunity to share the positive news about our markets numerous times during the last quarter. It is something I truly get very passionate about doing.
In February, I was invited to give the ACREcon Keynote Presentation at the annual conference hosted by the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACREcon) in Birmingham with over 500 in attendance. In early March, Jimmy Maurin, Townsend Underhill and I were asked to give a presentation on the New Orleans market and economy at the Annual Spring meeting of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Foundation Governor’s Board in New Orleans. One of the reasons I love giving these presentations is because the reaction by the audience afterward is always amazement at what is happening down here in the Gulf Coast – The Third Coast.
And despite the fact that spring is here, there is no time for rest. We are currently preparing for ICSC ReCon in Las Vegas. And stay tuned for some new announcements in the near future – it’s going to be a wild ride.