gulf coast

President’s Message: The Year of Possibility!

Stirling Properties President;s Message

Last year, around this time, I wrote a message about being prepared during times of uncertainty. Little did I know then how prophetic those words would really be during 2016. And now, as we cautiously welcome 2017, we face even greater uncertainty in our industry—and the country as a whole. So, being prepared is even more critical today than it was a year ago.

As we look back on 2016, we have faced many challenges. We’ve weathered an unstable economy, low oil prices, and community unrest. We lost a beloved Stirling Properties employee. We experienced unprecedented flooding in our region that killed 13 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses. Several of our own retail centers and multi-family properties in Southeast Louisiana were significantly damaged. But, through it all, we have persevered.

Amidst all of the trials, Stirling Properties has made significant progress during the last year as we continue to grow and build on the comprehensive services and value that we bring to our clients and communities across the Gulf South region.

In 2016:

  • We, along with partners CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., celebrated the grand opening of Ambassador Town Center, a 430,000-square-foot retail center in Lafayette, Louisiana. It was 100% leased within 6 months of development! Anchor tenants include Costco Wholesale, Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream, and Nordstrom Rack.
  • We completed the development of Stirling Bossier—the last of 6 planned phases—in Shreveport. The 682,000-square-foot hybrid retail center is now 100% leased. Anchor tenants include Academy Sports + Outdoors, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and ULTA Beauty.
  • We broke ground on the new Offices at River Chase in Covington and announced the 1st tenant, Duplantis Design Group, PC. We also announced that Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar will be joining the River Chase mixed-use development later this year.
  • We welcomed Whole Foods Market to Premier Centre in Mandeville, Louisiana, marking the 1st Northshore location for the popular upscale grocer. Whole Foods Market, along with Forever 21 Red, re-tenanted the space occupied by the former Albertson’s grocery store.
  • We announced the development of a new mixed-use medical facility in LaPlace, Louisiana. Phase I of this development includes a lease to Ochsner Clinic Foundation for a roughly 20,000-square-foot freestanding emergency room and diagnostic center that is scheduled to open in the summer of 2017. This is just the beginning of our planned diversification strategy into healthcare.
  • After many years of discussion, we announced The Home Depot is joining the tenant line-up at Hammond Square. This is the first location for The Home Depot in Tangipahoa Parish. Construction commenced late last year and the store plans to open by late 2017.
  • We relocated our New Orleans office to the Pan American Life Center. This move is more representative of Stirling Properties’ future than just a new office. It demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the city, the region, and to the future, as we continue to build our brand.

In difficult circumstances, preparation and leadership are vital to an organization. Over the past year, I have witnessed first-hand how well our Stirling Properties team can come together to respond to crisis and uncertainty. What we have successfully overcome—and achieved!—this year, gives me the utmost confidence in our leaders and employees moving forward.

The financial market, unemployment, tax reform, a new Presidential administration—you name it—there’s still much uncertainty in the year ahead. There’s a lot of unknowns and “what if’s.” But as the saying goes, “When nothing is sure, anything is possible.”

With that in mind, Stirling Properties is embracing the unknown, thinking towards possibilities. We have a lot of exciting things in the pipeline for 2017. We’ve laid out some lofty goals for the year ahead. We will continue to diversify our services, explore new areas of growth, and expand our client base.

Who knows what obstacles we may face, but I know we have the right team in place to succeed. As we embark upon the unknown, I am more confident than ever that we are prepared to take advantage of any, and all, opportunities that may come our way.

So, let’s celebrate a year of uncertainty and infinite possibility!

January 18, 2017|Blog, President's Message|

President’s Message: Disrupt or be disrupted.

President's Message

Recently, I attended a seminar at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week titled CEO Disrupt Breakfast featuring Steve Case, founder of AOL and one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs, and (New Orleans native) Walter Isaacson, president & CEO of the Aspen Institute and national writer and journalist.

The rudimentary theme was that companies must disrupt themselves from time to time, or they will be disrupted by external forces, and eventually decline or fail. I considered how this applies to Stirling Properties and the commercial real estate industry as a whole.


Business disruption is a reality that companies face on a regular basis. The largest cause of disruption is the rapid progression of technology and globalization, which allows new business models to be introduced at an ever-increasing rate. Companies must disrupt or be disrupted—we must shake up the status quo—and deviate from the normal way of doing things.

But business disruption is nothing new. We see multitudes of instances throughout history. For example, plastic disrupted the production of metal and wood, typewriters were disrupted by word processing software, electric cars disrupted the automobile industry, Wikipedia displaced traditional encyclopedias, iTunes disrupted the music industry, Uber disrupted the transportation industry, Airbnb is disrupting hoteliers, and the list goes on and on. Companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Starbucks are constantly finding new ways of disrupting themselves to stay relevant and remain a crucial part of our daily lives.

So how do we survive in a world of disruption, continually improve our position, and seize opportunities? We must be proactive and adaptive. Disruption is necessary to create opportunity. Many leaders agree, “If you are not growing, you are dying.” Change is inevitable, and businesses must be willing to adapt in order to prosper.

According to Disrupt author, Luke Williams, “In a business world of nonstop change, there’s only one way to win the game: transform it entirely. This requires a revolution in thinking—a steady stream of disruptive strategies and unexpected solutions.”

There are many factors that threaten to disrupt us locally. The economy and state budget shortfalls, the oil & gas industry, and even politics, all have the ability to considerably change our environment.

Additionally, the commercial real estate industry is evolving at lightning speed. E-commerce and Internet shopping have already significantly disrupted the retail industry! Many companies are quickly adapting to new trends, such as embracing technology, incorporating omnichannel marketing strategies, integrating mixed-use developments, and engaging millennials. In order to get ahead, we have to move away from traditional real estate models. We have to transform the market landscape.

I am proud to say that Stirling Properties has done this throughout its history, most notably over the last five years. Our leadership recognized that in order to thrive in this market, we had to identify new and unique opportunities to grow and diversify.

We expanded our business model and strategically focused our attention toward property acquisition and creating opportunities for investors to put capital into real, tangible property across the Gulf South. Earlier this year, we purchased Turtle Creek Crossing shopping center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, marking the largest retail acquisition in our 40-year history! Since 2010, we have acquired over $200 million in property, totaling 2.1 million square feet—including the Pan American Life Center, which has become the hub of our New Orleans commerce.

We are continuing to invest in multi-family housing. We’re increasing our company reach and footprint by expanding into new geographical areas throughout the Gulf South, as well as new industries, such as healthcare. These are all examples of projects and strategies that differ from our normal. Consider the results of this since 2010:

We can be certain there’s going to be more change in the next five, ten and twenty years. But the potential for improvement is all around us, and it’s a truly exciting time for Stirling Properties, our community, and our industry.

Stirling Properties will continue to explore new ways to disrupt ourselves, and we look forward to reaping the opportunities that are produced!

April 5, 2016|Blog, President's Message|

President’s Message: We Are Ready!

President's Message

We are ready!

The New Year celebration has come and gone. The world has taken a moment to reflect on the past year and now we redirect our attention to goals for the new one. As we close out the first month of 2016, this is usually the time that most people abandon those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions they so ambitiously made.

Nevertheless, I think there is still a real purpose for continuing these rituals each year. It presents a new set of opportunities to make ourselves better and to strive for loftier goals. Here at Stirling Properties, that reason is for us to try to prepare ourselves as best we can to deal with what the future holds: uncertainty.

Every day, we hear and read of crises, turmoil and drama in the news. And in times of greatest uncertainty, it is more critical than ever to prepare for opportunity.

Stirling Properties’ goals for 2016 have been finalized. Our pipeline is full and we have many exciting prospects in our future. However, the only thing I can really be certain of is that the year will provide uncertainty.

When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”

Basketball coaching legend John Wooden said, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” If his players were not prepared for the game, they would not be able to take advantage of the opportunities within it. His point was that opportunity comes to those who are ready for it.

With that in mind, we ended 2015 and begin 2016 with many great opportunities.

  • Turtle Creek Crossing in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the largest retail acquisition by Stirling Properties in its 40 year history! The transaction occurred last week for the 295,000-square-foot shopping center at a purchase price of $48.1 million. Anchor tenants include Target, Kohl’s, Ashley Furniture, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ross Dress for Less, Old Navy and PetSmart.
  • Our Mobile Office is experiencing remarkable growth throughout South Alabama. New restaurants, shopping and retail expansion — including Alabama’s first plaza-type development — is in the works with new tenant leases being announced often. From 2014–2015, total commercial volume for sales and leasing in Alabama increased by 169% and total transactions increased by 113%.
  • Stirling acquired the 384-multi-family-unit “Retreat at Acadian Point” (formerly South Point Apartments) in Lafayette, Louisiana, bringing Stirling’s total number of units under management to 1,512. Upgrades are in progress and we are providing Lafayette residents with affordable luxury at a time when the local economy faces some challenges.
  • Last year, Stirling Properties leased or sold nearly 4 million square feet of properties. From 2014–2015, our total transactions increased by 13%. Equally exciting, we are thrilled to welcome 45 new members to our Stirling family.

We’ve accomplished so much over the past year, and the best is yet to come. Stirling Properties continues to substantially increase our portfolio and expand our footprint across the entire Gulf South region, shaping us to be one of the most diversified full-service commercial real estate companies in the country.

So I don’t know when or where more opportunities will come, but I know that our Stirling Properties team is equipped, eager and more prepared than ever to meet them. Even John Wooden would be proud.

Therefore, when, where and how opportunity knocks, we are ready!

January 26, 2016|Blog, President's Message|

Coastal Revenue Sharing: A Letter to the Editor

La CoastAs chairman of the Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy (CCRE), which was formed last year under the umbrella of Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO Inc.), our primary mission is to use our business led coalition to ensure that the funds earmarked for coastal restoration are used for that intended purpose. While there are many other very critical needs of the state including infrastructure, none represents the existential threat of coastal restoration.

Please click here to read letter to the editor from our CCRE group.

November 19, 2015|Blog, Corporate, Involvement, President's Message|

President’s Message: Reflection, Rebirth, Resiliency

President's Message

Next week, we will pause to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. From the shock, disbelief and uncertainty in the days, weeks and months that followed, Southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast have persevered. New Orleans has risen up from the brink of death to emerge, as it once had been, into one of the premier cities in the U.S. and the world. The publisher of Forbes called it “the greatest turnaround of our lifetime.”

New Orleans

Recently, I found a memo that I sent to our Stirling team on September 13, 2005 (just 2 weeks after Katrina and coincidentally just 11 days before Hurricane Rita devastated western Louisiana and Texas). While still living through the fog of the disaster and the uncertainty about what our future might hold, I marveled back then at the generosity, kindness and out pouring of support from people within Stirling and also from all over the country. It was truly an amazing expression of caring.

I wrote “It is my hope, that somehow someday, from the rubble of those buildings destroyed and the memory of people that were killed that something positive can happen for our future. Maybe, from that beginning, we can find ways to put aside our differences and to come together to achieve even greater heights.”

As I reflect back today, I am stunned by what has happened in the last 10 years — truly it is beyond anything I might have dared to imagine.

Our city and region have rebounded economically, culturally and in quality of life issues, with top rankings in tech job growth, brain gain, entrepreneurship, economic development and improved schools. GNO, Inc. sums it up in their K10 Top 10. The region is now positioned as a hub for science and technology, for water management and emerging environmental industries. The city’s medical corridor, called the BioDistrict, is anchored by the new, world-class $2 billion University Medical Center and VA Hospital. A new, world-class airport terminal will also open in 2018.

My hopes about putting aside our differences have similarly exceeded my dreams with our Super Region consisting of the 22 parishes of Greater New Orleans, Houma-Thibodaux and Greater Baton Rouge working together in an unprecedented manner for the common good.

Equally impressive has been what has happened within our company in those last 10 years. We have grown in size and strength. Amazingly, almost 150 new people have joined our team since then. Consider the projects we have undertaken just in the Greater New Orleans area since Katrina:

  • Acquisition of Pan American Life Center
  • Fremaux Town Center
  • Mid-City Market
  • Fresh Market Redevelopment on St. Charles Avenue
  • Multiple Walgreens, including the Walgreens on Magazine Street
  • River Chase Expansion
  • Magnolia Marketplace
  • Offices at Mid-City Market (under construction)

Since 2010, the investments just within the City of New Orleans totaled over $156 Million. In many ways, our latest development to have its grand opening, Magnolia Marketplace on South Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans, is a fitting story of the 10th Anniversary of Katrina. From literally an abandoned, blighted, crime-ridden housing project rose a center of business, jobs, revitalization and rebirth of a previously downtrodden area.

While we have come a long way and have much to be proud of, ten years is not the end of the race. We must and will work together to continue to build on the progress of the last decade.

But before we begin the work of the next ten years, I would like to take a moment to pause and reflect, to thank all of you who were so caring during the dark days and to those of you who have come together to help create the success we have achieved together.

August 19, 2015|Blog, Corporate, President's Message|

Eye on the Market Highlights – August 8, 2012

Stirling Properties’ Eye on the Market research alert is emailed to our mailing list and features all the latest news and market reports about the Gulf South.  We scan local and regional news outlets, as well as economic development groups, university research centers, and more, so that we can compile all the relevant rankings, news, economic development announcements, reports and more in one convenient place.  Some highlights from our August 8, 2012 Eye on the Market include:

Occupy Lafayette – Stirling’s Ryan Pecot discusses Lafayette’s occupancy rates  – The Independent

Louisiana Ranked Among Top 10 in U.S. across numerous categories – Business Facilities

Louisiana earns Honorable Mention for “State of the Year” – Southern Business & Development

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August 8, 2012|Blog, Eye on The Market, Market Research, Rankings|
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