The Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS Education Seminar, “The Evolving Retail Industry” took place on Wednesday, June 15th and was centered around many different topics including “brick and mortar” as well as online retailers. These topics included population growth and concentration, demographic patterns, new technology and the current and future plans for Midtown’s growth and development. Panel members included: Trey Conway, Real Estate Manager- The Home Depot; Shirley Gouffon, Senior Vice President- Selig Enterprises; Kristen Morris, Regional Leasing Director- Jamestown; Marc Weinberg, Operating Partner- The Shopping Center Group and Moderated by Spencer Bomar, Principle, Retail Advisory Services- Avison Young.
Shirley Gouffon noted big plans for Midtown and discussed the six phase plan for the area. Currently on stage four, Midtown has (as of May) 40 new developments, 18 of which are currently under development and 22 more being proposed. She also noted 2/3 of the population are millennials and that 8 out of the 10 top law firms of Atlanta are hosted within Midtown. Other plans to increase Midtowns popularity in surrounding areas are the annual festivals they host, bringing in 1.2 million people from all over the Atlanta Metro area.
Mark Weinberg discussed the population growth Atlanta has experienced in the past few years. He mentioned from 2010-2015 Atlanta has witnessed a 7% population growth with an average of 80,000 cars passing through its connectors. Weinberg stated “markets are being much more compacted than they ever were”.
Another major topic of discussion with the panelists was ecommerce and the effect millennials have on the retail industry. Kristen Morris had several interesting things to say on the matter. She stated that millennials are “large and dynamic, changing the way we shop” the majority of them are “not spending money on acquiring things”. Trey Conway gave light to the ecommerce market when discussing The Home Depot’s future plans. He stated Home Depot has not opened new locations since 2007. Their focus is now shifting towards development of their new application which allows options such as online purchasing, BOPUS (buy online pick up at the store), and integrated maps to help the consumer to more easily find products. He stated the online market has presented for them double the returns on half the investment. Meanwhile, Kristen Morris stated that in the overall retail market 93% of all purchases are still completed through “brick and mortar”. Both have become a necessity in the retail industry and they “will be married forever”.
- Tom Crumpton, Commercial Experts, Inc. | 2205 Riverstone Blvd. #253 Canton, Ga
Principal, Retail Advisory Services
Spencer Bomar is a Principal of Avison Young where he coordinates the Firm’s national retail services group. Based in Atlanta, Spencer develops, drives and executes site selection, dispositions, leasing, and build‐to‐suit negotiations and development strategies for retailers throughout the Southeast. His client list includes Target, The Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, Orvis and Zaxby’s among others.
In addition to representing many of the best retailers in the country, Spencer provides leasing and marketing expertise and counsel to owners, developers and third party management companies seeking to attract the best retail, restaurant and entertainment tenants for their urban and suburban retail and mixed-use centers.
Recognized as one of the most creative and connected retail brokerage professionals in the Southeast, Spencer has his finger on the pulse of everything retail and development in the region and has been named one of the region’s Top Ten Retail Brokers by the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.
With a successful retail brokerage career spanning more than 20 years, Spencer has held several senior level positions at a number of prominent retail real estate firms. Prior to joining Avison Young in 2011, he served as Senior Vice President of Real Estate for Transwestern. Prior to that, Spencer served as Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Acquisitions for North American Properties where he was responsible for directing Kohl’s successful expansion throughout the Southeast. He was with The Staubach Company for the first 10 years of his career where he was honored as both the “Most Valuable Player” and the company’s “Top Producer.”
A frequent speaker and published author on retail real estate trends and strategies, Spencer is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, Hospitality and Business Network, and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The Home Depot
Real Estate Manager- Southeast Division
Trey Conway is the Real Estate Manager- Southeast Division for The Home Depot. As Real Estate Manager, Trey is responsible for the development of all traditional orange box stores, relocations and expansions within Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Trey also assists all real estate matters relative to our corporate facilities, including our regional offices, customer contact centers and other support facilities within his territory.
Prior to joining The Home Depot, Trey was Real Estate Manager at The Hutton Co. based in Chattanooga, TN. During his time at Hutton, Trey helped to rollout the Walmart Neighborhood Market build-to- suit program and was successful in developing 16 Walmart’s across both Louisiana and Tennessee. Prior to Hutton, Trey was a Development Project Manager at CBL & Associates.
Trey holds a bachelors degree in both Corporate Finance and Real estate from the University of South Carolina. He also has his Masters in Real Estate Development degree from Clemson University.
Senior Vice President
Shirley's focus in the industry and area of expertise is in the retail arena. In her role as Senior Vice President of 12th & Midtown, a 25-acre,5 billion dollar mixed use development in Midtown, Atlanta, Shirley is responsible for the Retail Component, which is being developed in seven phases and will ultimately feature over 500,000 square feet of flagship quality retail space. To date, Shirley has been instrumental in bringing an impressive line-up of national tenants to Midtown, including CB2, STK, Cucina Asellina, RA Sushi, Ri Ra Irish Pub, Exhale Spa, Mi Cocina, Ribalta, Max’s Wine Dive, Princi Italia and Steel. All of these tenants have been thoughtfully targeted for their unique appeal to the Atlanta market in general as well as their compatibility with the dynamic Midtown demographic.
In addition to overseeing a portion of Selig's retail portfolio, Shirley has periodically accepted third-party assignments with nationally acclaimed landlords, developers and retailers.
During her tenure at Selig, Shirley has been actively involved with various professional and real estate trade organizations including International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), where she has served as Chairman of the Southeast Conference; the Real Estate Group of Atlanta (REGA), where she held a board position for three consecutive years; Commercial Real Estate Women of Atlanta (CREW-Atlanta) where she is a Past President and held a board position for six consecutive years; and National Association of Office Industrial Properties (NAIOP) where she was named a Top Five Producer – Retail Category for seven consecutive years.
Considered an industry leader, Shirley has consistently maintained a commitment to excellence in all aspects of the commercial real estate profession.
Regional Leasing Director
Kristen Morris is the Regional Leasing Director for the Southeast and Washington, D.C. at Jamestown. She oversees the retail real estate division, focusing on market research, strategic planning and merchandising for the Southeast, and is also responsible for leasing the company’s Atlanta retail portfolio. Ms. Morris brings 20 years of shopping center, mixed-use and street retail experience to the Jamestown team. Specializing in strategic marketing and leasing, she has worked on a broad spectrum of retail real estate products, from traditional enclosed malls and lifestyle centers to street-level retail and new urban, mixed-use developments. Ms. Morris is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Urban Land Institute and the Congress for the New Urbanism and currently serves on the Woodruff Arts Center Real Estate Committee. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Georgia State University.
The Shopping Center Group
Prior to joining the Company’s Georgia Division in 1993, Marc was the General Partner of Peachtree Corner, a real estate limited partnership that invests in retail and restaurant properties. Marc specializes in restaurant and grocery tenant representation. He has developed and implemented the Atlanta market strategy for Whole Foods Markets, P.F. Chang’s, Il Fornaio, Flemings Prime Steakhouse, Tony Roma, Jason’s Deli, and Starbucks Coffee. He is also the Operating Partner of the Georgia Division.
Commercial Experts, Inc.
Tom earned his first real estate license while in College, his Broker’s license before he was 21, and bought his first investment property while still in school by using his commission as the down payment.
Tom has owned his own Brokerage companies, Commercial Experts, Inc. and an acquisition firm, Business Acquisitions Brokerage, Inc. that he founded, and currently holds real estate Brokers Licenses in multiple states. A well-respected commercial real estate industry veteran, he has earned numerous distinctions throughout his 30-plus years in real estate. He has completed sales of multi-million dollar businesses, worked with national and regional franchises, assisted in “Visa” related transactions involving many different countries and treaties, and has made many people wealthier through his knowledge of his craft and his work ethic.
Tom holds the highly coveted designation of CCIM, is a member of the Education Committee and currently Chair of the Forms Committee of the Atlanta Commercial Board. His degree in Finance from Indiana University is the platform on which he built his financial and investment knowledge.