The DC Metro region’s largest retail-oriented conference of the year — the Mid-Atlantic Conference & Deal Making event on March 2-3 at the National Harbor — was the place to be for anyone who works with the retail real estate industry. Our Economic Development Department has attended over the years, but this year for the first time, we had a booth at the event showcasing all the reasons Charles County is a great place to open a retail business.
“In the course of a day, we probably spoke to 30 companies, developers, and other real estate professionals,” said Redevelopment Manager Taylor Yewell. “We work with these types of professionals regularly to attract retailers to new development and existing vacancies in the County. You can go to one of these conferences and they’re all there.” The redevelopment team made several contacts before the event and met up with them there to discuss future development and filling vacant spaces.”
Regional Deal Making events like this are a one-stop for education, networking, and deal making. These conferences provide opportunities to gain information about the most current industry issues and meet and make deals with colleagues doing business in the same region. The EDD’s main objective was to market the county and support the shopping center owners and other real estate professionals from Charles County.
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) works to ensure the retail — and retail real estate — industry is broadly recognized for the integral role it plays in the social, civic, and economic vibrancy of communities across the globe. Retail is a key industry in Charles County, meaning it is an industry that the County is well-positioned to support.
“Our five-year strategic plan looks at what is desirable and what is feasible in attracting new businesses to the county,” said Yewell. “We know what is desirable. With high median household incomes, our residents are demanding more diversity in local retail, especially with more upscale choices. But not all choices are feasible, in that Charles County’s population and demographics may not be consistent with some retailers’ criteria.”
By better understanding the specifics of what certain retailers are seeking from new market locations, we can accomplish three things:
- identify retailers whose criteria are a good match for Charles County;
- Connect with those retailers to show them how and why it’s a good fit;
- Support our retail property owners, real estate professionals, and developers to help them close deals.
For more information about retail in Charles County, visit our Retail Development page.