The Charles County Economic Development Department participated in the International Council of Shopping Centers RECon, a Global Retail Real Estate Convention, on May 20-23 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event had more than 37,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors, including shopping center owners and developers, real estate brokers, property management companies, retailers, market researchers, finance and lending institutions, and the public sector/municipalities.
“What we learned from the convention is that we need more sophisticated data analytics to help us better understand and determine which retailers are a good fit for Charles County,” said Economic Development Department Director Darrell Brown. “That information will help put the county in a more competitive position to better advise property owners, developers, and commercial real estate brokers.”
The Charles County Economic Development Department’s five-year strategic plan explores what is desirable and feasible in attracting new businesses to the county. With high median household incomes, county residents are interested in more diversity in local retail and additional upscale choices. Charles County’s population and density is not consistent with some of the retailers’ criteria.
Brown said, “By understanding the specifics of what retailers are seeking from new market locations, we can accomplish three things: 1) determine what makes the county attractive to retailers, 2) identify why businesses would come to Charles County, and 3) learn what we must do in order to attract others.”
“We’re working with developers, property owners, brokers, and consultants to attract retailers to new development and existing vacancies in the county,” said Redevelopment Manager Taylor Yewell. “This was an important trip for us that included an opportunity to network with top retailers and developers, as well as support our local brokers and mall developers.”
During the convention, the Economic Development Department team met with the following Charles County business representatives to discuss retail attraction and retention, as well as future development opportunities:
• Combined Properties, Charles County Plaza
• Phillips Edison & Company, La Plata Plaza, Rosewick Crosssing
• Madison Marquette, The Shops at Waldorf Center
• Saul Centers Inc., Smallwood Village Center
• Simon Property Group, St. Charles Towne Center
• Rappaport Companies, Waldorf Marketplace
Retail Market Analysis/ Research
For additional information about retail development in Charles County, visit www.MeetCharlesCounty.com/retail-development.