30 Years of Retail
Gary Rappaport is no ordinary retail owner or broker. In the Washington region, his 30-year-old firm oversees 45 shopping centers plus ground-floor retail in over 100 mixed-use properties, over 13M SF, of which he has an ownership interest in more than 4M SF. And Gary has been Chairman of the Board of ICSC. That's why we're thrilled to have him as a speaker this Wednesday at our 5th Annual Bisnow Washington Real Estate Summit.
He started his career as a homebuilder in the '70s, but by 1981 turned to developing and acquiring "one-story-no-basement" grocery-anchored shopping centers, and has sold very few properties over his long career. He's worked with almost every conceivable grocer—Giant, Safeway, Shopper's, Trader Joe's, Wegman's Fresh Market, and just signed a lease for Green's in the old Magruder's space in Vienna. Recently he purchased the Giant/Home Depot-anchored South Riding shopping center in Loudoun and a Giant-anchored Dominion Valley center in Haymarket. (The one case where calling someone "a man among giants" isn't an insult.)
He just repped Insight on leasing a Whole Foods at its project on H Street (pictured), and repped Todd Hitt on signing a Harris Teeter in his Falls Church development. Now he's buying the CVS in Tysons. He's even written a book on structuring partnerships and has taught courses on retail frequently.
In Anacostia, Gary's been leading the development of Skyland for 13 years with partners Chris Smith, Carrie Thornhill, Merrick Malone, Dean Harrison, and Caple Green (and their organizations). It's 320k SF of retail anchored by a Walmart, and 480 residential units in a town center format. This past week, a bill was signed by the mayor authorizing sale of the land to the partnership as well as a $40M TIF that makes the project viable (along with financing from city grants, EB-5, and conventional bank lending). Construction's started with estimated opening in fall '17.
And on H Street NE between 8th and 10th streets, in 2016 Gary's firm will be demolishing a one-story retail building (that he built and opened 27 years ago) and replacing it with 400 residential units and 45k SF of retail.
Another gentleman with a long list of projects in the works speaking at our event tomorrow is Moseley Construction chief Johnny Moseley (left, with GRS Group's Mark Halloran at our BMAC multifamily conference last year). Johnny tells us the firm, which specializes in multifamily, is on track for a record year—$65M in construction projects under contract and $23M in 2015 backlog. Moseley's working on Goldstar Group's 1500 Penn condo project in Hill East as well as Zusin Development's 14th Street mixed-use project—14Q—on 14th Street.
And few investors have been more active than Meridian Group, which is why we're also thrilled to welcome the firm's Gary Block (left, with WRIT's Bob Elliott) to tomorrow's event. In the past year, Meridian has purchased two signature local projects—the SAIC site in Tysons and Techworld in the District—with big plans to make over both.