A group of us from the EDD represented Charles County at the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) RECon on May 20-23 in Las Vegas.

“We’re working with developers, property owners, brokers and consultants in Charles County to attract retailers to new development and existing vacancies in the County,” said Redevelopment Manager Taylor Yewell. “This was an important trip for us and an opportunity to network with top retailers and developers, as well as support our local brokers and mall developers.

RECon is the annual, global retail real estate convention, with more than 37,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors that include shopping center owners and developers, real estate brokers, property management companies, retailers, market researchers, finance and lending institutions, and public sector/municipalities.

During the convention, the EDD met with several representatives of companies doing business in Charles County to discuss retail attraction and retention as well as future development opportunities. These are the organizations we met with:

Combined Properties, Charles County Plaza

Greenberg Gibbons, Waldorf Station

Phillip Edison & Company, La Plata Plaza and 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

Addison Herring, commercial brokers

Marcus & Millichap, commercial brokers

NaviRetail LLC, retail market analysis, research

Buxton, retail market analysis, research

CoStar, retail market analysis, research

Shasho Consulting, commercial developer

Meinhardt Properties, commercial developer

Washington Gas, public utility

Maryland Department of Commerce

What we learned is:  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 Director Darréll Brown. “That information will help put the county in a more competitive position to better advise property owners, developers, and commercial real estate brokers.”

“Our five-year strategic plan looks at what is desirable and what is feasible in attracting new businesses to the county.  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.  That’s where the more sophisticated data analytics come in.  By better understanding the specifics of what certain retailers are seeking from new market locations, we can accomplish three things:  1) better determine what makes the County attractive to retailers, 2) identify what businesses would come to Charles County, and 3) learn what we must do in order to attract others.”

For more information about retail in Charles County, visit our Retail Development page.

Written by:   Charles County Economic Development Team