The Role of Entrepreneurial Businesses in Commercial Real Estate

I’ve been leasing and selling commercial real estate in North Texas for over thirty years. During that time I’ve sold land for investment or development and income producing properties such as retail shopping centers and office buildings. I’ve also leased office space, flex space and space in retail shopping centers. Many times, I’ve leased space to start-up companies and frequently those companies were looking for retail space to sell their products or promote services. It’s very rewarding to work with these individuals that bring new and fresh ideas to the market and are willing to risk capital and personal time. I want to share an experience I recently had with two such entrepreneurs who are making a huge difference in their community. One element of an entrepreneurial business person is filling a need in the marketplace.In retail shopping centers this is often a keystone in whether a shop is successful or not. Recently I was fortunate to work with two business partners who wanted to start a store to address the need of their very specific and growing community. Both partners are natives of Africa and they met after settling in Dallas, working for the same company. Many of the African immigrants have moved here to take advantage of the many opportunities made available in our country; however, they do not want to lose contact with their culture. In an effort to stay in touch with their roots, they try to have at least one or two weekly sit down dinners at their home for family and friends, eating traditional African foods. These two partners soon discovered that it was difficult to find authentic African food markets in an area that has a large and growing African community. Once they had seen the available space at Forest Audelia Village they decided on the space with the highest visibility and leased it “as-is” from the landlord in order to get the most economical rate. They quickly completed the necessary paperwork and had the finish-out constructed per code. At the same time, they were placing their orders for the food they would be selling and one partner traveled back to Africa to establish direct contact with vendors. There have been a few surprises along the way, as there are for startup companies, but their business is starting to flourish and they have plans on how to expand their services and products to keep it growing. It has been very rewarding working with these tenants and watching their success. There is certainly a monetary reward in my work, but it is often coupled with the feeling that I’ve help someone accomplish a goal. This personal reward is something I will take with me wherever I go. I am also thankful to work with landlords who are willing to work with these tenants, who may not have a track record, but have an idea whose time has come and the drive to make their business thrive. Paul Richter Market Director Corporate Office 9400 NCX, Suite 500 Dallas, TX 75231 Ph: 972-776-7036
August 2, 2013

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