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By Altus Group | January 18, 2017

In the following two-part podcast interview,  Altus Group speaks with Paul Weinschenk, President, Retail for Peterson Companies, about a wide-range of commercial real estate trends and topics with regards to the D.C. metro market – including the rise of National Harbor.


With the recent opening of MGM National Harbor, National Harbor is becoming a prime retail, entertainment and gaming destination that rivals any other global entertainment destination.  As the lead developer behind National Harbor, Peterson Companies has played a critical role in helping to make this destination a “city within a city,” as well as a major economic opportunity for Prince George’s County, Maryland.

For the same reasons, Peterson Companies has a strong focus on Loudon County, Virginia, such as the dramatic expansion of the Avonlea development. The approach of taking a long-term position and developing mixed-use properties in suburban areas to create entertainment and living destinations is a strategy they have employed successfully in multiple markets.

In the second segment of this interview, Ross and Paul discuss the impact that commercial real estate taxes can have when developing retail and mixed-use properties.


When commercial developers are seeking out new retail development opportunities, there are many factors that can contribute to long-term success. These include the many complex attributes of the property, its location, as well as customer demographic information – all of which help to tell the story behind the value of the property to a potential retail tenant.

However, one of the core aspects of telling the right story to a potential retail tenant is commercial property taxes. For the retail sector, taxes can have a major impact on expansion decisions, especially in jurisdictions where the rates may be higher than others. The most sophisticated retailers develop highly sound economic projections, which includes taxes, before going into a new market.

Conversely, there are many examples in the D.C. region – such as the Silver Spring, Maryland, redevelopment effort from 15 years ago – where tax incentives can be a major factor in bringing in new retail tenants. These efforts have ultimately sparked a regional revitalization.

Whether its through incentive packages or through detailed analysis prior to entering a new market place, commercial real estate taxes play a major role in any retail expansion plan.


This podcast is part of the CRE Insider Podcast Series

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