Founded a decade ago, Washington, DC-based commercial real estate firm The JCR Companies(JCR) has grown a core portfolio of infill downtown retail assets into a million-square-foot retail platform. Now, the firm is poised for strategic growth both regionally and nationally. We interviewed the firm’s new COO, Drew Briscoe, to find out more.
How has JCR grown during the last year?
Well, we started 2018 by acquiring a 102,000 square foot Manassas, Virginia shopping center that’s shadow-anchored by a Super Target. Just a few months later, we bought Krispy Korner, a shopping center on heavily trafficked Route 1 in Alexandria, Virginia. But perhaps the most exciting news is that we have started moving outside the Washington, DC metropolitan area, acquiring and recapitalizing 11 individual retail assets in Florida, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.
So what does this mean for the future?
We like what we see and what we’ve been able to accomplish in major markets throughout the US. With a larger deal flow that’s laser-focused on rapid and thorough analysis, as well as an incredibly aggressive leasing team and best-in-class management staff, we’re ready for the next big thing. We’re looking to acquire and maximize the value of the next generation of necessity-based and Internet-resistant retail centers throughout the country.
What has been the biggest factor in the company’s success since its inception back in 2009?
Persistence is our core competency. We are always prioritizing and being the most aggressive in leasing and acquisitions of our primary asset class, while remaining nimble enough to experiment with other opportunities. But at the end of the day, it’s all about follow-up. We persist shamelessly in order to see a lead through until it’s either done or dead (in which case we can then bring it back to life).
What have you found to be the greatest barrier to success in real estate investing?
Up until now, the main challenge has been finding more of the right opportunities within driving distance of our headquarters. As a start-up, we wanted to stay within a radius that can be managed by a small staff. Over the past few years we have added both infrastructure and key personnel, and now we have the ability to both oversee and improve value-add investments from a distance.
You’ve been with the company for six years. What do you see as the next move for JCR?
I believe we are headed for prolific growth outside the greater Washington, DC region. The focus will continue to include urban infill retail properties, shopping centers, triple- net and mixed-use retail properties like our DC-based portfolio.