Broker Spotlight: Zac Buckley

How did you become interested in commercial real estate?

Before I began my career at Crunkleton, I was working as a banker/financial advisor. One day, Wesley called me—I’d known him for a few years—and he asked me if I’d be interested in joining his team. I met with Richard and Wesley both to discuss the business. After a few days of thinking it over I decided to dive in, and here I am today.

What do you enjoy about your job at Crunkleton?

The process of negotiation is something I’ve always enjoyed. Whether it’s a lease or sale, helping two parties come to a mutually beneficial agreement is very rewarding. It’s not about putting a tenant into a space and just moving on to the next deal. It’s about looking at all of the facts, knowing what’s ahead, and determining where my clients will find the most long-term success. Landlords and tenants have to be on the same page and working together for everyone to be successful.

Zac Buckley

What challenges do you face on the job?

Allocating my time and resources so that each client gets due attention is something that takes effort. I have to constantly make sure that I am working efficiently and understanding what leads are worth pursuing. I also have to make the lease or sale process as smooth as possible. It’s all about using your time effectively and not chasing deals when there are signs on the front end that it won’t be beneficial for your client.

You specialize in retail brokerage, what does that entail?

In the retail sector of commercial real estate, you are dealing directly with shopping, dining, grocery, and much more. I work with a lot of developments that are anchored by grocery store chains like Kroger and Publix. Even the service tenants within the development—like hair salons and insurance businesses—are considered retail real estate. It’s my job to put together a successful tenant mix that allows both the landlord and business owners to be profitable.

Crunkleton has brokers that focus on specific types of commercial real estate to ensure we are experts in a particular area. It keeps us hyper-focused on a specific market.

What do you do to stay on top of your game?

For retail brokerage on a regional and national level, staying active in the community is important. Taking part in events like the ICSC Conference in Las Vegas every year allows me to stay informed about what’s going on with the state of retail. I use that time to connect with brokers and businesses outside of the Huntsville market and bring that expertise back with me to Crunkleton.

What value do you hope to bring to your clients?

When I’m working as a tenant representative, I want to find a place where my client will find long-term success. By understanding terms from both the tenant and landlord side, reviewing the area’s demographics, and knowing their future clientele, I am able to put them in the best position to be around their customer base.

I continually work to know tenants’ specific markets and review current trends so my clients are paying a fair rate. When working for the landlord, I make sure they are getting market rates for their property as well.

It’s also valuable to look to the future when making a deal. A certain location may seem like a good fit for now, but if things are happening there that would negatively affect business it’s my job to steer my client in the right direction. You can’t just think about today, you have to be looking to the horizon—two or three years down the road.

Why is Huntsville an ideal place to work in commercial real estate?

Our city is a rapidly growing market. Huntsville is getting more and more national retail chains interested in the area. We have a good, solid economy that weathers downturn better than a lot of places, and we have a community and local government that is supportive of bringing in new businesses.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in commercial real estate?

If you want to be successful as a broker, you have to be outgoing and remain confident even after you hear several rejections. If someone told me they wanted to enter into this career path, I’d tell them that it would be beneficial to work in property management first. Take a few years to understand the process from that side—learn what goes on after the lease is signed.

Being a property manager would help them understand what lease terms really mean and what’s important to the client moving forward. I also think it would help a future broker make the connections they need with tenants and landlords to build up their network and make positive relationships in the commercial real estate world.

I’d also suggest finding a team that you work well with once you get in the business. The success we have as individual brokers at Crunkleton stems from our work as a team. We are constantly bouncing ideas off each other and helping one another with a deal. We work at it together.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

I enjoy any time I get to spend outdoors. I also love to read and spend time with my family. I’m very thankful for the time I get with my nieces and nephews.

You can contact Zac at zac@crunkletonassociates.com, or by calling 256-536-8809.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

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“Baby Bite Bake Shoppe” Announces New Huntsville Location!

Very soon, Huntsville will welcome its newest bakery to Westbury Square on Airport Road. Get ready to taste a little bit of heaven at Baby Bite Bake Shoppe!

The specialty bakery will offer made-from-scratch, bite-sized cakes that are already the talk of the town in Birmingham. After Baby Bites spent several years as the “scrumptious treat-of-choice” at Pastry Art Bake Shoppe in Homewood and Inverness, creators of the popular dessert saw the opportunity to branch out and highlight their best-selling item by introducing an all-new bakery.

Emily Sharman, who will be Baby Bite’s co-owner and manager, was working with Pastry Art owners Carol and Dennis Gregg when she was presented with the opportunity of opening her own bakery.

“When I graduated college, we discussed me opening a shop that highlighted one of their proprietary products—Baby Bites,” said Emily. “Carol has created a unique baked item that centers on freshness, quality, and variety. We knew we could expand to other markets by showcasing Baby Bites and creating the Baby Bite Bake Shoppe.”

With a loyal following already established in Huntsville, Emily committed to making the new bakery a reality and plans to open its doors in late January 2018.

Photo credit: Baby Bite Bake Shoppe

What is a “Baby Bite?”

Achieving the ideal cake-to-icing ratio on baked goods is an art form—one that Pastry Art has taken the time to perfect. A new twist on the traditional petit four, “Baby Bites” are a unique creation that serve as a delectable treat for occasions of every kind and a wonderful alternative to a full cake.

“Many of the people who visit Pastry Art come just to grab a dozen Baby Bites of different flavors for client meetings, family get-togethers, or gifts,” said Emily.

Based on the success of the Birmingham stores, the potential for the product as a stand-alone offering was evident. As plans were laid out, Carol and Dennis fully supported Emily’s vision to branch out with the Baby Bite product and create a new kind of bakery with a signature vibe.

“And if you’re looking for a way to personalize events, Baby Bites are the perfect choice,” she said. “They can be customized with flowers, drizzles, monograms, or logos to make every gathering special.”

Strictly a grab-and-go shop, Baby Bites will have plenty of products available to choose from each and every day.

“Anyone can customize their box to have whatever flavors they prefer,” assured Emily. “Get twelve different ones in your order if you like! It’s a cost-effective way to sample our entire inventory. But we are betting that you’ll have a hard time choosing a favorite.”

Photo credit: Baby Bite Bake Shoppe

Why Huntsville?

As a Birmingham native, Emily immediately noticed something special about the Huntsville area on her visit to scout potential locations.

“The first thing that stood out to us was the community feel and welcoming attitude of the city,” she explained. “Being a part of Huntsville as it grows will be a privilege, and we believe it’s the perfect place to start a new business. Everything about it made us feel comfortable and confident with our decision.”

After weeks of searching, Emily and the team settled on the 1,320 square foot space at Westbury Square.

“The fact that our store would already be in a booming shopping center was exciting,” said Emily. “There’s great parking, ample traffic, and we think we will be bringing in a perfect spot for an after-lunch treat. Plus, it’s centrally located to many of Huntsville’s highlights.”

In addition to its focus on community, Huntsville sparked the team’s interest because of its enthusiasm for the culinary arts.

“Of course we want to be in a city that already loves and appreciates quality food,” said Emily. “Events like Taste of Huntsville and Huntsville Restaurant Week will offer us yet another avenue to share our Baby Bites and get customers excited about our product.”

Photo credit: Baby Bite Bake Shoppe

What will the bakery be like?

Caramel, Turtle, Strawberry Margarita, Key Lime, Coconut, and Italian Cream—you can order all of these flavors and more at Baby Bite Bake Shoppe!

“We have more than twenty Baby Bite flavors available, with daily specials and seasonal bites drawing in new crowds each week,” explained Emily. “We usually offer nine flavors to choose from each day. Red velvet is our best seller!”

Emily said that the bakery will have a “young, fun look” and incorporate decorative items like lighting fixtures made from mixing bowls, along with chic, rustic features.

“We are going for bright colors, engaging in-store graphics, and a welcoming atmosphere so you feel like you are visiting a friend,” said Emily. “We have many people visit Pastry Art for more than just the desserts—they come to hang out with us and chat. Baby Bite Bake Shoppe will be the same way.”

Baby Bite Bake Shoppe will be one of those places that you can get a delectable product and enjoy a social visit with our team,” said Emily. “We put a lot of focus on our customer-employee relationships, and we look to guests to inspire the directions that our business takes.”

Photo credit: Baby Bite Bake Shoppe

A sweet treat for the Rocket City!

More than anything, Emily is excited to join the Huntsville community and bring a little bit of sweetness to the town.

“Everyone here has been so uplifting,” said Emily. “We can’t wait to open and invite you into our shop! We will bake up some goodies that are sure to bring a smile to your face. See you soon, Huntsville!”

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

J. Kennedy Clothing Company Joins Traditional Style With An Adventurous Edge In New Downtown Women’s Boutique

“For elegance, for resilience, for grace. Terribly simple—yet terrifically glamorous.
Uptown or downtime—bring wonderful manners and a flair for adventure. Horseback riding or sail boating today?”

Behind the brand of J. Kennedy Clothing Company is a passion for empowering the modern woman through timelessly classic style. A new women’s boutique coming to Downtown Huntsville in Spring 2018, J. Kennedy will supply a unique inventory of heirloom quality clothing and goods.

The new shop is the final tenant to join the thriving businesses at The Garage at Clinton Row—an adaptive reuse development that converted the bottom of a city parking deck into a strip of retail stores. The grand reveal of the shop took place last week at the Clinton Avenue Block Party and is already drawing the interest of Huntsville shoppers.

For Co-Owners of J. Kennedy, Meagan Tortorigi and Anusha Alapati, the project to open the store has been a year in the making. The shop plans to open its doors in March of next year, with online shopping available in February.

“Huntsville is a growing city with a need and appreciation for diversity in clothing,” said Meagan. “While we are a small, local boutique, we will provide exceptional customer service, style, experience, and assistance in outfitting. Now is the time to bring J. Kennedy to life.”

The Story.

“The look, the walk, the clothes, the grace.”

With years of retail experience under her belt as the owner and operator of Huntsville’s Cotton Cottage Boutique, Meagan reached out to Anusha with the proposition of opening a new women’s outfitter with a signature style.

“Managing Cotton Cottage was an incredible experience,” said Meagan, who will handle the day-to-day business of J. Kennedy. “After I moved to Birmingham, I left the retail business to focus on other pursuits. Now that I am back in Huntsville, it’s time to take on J. Kennedy with Anusha by my side. I couldn’t ask for a better business partner.”

As they formed plans for their new store, the image of one fiercely confident woman came to mind—Jacqueline Kennedy.

The Inspiration.

“It’s not just about what you wear, but how you wear it.”

Jacqueline Kennedy’s signature poise motivated Meagan and Anusha to create a new kind of women’s boutique for Huntsville. Everything from the design of the space to the available brands were carefully selected to reflect the refinement of the American fashion icon.

“Whether she was out on the field or at an upscale ball, Jackie Kennedy carried her strong sense of style with her,” said Anusha. “It’s something to be admired. Our new store will reflect the adventure and sophistication that she conveyed.”

Shoppers at J. Kennedy will be able to find a look for every occasion—styles for work, a night on the town, or casual day wear. And plenty of accessories will be available as well, including jewelry, shoes, and leather goods.

“We want every visit to be a memorable experience for our clientele,” said Meagan. “And that starts the moment they walk into the store.”

The Experience.

“A button up and jeans stop traffic. The door opens and she enters, breathless, but on time.”

Antique wingback chairs, Persian rugs, wooden accent walls, and exposed brick—these are just a few of the accents to expect at J. Kennedy.

“It will be as if you’re walking into a chic hunting lodge to enjoy a glass of champagne with Jackie herself,” said Meagan. “It’s outdoorsy but sophisticated. It will stand out in terms of design, and we think it will fit perfectly with the well-established shops at The Garage. We are also working with the Huntsville Historic Foundation and Reconstruction South to secure furniture and other decorative items.”

J. Kennedy plans to keep customers in mind when making decisions on what goods to carry in the 1,000 square foot space. Anusha said the company will reach out on social media in the coming months to hear what Huntsville has to say.

The Journey.

“For elegance, for resilience, for grace. Terribly simple, yet terrifically glamorous.”

Huntsville, what makes you feel glamorous? Confident? Classic? J. Kennedy wants to know.

“We want our customers to have a voice when it comes to what brands and fashion we offer,” explained Meagan. “Reach out to us via social media and let us know what you want us to carry. Every time we go to market we have our customers’ needs in mind. Speak up, because we are listening.”

Get to know J. Kennedy on Facebook and Instagram as they reveal more about the store in the coming months.

Visit https://www.jkennedyclothing.com for more.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Huntsville Speaks: STOVEHOUSE

It’s time again for another “Huntsville Speaks” where we ask for feedback from the community on what YOU want to see come to the Rocket City!

Your input matters, and that’s why we continue to ask you what it is you’d like to see and enjoy in Huntsville. You speak, we listen—and we go out and try to make it happen!

This time, we are asking everyone to weigh in on our latest big announcement: STOVEHOUSE. Not only will this development be home to the city’s first urban food garden, but it will also include a rooftop wine bar and plenty of space for events—big and small!

We’d love to hear YOUR ideas on what restaurants and eateries you’d like to see in this one-of-a-kind historic space. We are looking for unique, regional concepts. Is there something in Birmingham, Chattanooga, Atlanta, or Nashville that you’d like to see here? Comment below and let us know!

Need a little help brainstorming? Here are some examples of what could be fitting for this space.

“What restaurants and eateries would you love to see at STOVEHOUSE?”

 Food from around the world:

Are there concepts out there that feature cuisine from a specific region that you’re passionate about? Restaurants that serve up favorites from around the world are always a popular choice. Döner kebab, dumplings, falafels, pierogies, gyros, ramen—there’s a lot out there to choose from!

 Food for the dessert lover:

Are you ruled by your sweet tooth? When we see shops that serve cookie dough, specialty ice cream, macaroons, and pies, we can’t help but want them nearby. What kind of dessert shops would you like to see at STOVEHOUSE?

Food for specific diets:

Restaurants like Mason Dixon Bakery & Bistro have seen a lot of success in Huntsville because they offer incredible fare for customers with gluten allergies or other dietary restrictions. There are a growing number of options in the culinary world for vegans, vegetarians, and people who prefer to eat organic or local. Would you like to see more restaurants like this in Huntsville? If so, which ones?

Those are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. What restaurant concepts do you want to see at STOVEHOUSE?

Comment below and let us know! Or send us a direct message on Facebook or Instagram. We are listening.

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haley_square
HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM