Broker Spotlight: Anusha Alapati

How did you become interested in commercial real estate?

That’s an interesting story—I sort of fell into it. When I graduated college I was offered a job at my great uncle’s company, Yedla Management, that develops hotels across the Southeast. I became very interested in the development side of the business and he suggested that commercial real estate might be something that would fit me. He was right.

I wake up every day feeling blessed to be in my position. It’s challenging, fun, and very rewarding.

Anusha Alapati

What do you love most about your job as a commercial real estate broker?

Being able to help the City of Huntsville grow and thrive is something that never gets old. We are a big city with a small-town feel, and it’s amazing to watch new businesses be supported by the community with such enthusiasm.

Even the challenges are enjoyable—they can end up being the most fun. Creating retail synergy is a giant puzzle, and I have the privilege of thinking through those challenges and helping produce something out-of-the-box, memorable, and highly successful. And of course, the relationships I’ve built through my position have been a major highlight.

What makes Huntsville a wonderful destination for new businesses?

We are starting to see the urbanization of Huntsville as our city is embracing the live, work, play lifestyle. Like I said, the support that the community gives is unmatched. Huntsville is on the rise, and new concepts are welcomed here with open arms.

The city shares a passion for development and growth, and that’s reflected in the way we encourage new business ventures. I hope to bring more interesting retail concepts to the Rocket City.

You specialize in retail leasing—what does that mean?

Focusing on a particular area of commercial real estate is something that differentiates Crunkleton. We have brokers that specialize in certain types of leasing, allowing them to stay hyper-focused on a specific side of the business. My specialty is retail.

I understand the landscape of boutique, restaurant, and specialty retail leasing and what it takes to be successful in those areas. It’s something that has always clicked with me and it’s where my passion is.

What projects have you found especially rewarding?

That’s too difficult to answer; every project is unique. I do love the challenging projects, because they make you stay on top of your game and expand your skillset. You are never stagnant in this line of work. It requires you to keep growing.

That being said, it has been a privilege to be a part of the revitalization of Downtown Huntsville. Wesley Crunkleton did an amazing job of executing his vision for The Garage at Clinton Row, and I was given the opportunity to lease the development. Working with Charlie and Sasha Sealy on The Avenue was also an exciting undertaking because it was one of the first large-scale mixed-use developments in the downtown area.

But it’s not just about downtown, projects like Central Park Village, 2700 Capitol Park in Tuscaloosa, and the chance to work with retailers in expanding to other cities has been very fulfilling too.

Anusha worked on major Downtown Huntsville projects like The Garage at Clinton Row. Here she is in her favorite dress from Elitaire Boutique, a tenant at The Garage!

What piece of advice would you give to someone considering a career in commercial real estate?

It takes grit, persistence, leaving your comfort zone, and developing meaningful relationships to be successful.

Be ready to work hard. It involves constant research and putting yourself out there to make sure the job is done.

How do you stay on top of your game?

In this business, you have to stay ahead of the trends. What do people want? Where do people want to shop? What experience can you deliver to a retail consumer that leaves a lasting impression? I am always researching trends—Business Insider, Forbes, Shopping Centers Today, you name it. I also attend major conferences like ICSC and I travel to research new concepts.

It’s important to understand how millennials live, work, and find entertainment. Trends change rapidly and are vastly different today than 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago.

What value do you hope to bring to your clients?

I want to ensure a seamless process and be a resource for them. I want to be there to connect them to the people and assets they need for a prosperous business. Watching my clients grow and flourish is why I do what I do.

Enjoying a day of fly fishing in Blue Ridge, GA.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

Staying active in the community is important to me, which is why I try to spend my free time volunteering with organizations like Mayfair Inner City Church and Junior League of Huntsville. I’m also a member of Committee 100 YP and a newly elected member of the Huntsville Museum of Art Foundation Board.

I also love fly fishing, spending time with my family, my boyfriend Matt, and my dog Charlie.

You can contact Anusha by email at anusha@crunkletonassociates.com or by calling 256-536-8809.

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

Tenant Announcement! Scout & Molly’s Boutique Coming To The Avenue!

In recent years, Downtown Huntsville has transformed into a dynamic neighborhood offering endless options for dining, living, and entertainment. It’s impossible to ignore the evolution of the area as you walk, ride, or bike down its busy, colorful streets.

New shops are popping up every day. And with the addition of urban living communities, pocket parks, and art-filled alleyways, the downtown area has become the mecca for the “Live-Work-Play” lifestyle.

The opportunities for unique retail are abundant, and Scout & Molly’s will join the downtown community with its newest location at The Avenue. The boutique will be located next to Church Street Purveyor in a 1,272 SF space. In addition to bringing more soft goods retail to downtown, the women’s boutique will offer an inventory centered on the Huntsville customer.

Photo courtesy of Scout & Molly’s

 Projected Store Hours:

Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

“The revitalization of the downtown area is one of the best things to happen to the city in years,” said Lori Mullins, owner of Scout & Molly’s future Huntsville location. “The project has provided the city and surrounding areas with a centralized location for entertainment, art, and food while preserving our local history and culture.”

Scout & Molly’s began in Raleigh, NC, in 2002 and was the dream of entrepreneur and Founder, Lisa Kornstein. Scout & Molly’s is where today’s transcending woman goes to find that special little something that’ll fit just right. Scout & Molly’s boutiques are merchandised with a simple rule in mind: “No style fits all,” which is why maintaining individuality while dressed in the latest trends is a necessity for all of its customers. Scout & Molly’s locations are home to your favorite designers and unique finds that are sure to produce both confidence and compliments.

“As the owner of its downtown location, I will work with both the clients and the Scout & Molly’s buyers to provide clothing and accessories that match the unique style of Huntsville women,” said Lori.

Shoppers at the new boutique will never have to worry about stale styles. Lori said that new brands are continuously being sought by Scout & Molly’s, ensuring that updated inventory is always available. Among the brands carried by Scout & Molly’s include makers like Fifteen Twenty, Sanctuary, and AG Jeans. The boutique will also offer a free styling program, closet makeovers, and host private shopping events.

“We can’t wait to be an active member of the downtown retail community,” said Lori. “The Avenue developers are vested in Huntsville and the success of downtown; no other Huntsville retail and residential environment offers what The Avenue does.”

Photo courtesy of Scout & Molly’s

The Avenue – Urban Living (And Retail) At Its Best

Charlie and Sasha Sealy, developers of The Avenue, realized the brilliant opportunity to create a true “Live-Work-Play” mixed-use development that would bring Huntsville residents a convenient place to live while giving them options to wine, dine, shop, and play all within one facility. Now with the critical mass of people living in Downtown Huntsville, the Sealys are seeing more and more retailers interested in coming to The Avenue.

“We are very excited to welcome Scout & Molly’s to The Avenue,” said Sasha. “The stylish boutique is well-known in larger cities like Nashville, and this will be its first location in Alabama. The boutique features one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry, and accessories, and will complement our development by adding to the downtown lifestyle.”

The Avenue is increasingly becoming a sought-after retail space for several reasons, including the important component of synergy among tenants. Crunkleton broker Anusha Alapati worked directly with Scout & Molly’s and The Avenue to create the ideal match.

“Retail synergy is important for any successful shopping district,” said Anusha. “Crunkleton has been working to craft a cohesive tenant mix at The Avenue, as well as other projects in downtown.” Anusha also worked closely with other key downtown developments like The Garage at Clinton Row.

“The addition of Scout & Molly’s will continue the city’s efforts of turning the downtown district into a stellar shopping and entertainment district,” she said. “It’s only going to grow from here.”

Welcome Scout & Molly’s Boutique!

For Lori, August can’t come soon enough. She’s ready to open her doors and showcase the personality and versatility that Scout & Molly’s will bring to downtown.

“I believe the women who live in Huntsville will appreciate the fact that they no longer have to drive to Birmingham, Nashville or Atlanta to find those special pieces of clothing,” said Lori. “They can find it in their own backyard—right here at The Avenue. We are very appreciative of this opportunity, and we look forward to increasing synergy, enhancing downtown, and creating lasting relationships with our customers. See you in August, Huntsville!”

Be sure to follow Scout & Molly’s Huntsville location on Instagram @scoutandmollyshuntsville!

For more information on Scout & Molly’s visit www.scoutandmollys.com. And follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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

Winchester Commons Opens For Business In Northeast Huntsville!

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After announcing the development here in July of 2015,  we are excited to announce that the 8,800 square-foot Winchester Commons development located at 2190 Winchester Rd NE is finally complete and open for business in Northeast Huntsville!

Located across the street from Huntsville’s newest Walmart and adjacent to CVS Pharmacy and Publix Supermarket, Winchester Commons is currently home to Great Clips, Victoria Nails and Wilson’s Cleaners.  Local restaurant concept Beauregards (voted best wings in Huntsville in 2013, 2014 & 2015) will join the development later this year, leaving only one space left remaining in the development.

“As one of the most rapidly growing areas in Huntsville, with excellent demographics, our firm developed Winchester Commons because we believed there were opportunities being missed in the under served area of Northeast Huntsville.

All too often we see retailers clamoring to join oversaturated parts of the market instead of looking to find areas of the market with good demographics where they could make a larger impact on a community and reap the rewards.

Projects like Winchester Commons are a prime example of the dividends that this alternate approach can bring to businesses willing to be pioneers in burgeoning markets.  With excellent retail synergy between Publix, Walmart and the other retailers in the area, lines have been out the door with the just the three stores that are currently open for business in the center.

Which serves to prove that this once overlooked area of town is ready, eager, and able to support a vibrant retail community.”

-Anusha Alapati
Lead Broker For Winchester Commons
Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate Group

With one remaining space in the development, what store or restaurant concept would you love to see come to Northeast Huntsville and move into the last 1800 sf space left!? Let us know in the comments below so we can reach out and contact the companies you want most!

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON Commercial Real EState Group
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Trend Report: The Future of Retail in 2017 – A Changing Environment

As a commercial real estate broker I am constantly asked: what is driving the future of retail and retail shopping centers? What changes, if any, can we expect to see in the coming years?  And how are property owners dealing with the effects of e-commerce on brick and mortar retail?

So today we are going to take a few moments to try and answer a few of those questions, take a look at the changing landscape of retail shopping and the effect it is having on commercial real estate right here in Huntsville, Alabama.

Let’s start by looking at e-commerce, its effect on physical retail, and the opportunities it is providing to those that are willing to adapt to a changing marketplace:

It is no secret that online shopping is influencing the traditional brick and mortar retailers. Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 were the largest online shopping days in history and that trend will likely continue. However, does this mean that we are seeing the beginning of the end for brick and mortar retail? Absolutely not. What we are seeing instead is a shift in the traditional shopping center layout and tenant mix. The typical retail store is getting smaller and retailers are focusing more and more on the experience of shopping.

Labeled “Experiential Retail”, retailers are shifting their focus to providing shoppers with a fun and exciting experience. Shoppers not only want to touch and feel the product they are buying, but want to be entertained in the process. This is something that e-commerce can never provide. And not only are the younger generations demanding that experience, they are also willing to pay more to get it.

So how does Experiential Retail and the changing layout of brick and mortar retail affect the commercial real estate market?

Well, this desire for a better experience doesn’t just start once a shopper walks through the door. Consumers want the entire experience to be better, which includes the physical layout of the shopping center and the overall destination. Urbanization and the revitalization of downtowns across the country are a perfect example of this. Even right here in Huntsville we are seeing consumers demand a different experience. The success of projects like Campus 805, Lowe Mill, and The Garage at Clinton Row are great examples of the adaptive reuse of properties to provide a better experience.

What does all this mean for existing shopping centers and landlords?

The term adaptive reuse that I mentioned previously is going to be critical for Landlords of traditional shopping centers. As retailers continue to shrink their footprints, Landlords are going to have to get creative in how to back fill the big box spaces left by shrinking retailers. We are already seeing examples of this across the country and even right here in Huntsville. Large box spaces left vacant are being backfilled by entertainment type uses such as indoor go-cart tracks and trampoline arenas. Medical and dental concepts are even starting to open up locations within retail environments, backfilling former retail stores. There are opportunities out there for Landlords that are willing to think outside the box and be creative.

Despite the ever-growing presence of e-commerce, we are far from the end of brick and mortar retail. Consumers are willing to pay for a better experience and the ability to touch and feel what they are buying. This is evidenced in the fact that online giant Amazon is getting into the brick and mortar game with physical retail stores and even a grocery store. There will always be a place for the traditional retail store, it just might look different and be located in different areas than what we have grown accustom. Retailers and Landlords that are willing to change their mindset and adapt to the new environment will have a competitive advantage going forward.

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Originally from Tennessee, Zac studied business management at Samford University. After moving to Huntsville in 2001, Zac started out his career in banking, wealth management and financial planning. In 2010 he joined Crunkleton and has since become the VP of Leasing for the commercial real estate group where he focuses on retail leasing and development.

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Zac Buckley
VP of leasing
CRUNKLETON Commercial real estate group
ZAC@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM