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October 1, 2017

Baltimore Next Generation Program at Bond Street Social

Cherene Keenan ICSC Next Gen Event

Cherene Keenan, Commercial Leasing Associate, Continental Realty Corporation moderated a panel at the ICSC Baltimore Next Generation Program (consisting of young leaders), held at Bond Street Social that focused on learning more about fast-casual food operators and their expansion plans in the Mid-Atlantic region. Panelists included (left to right), Bill Kraus, co-founder of Mission BBQ; Jerry Osuna, Regional Operations Manager of Towson Hot Bagels & Deli and Brent Renner, Director of Real Estate for CAVA.

Bill Kraus informed the group that Mission BBQ recently opened its 54th store and now operates in twelve states and that the company “remains bullish on future expansion.” He added, “before opening the concept we traveled the country to sample the best barbecue and tried to take new ideas along the way. In our view, as long as you like meat, we can be friends. With seven homemade sauces available, the customer can select the flavor that is right for them. We align ourselves with the community, especially local fire and police departments and the military. No matter how busy we are, we stop operations every day at noon to play the national anthem in every store.”

Brent Renner started with CAVA when the Mediterranean-focused fast-casual restaurant had seven locations and he has guided the concept to thirty-five units, with an expected total of forty-four by the end of the year. He agreed with the other panelists that “the key to growth is having the right people within the company to manage steady expansion,” adding “the retail environment remains receptive to restaurant concepts that offer healthy-eating alternatives. Consumers are taking a hard look at the ingredients restaurants use, as well as the origin of the food.”

The event Program Planning Committee consisted of Brooke Harlander, St. John Properties; Courtney Byrnes, Stewart Title Guaranty Company and Cherene Keenan, Continental Realty Corporation.

Christopher Smith, TriAlliance; Bill Holzman, St. John Properties; Jamie Lanham, Segall Group Commercial Real Estate; Kelsi Bozel, Continental Realty Corporation and Bill Kraus, Mission BBQ.

The event was sponsored by Bohler Engineering, Continental Realty Corporation, Hillis-Carnes Engineering Associates, The MacKenzie Companies, Merritt Properties, Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, Stewart Title Guaranty Company and St. John Properties.

According to Brooke Harlander, “The goal was for these leaders in the retail/restaurant market to share their experiences and story, including challenges they have overcome. The panelists shared their insights into the future, as well as discussing target metrics and demographics for each concept.”

About CRC

Continental Realty Corporation (CRC), headquartered in Baltimore and founded in 1960, is a full-service commercial real estate investment and management company. The privately-owned firm owns and manages a diversified portfolio of retail centers consisting of over 3.5 million square feet of space, as well as apartment communities featuring nearly 10,000 apartment homes. Positioned throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, the value of the portfolio exceeds $1.5 billion.

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