Client: La Plata Investments

Gruen Gruen + Associates (GG+A) was asked by La Plata Investments to review the existing development program and, if appropriate, suggest changes to the program for 433 vacant acres at the center of the Briargate community. GG+A evaluated the demand opportunities and competitive constraints that will apply to the 433-acre parcel over the 2000 to 2020 time period and recommended the development of a mixed use program that would include a retail community scale speciality center, office uses, some industrial space and relatively dense housing.

The forecasts of demand and program was provided in 5-year increments for industrial and office space demand. Separate forecasts of the demand for absorption of building space and acreage required to house the demand for office and industrial uses were presented. Retail space was treated as a residual demand originating from on-site workers and residents, as well as a percentage of the drive-bys. The impact of changes in highway and interchange access was incorporated in the above demand analysis.

A sense of the area’s economic structure and an estimate of likely penetration into projected demands were estimated. Also, interviews with current Briargate tenants, as well as with firms located in competing parks, formed one basis for a higher density mixed use park— one that integrated retail, restaurant, and service uses in a more “urban” setting in order to provide the suburban business park workers with a central meeting place, thereby combining the accessibility and parking advantages of the traditional suburban business park with the type of experiential retailing that has traditionally been associated with community or smaller downtown oriented retailing.