We interviewed real estate developer Robert Fransen, president of Coro Realty Advisors, and gleaned his insight on what makes the early education and child care sector — and specifically Primrose Schools — an attractive business partner. In the Q&A below, Robert also provides information on how Primrose can be well-suited to urban developments as well as what it’s like to work with the Primrose Real Estate Team.
Primrose: Were you originally considering partnering with an early education and child care provider for the Brookleigh Marketplace project in Brookhaven, Ga.? What made you realize Primrose would be a good fit?
Robert: Our original plan for the development did not include a school. Instead, our intent was a conventional tenant mix, particularly restaurants and personal service retailers. However, once we determined that our target market was middle and upper-middle income families, Primrose was a natural fit. The Brookhaven Primrose location anticipated approximately 200 children, correlating to roughly 125 to135 families. That is 125 to 135 visitors every day, twice per day, five days per week. That’s a pretty solid traffic count.
Primrose: What other factors were considered when evaluating whether Primrose would be a good fit in your development?
Robert: Primrose worked well in Brookhaven — requiring an expansion within two years of opening — because:
- Brookhaven is a middle and upper-middle income area. These demographics often have two working parents in need of daytime child care. The high quality of Primrose is ideally suited to this demographic.
- The Brookhaven location is close to large Atlanta employers, making it convenient for parents working in the area.
- The Primrose Real Estate Team and our development team targeted compatible customers. We pursued a tenant mix that catered to working parents for whom time and convenience are paramount. This target meshes well with the Primrose parent profile.
Primrose: What opportunities and challenges did you come across trying to fit Primrose into an outside-the-box format like the one in this development? How did you overcome them?
Robert: Land in Brookhaven is expensive. We worked with Primrose to develop a two-story school prototype that matched our development’s architectural aesthetics, addressed the size requirements of Primrose, fit within a land footprint feasible for our development’s layout and was affordable for the Primrose Franchise Owners. Primrose was a very good development partner in this regard. Primrose built an attractive, high-quality building, which enabled us to draw more upscale retailers to the property.
Primrose: Talk about the success of this project. How do you think Primrose complements the other tenants in the development?
Robert: The Primrose target demographic fits well within our development. Plus, it generates solid spill-over traffic in the mornings from drop-offs and late afternoons with pick-ups. There are parents who visit the gym after dropping off their kids, families that eat at one of our restaurants, and even people who visit our medical office tenants due to the proximity to Primrose. Because Primrose is closed in the evening, it does not impede peak, night-time parking, which enabled us to accommodate more restaurants. Those restaurants draw more customers, who visit our other retailers. It is all a symbiotic relationship.
Primrose: What is it about the Primrose Real Estate Team that would make you want to partner with them again?
Robert: The Primrose team, from its Site Acquisition Manager to its Franchise Owners, did what they said they would, when they said they would, and exemplified great integrity. It is a first-class operation.
Primrose is actively looking to expand in markets all over the country, including 200 mid-sized markets. If you think Primrose could be a good fit for your project or site, Visit us at ICSC RECon booth S464Q.