In 2006, Ferber EVP, Marlon Champion, began working with a national retail partner that wanted to expand into Davenport, Florida. Champion identified a 10-acre site that was owned by the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, but the Diocese wasn’t willing to sell. Eleven years later, circumstances changed and the Diocese decided to sell a 20-acre lot.
Champion determined the best strategy was to divide the commercial development into two phases with the development of a Wawa (Phase I) while continuing to market the balance of the property (Phase II). Because of the nature of the transaction, the Diocese was required to obtain approval from the Vatican, which included a hand-signed approval by the Pope. Ferber was able to build trust between all parties, which was critical to securing the restructured deal.
With Wawa as the first tenant, Ferber was able to attract other Class A retailers, including Aldi, Taco Bell, Tire Kingdom, and Mach-1 Express Car Wash. By overcoming significant topography challenges and securing high-quality tenants in a growing market, Ferber ensured that the development progressed smoothly from start to finish. Both Wawa and Aldi report these locations among their tops in their respective chains.