1539836In today’s Four on Friday, we spoke with Joe Vickers of S.J. Collins (SJC) Enterprises, a commercial real estate development firm that has acquired and developed more than 45 retail, mixed-use, multifamily and office projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. Vickers shared recent trends in the development sector and his predictions for the top five NCAAF teams at the end of the season. Many thanks to Vickers for his time.

What is S.J. Collins working on these days?

Vickers: We are staying busy at SJC headquarters with grocery-anchored centers throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Just as we completed construction on a Whole Foods-anchored center in Dayton, Ohio, we began site work on another Whole Foods-anchored development in Toledo, Ohio, within the past week. Other projects in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Newport News, Virginia, are near completion. Future projects in Sarasota, Florida, and Chamblee/Brookhaven, Georgia, should commence by year-end.

Have you seen any trends emerge recently within the development sector, which you’d like to share?

Vickers: With the economy bouncing back in recent years, organic grocers are becoming more in demand. The consumer now has a few more disposable dollars that can be contributed to a healthier lifestyle. Retailers such as Zoe’s Kitchen, Chipotle and Pure Barre have noticed and can be found in many of these centers. 

What restaurant trends do you see emerging?

Vickers: Local, organic and fresh. Millennials have entered the business world and are the driving factor behind the latest trend in restaurants. Whether it is fast-casual or sit-down, most new restaurants popping up around town fall into this category. Krog Street Market and Buckhead Atlanta are perfect examples. Millennials have also impacted the craft beer and premium cocktails offerings. With their affinity for better quality in both categories, restaurants and managers now have to give more consideration than they did a decade ago.

We hear you have a special talent in winning NCAA basketball pools, world cup pools and fantasy football leagues. If you are such a good prognosticator, predict who will be the top five NCAAF teams (in order) at the end of the season.

Vickers: Heavy is the head that wears the crown! I am grateful to one Will Lovell Esq. [of Hartman Simons] who continues to invite me to these leagues of tomfoolery, despite his consistent second place finishes. I don’t like to boast, but let’s just say that regardless if it is dumb luck or skill, it doesn’t make the schadenfreude any less sweet.

This is the year that the NCAA Football Championship returns to its rightful home, the SEC. The corner of College and Magnolia will be covered in toilet paper while screams of War Eagle fill the air. Auburn University will be your national champions with the rest as follows: 2.) Baylor 3.) Ohio State 4.) TCU and 5.) Michigan State.