In today’s Four on Friday, we talk with Max Grelier of RCP Companies, a boutique real estate company based in Alabama, formed to provide acquisition, development and asset management programs for its partners. Max shares his insights on his duties at the company, talks about his background and discusses the $100 million mixed-use project RCP is co-developing in downtown Huntsville, Alabama.
Many thanks to Max for his time.
Give us an overview of your duties at RCP Companies.
Grelier: I am a managing partner, responsible for all company development, financing, asset management and marketing of our projects.
How did you choose commercial real estate as a career path?
Grelier: My dad and grandfather were in commercial real estate, so I grew up around the business. In fact, my first job was a summer construction job during high school on a grocery-anchored shopping center my dad developed in Birmingham, Alabama. That summer was when I really became passionate about the development process and the entrepreneurial nature of our business.
RCP is part of the development team that is developing a $100 million mixed-use project in downtown Huntsville, Alabama, for the city. Give us the details on the project, and what kind of an impact do you expect it to have on the city?
Grelier: The project programming includes two phases totaling $100 million. Phase I includes a 100-key boutique hotel, 31,000 square feet of retail space, 53,000 square feet of loft office space and 200 apartment units totaling $70 million. Phase II includes a 130-key urban hotel and 50,000 square feet of mixed commercial and loft office space totaling approximately $30 million.
We envision a “high-tech hub” office product that brings together the latest and most modern technology there is to offer nationwide. We are working with leaders in the technology and life-science community to create a new epicenter for the technology community in Huntsville to service the needs of our growing economy and create a niche market for job growth in Huntsville’s CBD.
The retail component, which includes boutique shops, wellness tenants and dining, will offer exciting “experience-driven” brands. The retail should complement the city’s efforts to increase CBD activity by generating a healthy tenant mix that satisfies a broad range of psychographic and demographic segments.
The residential space will offer a luxury lifestyle and amenities with direct access to the restaurants and retail components, and walkable access to Big Spring Park, Twickenham Square and other CBD amenities.
Our plan is to develop a unique destination that strengthens Huntsville’s urban core and complements the growing number of primary downtown amenities, such as Big Spring Park, Von Braun Civic Center (VBCC) and Huntsville Museum). The site is at the epicenter of the CBD, adjacent to Big Spring Park and VBCC, and is positioned to make some important connections that will improve pedestrian movement and enhance activities that already occur on a regular basis in our city.
What hobbies do you have outside of the office?
Grelier: I have five kids between 6 and 21 years old. I enjoy traveling, good food (sometimes cooking) and any college football game I can find time to watch.