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Mattiace developing in markets around Mississippi

JACKSON — Mattiace Properties continues to build upon its status as one of the heavy hitters in retail development and management in Mississippi.

After all, no one can drive down County Line Road or its intersection with Interstate 55 in Jackson without seeing the company’s handiwork: Toys ‘R Us, Home Depot, Target, Barnes & Noble, Michael’s and PetsMart.

“Our real love is recruiting new retailers to Mississippi,” said Andrew Mattiace, president of Mattiace Properties Inc. in Jackson. “Mattiace Properties is a full-service commercial real estate company, focused on the development, re-development, acquisitions, leasing and management of community shopping centers in Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana. During Mattiace’s 22-year history, the company has built a strong management team emphasizing tenant relationships, development expertise and real estate experience.”

Today, Mattiace benefits from strategic relationships with national and regional tenants, such as Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Office Depot, Staples and PetsMart; in-house development expertise; and the experience and strength of its staff of real estate professionals. The company has accelerated its development and acquisition programs for growth in Tupelo, Meridian, Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast.

Founded by Andrew Mattiace in 1979, Mattiace Properties Inc. was ranked No. 1 in Mississippi for volume in retail shopping center development by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in 1996. That fall, Mattiace focused on expansion into related areas. In the spring of 1997, Mattiace acquired Cress Realty Group. The following spring, the company acquired Continental Management Co., which managed malls and other properties in Tennessee.

Since 1998, it has been the largest retail development firm in the state. Last year, Hibernia Bank in New Orleans nominated Mattiace as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. At submission time, Mattiace declined to participate, preferring to remain low-key.

“It’s more important for us to just do the job,” said Robert Flowers, executive vice president.

In Tupelo, Mattiace recently completed Home Depot, PetsMart and Staples in a shopping center near The Mall at Barnes Crossing and is planning and developing a 160,000-square-foot shopping center in Corinth.

In Hattiesburg, where Mattiace is very active, a 450,000-square-foot community shopping center is planned on U.S. 98, one block from Turtle Creek Mall. The Shops at Shadow Ridge, a 220,000-square-foot lifestyle center, is planned for 2002.

“We’re excited about the new lifestyle concept center that has evolved in the industry, such as the one we’re planning and developing in Hattiesburg,” Mattiace said. “The lifestyle centers have more landscaping, hardscaping (lighting) and are designed for shoppers to spend more quality time cross-shopping, dining and being entertained. Fashion stores generally anchor these centers.”

In Meridian, Mattiace is near completion of Meridian Towne Center that includes Wal-Mart Supercenter, Lowe’s, Office Depot, Blockbuster Video and four restaurants.

Larry Dudley III, owner of Don’s Realty in Meridian, has called the Wal-Mart Supercenter “the catalyst for activity in that area.”

Mattiace calls his company “very relationship-oriented.”

“We are driven by the tenant’s desire, and our demographic market research, to determine development opportunities,” he said. “We like to maintain a strong relationship and reputation with national retailers.”

The next hot area of growth for overall development is I-10 on the Gulf Coast, and other areas for development include Clinton, Corinth, Flowood and Southaven, Mattiace said.

“So much traffic is carried on I-10 from Jacksonville, Fla., to the West Coast,” he said. “That is one major interstate system. It is helpful that there’s a lot of activity on the Gulf Coast. And, the casino activity created a lot of housing and a lot of jobs. We will backfill with retail and office development.”

Mattiace Co., a separate entity that maintains and leases upscale shopping centers and office buildings developed and managed by Mattiace Properties in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee, is managed by Bob Flowers, Mark McCormack and Jack Lowery.

In metro Jackson, Mattiace leases retail space at Colonial Mart, Cross Creek, Purple Creek, School Street Crossing and more. Its portfolio includes retail property for lease in Senatobia, Picayune, Hattiesburg and Natchez. The company also owns and manages three malls in Tennessee (Cookeville, Tullahoma and Dyersburg).

Mattiace Development Co., a separate entity that builds and acquires office buildings, owns and operates approximately three million square feet in Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana. In DeSoto County, the company is developing an 80,000- to 100,000-square-foot midrise office building near Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto that will accommodate medical and business offices.

In Jackson, Mattiace recently completed Highland Bluff at 4400 Old Canton Road, an 85,000-square-foot, four-story midrise suburban office building with rents averaging $23 per square foot. Other office space listed by Mattiace in Jackson includes the Lamar Life Building, The Plaza, Briarwood One Building, Watkins Ludlum Building and Twelve Oaks Circle.

Both companies fall under Mattiace Properties Inc.’s umbrella, which has 25 employees. Earlier this month, Vision Innovations (VI) of Jackson launched a second generation Web site for Mattiace, which allows the real estate firm to list all of its properties online, including restaurant and warehouse listings.

“They wanted a functional Web site that would act almost as another employee,” said Charles Jeffreys, executive vice president of VI. “We built a database so visitors to the Web site could peruse available properties, search by square footage or location or by different criteria.”

Patterned after Web sites similar to those used by Dallas real estate firms, Jeffreys said “for around here, this type of functional Web site in property management is unique and very progressive.”

“The floor plans of most of their retail spaces are drawn to scale on AutoCAD, a program specifically for architectural drawings, color-coded with a legend on the map,” he said.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne Wilbanks Jeter at lwjeter@yahoo.com or (601) 853-3967.


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