Developer Profile: CREC

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Giant Eagle

The partnership of Continental Real Estate Companies with Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle started when the grocery chain selected Continental’s Waterfront location for an 80,000 square foot store.  In 1998, both sides were able to see the value in a relationship that could grow profitably beyond this first store opening.

Leading up to the Giant Eagle Waterfront project, Continental possessed a strong history in grocery store development.  The company developed several grocery-anchored retail centers in prime locations for Penn Traffic (Big Bear) in Columbus, Ohio in the 1990s.  In the decade prior, Continental was responsible for developing multiple Mr. Moneysworth grocery-anchored retail centers across Ohio in collaboration with Cardinal Foods.

Around the year 2000, when Giant Eagle was looking to expand westward and considering Columbus, Continental was a great fit -- not just because of their grocery experience but because of the relationships, zoning and market savvy they could bring. Continental could define and deliver prime site locations, facilitate the right land deals and understood the market in a way that would guarantee success.

An on-going part of Continental’s service as the developer of record for Giant Eagle projects in Central Ohio (in partnership with ECHO, the grocery's development arm) is critical market research.  Location choice, knowing which type of Giant Eagle store will answer neighborhood needs, and understanding the impact of other development around a site are key to the success of these projects. 

On the construction side, Continental’s familiarity with Giant Eagle’s strategic layouts and structural design allows its construction team, Continental Building Systems, to deliver cost-efficiencies with no surprises.   

It’s rewarding to be selected as a developer of record.  The reason, we hope, is our focus on delivering a great returns story from the outset and the good relationships we foster.

As a regional, multi-format retailer with varying real estate and construction needs in multiple states, aligning with the most talented experts in our markets is business-critical. Since working with Continental on the Waterfront Redevelopment Project in Pittsburgh, PA in 2000, we have partnered with them for both real estate and construction services on numerous additional projects. In today’s competitive environment, working with a trusted partner like Continental is paramount to successful project execution and efficiency. Their knowledge, connections and community reputation are unparalleled which has helped our business in a myriad of ways.
Shelly Sponholz, SVP, Real Estate, Giant Eagle, Inc.

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