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Best Minds: Peter Pappas, CEO, Terwilliger Pappas

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April 15, 2021 Podcast Mixed-Use Development

Find out how Terwilliger Pappas is pivoting away from high-density development in urban cores to instead focus on taking sophisticated mixed-use product to suburban markets.

In this episode of Conversations with the Best Minds in Real Estate, RCLCO’s Chief Executive Officer, Adam Ducker, speaks with Terwilliger Pappas’ CEO, Peter Pappas. Pappas discusses growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, starting a real estate career with The Bissell Companies, creating a business vision based on the broad long-term evolution of urban markets, and leading the industry in the shift to suburban markets for sophisticated mixed-use product opportunities.

“My passion is around creating the place, building the community, and it starts with having the right framework for development.” – Peter Pappas

About Peter Pappas & Terwilliger Pappas

Peter Pappas founded Pappas Properties in 1999, a firm noted for its distinctive mixed-use and master-planned communities, including Berewick Residential, Birkdale Village, Charlotte Cotton Mills, LandDesign Headquarters, and Sharon Square. In 2013, Pappas expanded his focus and joined industry icon Ron Terwilliger in forming Terwilliger Pappas, a regional apartment development firm with communities in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Terwilliger Pappas focuses on developing best-in-class multifamily communities in the Southeast’s most advantageous submarkets. Their platform is supported by an accomplished leadership team, a collection of vetted design and construction firms and established relationships with institutional investors.

About Adam Ducker & RCLCO

Adam Ducker is Chief Executive Officer of RCLCO and oversees the firm’s real estate economics and management consulting services. Adam joined RCLCO in the mid-1990s as an associate directly after graduate school and learned the trade with the firm. He is a recognized expert in strategic planning for real estate companies, investment analysis, market and financial analysis, and marketing of real estate assets. He has a particular depth of expertise in high-density housing, retail/entertainment, and hotel development.

RCLCO is proud to be the “first call” for real estate developers, investors, the public sector, and non-real estate organizations seeking strategic and tactical advice regarding property investment, planning, and development. RCLCO leverages quantitative analytics and a strategic planning framework to provide end-to-end business planning and implementation solutions at an entity, portfolio, or project level.

Topics in this episode include:

  • What’s going on in the multifamily markets right now (1:40)
  • How the urban and suburban Southeastern markets have emerged and developed over the past 10 years (4:50)
  • Creating a business vision based on the broad long-term evolution of urban markets (7:42)
  • Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina and starting a real estate career with The Bissell Companies (9:10)
  • Finding passion for mixed-use real estate development and the challenges of being one of the earliest players in the field with Pappas Properties (12:40)
  • The innovation required to create the first zoning category to accommodate mixed-use development in the suburbs of Charlotte (15:40)
  • The creation of Terwilliger Pappas as a means to enter the market-rate multifamily space and forming the leadership team (21:40)
  • Consciously resisting the temptation to expand the business beyond the current builder/developer model. (24:29)
  • How Terwilliger Pappas approaches the branding process with their Solis brand to create spaces designed for each unique development (26:00)
  • Leading the industry in the shift to suburban markets for sophisticated mixed-use product opportunities (27:50)
  • The uptick in both for-sale and for-rent single-family housing and it impacts multifamily real estate business. (30:47)
  • How Pappas is approaching the active adult rental business by thinking about senior-focused apartment communities (33:04)
  • What the future holds for Pappas Properties and potential geographic expansion (35:18)
  • How Pappas’ leadership style has changed and evolved over the past decades (39:53)


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