Behind the Lease: Realizing a vision
market insight

Behind the Lease: Realizing a vision

By Brett Levinson, Houston Associate

 A simple definition of tenant representative is a professional who is hired by a tenant to find the right location.

But in truth, tenant representation encompasses so much more.

Many times, in fact, tenant representatives go far beyond negotiations and help realize a vision.

Of course, every new location of a retail business represents the realization of someone’s vision to create a place where people congregate to enjoy themselves and good food.

And sometimes, that vision is extremely personal.

Working with a Weitzman co-broker, Walker Kane, I recently closed a lease for a restaurant called Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen in the Houston suburb of Tomball.

New restaurant locations are common occurrences in the dynamic Houston retail market. But the story behind Captain Brad’s involved a vision to honor a legacy.

The story begins with cold calling for potential tenants for a shopping center in Katy, and I reached out to an owner of Bluewater Seafood, Brittney Aplin.

The space at the center did not work, but over the course of six months, I surveyed the market for second-generation restaurant opportunities for her. I actually found a second-generation site in Tomball that progressed all the way to lease before issues arose that killed the deal.

Several months after, Brittney called and told me she wanted to open her own restaurant in honor of her father, the founder of Bluewater Seafood, who’d passed away after a 19-month battle with cancer the previous year.

The restaurant would be named Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen, in honor of Brad Aplin, a third-generation commercial fisherman who opened the first Bluewater Seafood in 1996.

 Walker and I got creative and looked for all opportunities, whether second-generation restaurant space, new construction or ground lease/built to suit.

We finally found the perfect site, in the brand-new Northpointe Center at 24435 Tomball Parkway (TX-249) in Tomball.

The location worked because the community in the Northwest corridor knew Bluewater Seafood and knew Brittney and the legacy her dad left behind.

As we worked with Brittney, it was as if we were working with both her and her dad.

Throughout the entire process, she would reference the ways her dad operated. She learned a lot from his success and is now very motivated to grow the Captain Brad’s restaurant business as a way to honor his legacy.

And even though Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen is different from Bluewater, we have no doubt that this restaurant will be booming by the time it opens later this year.

As tenant representatives, Walker and I are not only happy to have found the right location for Captain Brad’s -- a site that offers incredible visibility whether you are going north or south on Hwy 249.

We’re proud to have helped, in our own way, a client like Brittney Aplin realize her vision of carrying on the legacy of her late father.