E&A OnSite Powered by ArcView Business Analyst and RouteMAP IMS

GIS Assists Site Location in the E-commerce Age

Check Into Cash, a financial services company headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee, was hoping to locate a new store in one of 18 states in the eastern United States.

No problem.

A real estate representative from Check Into Cash logged onto Edens & Avant's Web site at www.edensandavant.com and linked to that commercial real estate enterprise's interactive Web program E&A Edens and Avant web page OnSite. Using Check Into Cash's unique site location criteria, the representative searched the Edens & Avant property portfolio of more than 250 grocery-anchored shopping centers. The happy news is that Check Into Cash found a shopping center that fit their locational requirements and contacted the leasing manager at Edens & Avant. The leasing manager knew of a 2,400-square-foot space that was becoming available within the next several months. As a result, Check Into Cash signed a lease and moved into the space when it became available. Edens & Avant was able to keep the center 100 percent leased and achieved the goal of quickly helping Check Into Cash efficiently find a viable location within a target market.

Above right: By clicking on the aerial photo on the property information page, a larger photo pops up with great detail.

The Power of Location

No one can dispute the power of the Web. The power of e-Business is redefining how retailers reach consumers. But behind the power of the Web is another driving force that is profoundly benefiting Businesses and consumers alike. It's the power of location. (See cover article about Location Services.) For Edens & Avant, this could not be any truer.

"Our overarching goal was to create a program that would enable our retailers to quickly locate and assess the viability of a particular location according to their spatial needs," says David Z. Beitz, manager of E&A OnSite, Edens & Avant. "The input we received from retailers in our test phase enabled us to tailor the program's functionality to the way they do Business."

Edens and Avant web page as described below in the text Edens & Avant now uses GIS and the Web for E&A OnSite, its proprietary retail property search program. The project was started in March 1999. The GIS initiative is supervised by Beitz, who oversees all aspects of the program including the ongoing field research and data management related to the online program.

Above left: Property information page contains a description, a photo, aerial photo, demographics, and an interactive map powered by RouteMAP IMS.

"As an owner and manager of more than 250 grocery-anchored shopping centers, we needed a way for retailers to easily find properties that met their unique geographic criteria," says Beitz. "We had solid solutions in place, but the combination of GIS and the Web gave us a new standard for research, qualification, and customer service that gives us a strategic advantage. Our customers are at the center of our efforts, so the E&A OnSite interactive program makes perfect sense."

"We use ArcView Business Analyst and RouteMAP IMS as the primary drivers of the property search application E&A OnSite," says Beitz. "RouteMAP IMS provided dynamic mapping on the Web and an easy way to upload our properties since they were already in GIS. ArcView Business Analyst provided the data used for the demographic search."

E&A OnSite streamlines the process of site location for retailers by giving them a quick and easy-to-use solution for evaluating Edens & Avant properties. In the past, retailers would have had to carry out a time-consuming paper-based process of assessing data on Edens & Avant properties. E&A OnSite links Edens & Avant's retailers to shopping centers that best meet their store site location requirements. Customers simply enter in their specific location and demographic criteria, and within seconds, a list of suitable shopping centers in the Edens & Avant retail portfolio that meet their query is generated.

Atlanta, Georgia, area property mapWhat comes up is a list of Edens & Avant centers that best meet the retailers' needs. Additional information is provided to the user such as center contact information, center description and center demographics, road maps, and metropolitan statistical areas. The user is also given a map of the individual locations and surrounding map territory, which can be used to further evaluate the market area. The interactive map allows users to pan, zoom, and move around the map; identify specific locations; find the shortest routes between points; and generate drive times. Users can also locate buildings and landmarks by entering address and ZIP Code locations.

Above right: RouteMAP IMS gives users the ability to be linked to the property information page directly from the map by using the identify button.

"Saving our retailers time is a great benefit, especially when a retailer needs to open many stores in a targeted geographic market within a specific amount of time," says Beitz. "A secondary benefit of the application is that it has assisted our retail leasing representatives to start thinking more spatially. By using the site, they can take a proactive solution-oriented approach to site selection for retail stores. Our company succeeds when our clients profit in markets that best meet their needs."

For more information, contact David Beitz, Edens & Avant, 1901 Main Street, Suite 900, Columbia, South Carolina 29201 (tel.: 803-779-4420, fax: 803-765-0684, e-mail: davidb@edensandavant.com).

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