Commercial Real Estate: Change Can Be Great

By Rich Vaaler and Reid Frazier

One of the most amazing things about working in the commercial real estate profession is that we are able to help shape communities, just by doing what we love.

Perhaps the best way to think of commercial real estate agents is that we are “change agents.” As businesses and properties change, we help facilitate that change.  We do that by being involved in the community, understanding the economic factors that shape that community, and having the experience to advise those we work with on the nuances of making informed decisions given those factors. In the past, most of these changes have been done without the inclusion of the community’s opinion. Vaaler Commercial Real Estate hopes to disrupt old patterns and promote an avenue of discussion for the fellow members of our community.

We posted a question on our Facebook page a few weeks ago that asked; What would you like to see in the newly renovated space at the corner of King & Loudoun St? We hoped that this would create a discussion between fellow members of the community on what they would like to see open in the revitalized downtown.  When we originally posted the question, we were unsure of the results we would receive. It is safe to say we are humbled and beyond thankful for all of the thoughtful ideas the Leesburg community provided. These ideas do not simply help us but rather help everyone involved in the redevelopment of downtown.

The Leesburg community is truly one of a kind. We have a highly diverse, financially solid, and well-educated population.  We are a demographic who likes to shop and spend, which makes Leesburg one of the best places to do business in the region. So how do these factors affect the revitalization of downtown and what can you expect over the coming months/years?

There are a number of projects that are currently in the works that will contribute to the already booming revitalization; Crescent Place, King Street Station, and Court House Square. These mixed-use projects are bringing hundreds of residential units to downtown, along with new office and retail space. As these new residents move into the downtown, they will provide more consistent foot traffic to help support those businesses already in place, as well as creating a new market for products and services that are not available with the current mix. This new market, in addition to the factors that make Leesburg one of the region’s top places for business, will create opportunities for a more diversified spectrum of businesses to open.

Our business has been in downtown Leesburg for 30 years. We have been involved in many cycles of development, and redevelopment, of downtown over the years. This new cycle of revitalization has us excited like never before. Why, you might ask? Well, we can point to many different factors, but the one that stands out the most, is the people. It is the small business owners that put their heart and soul into their products and services. It is the owners of the buildings recognizing this revitalization and acting upon it. It is the developers believing our community is the right spot for their investment. It is the local government officials, staff and business associations working countless hours to create incentives for, and promoting growth. It is our fellow real estate professionals working hard to help businesses find the right space to be successful, and it is every member of our community supporting this positive change.  It is important for people to understand that this is not a process that happens overnight, but rather one that will play out in the coming years. If your suggestion is not one of the ones that opens downtown in the coming months we urge you to not give up hope, but to keep sharing your thoughts in a constructive way. We can all work together, as agents of change, to keep Leesburg a great place to live, work and play!


Rich Vaaler is a Commercial Real Estate Specialist with over 35 years experience of helping local business sell or purchase their next commercial property. He achieved success due to his commitment to the enhancement of the real estate profession, client service, and the community.

[Ask The Expert is a promotional program sponsored by Loudoun Now. The writers have held out that they have experience, training, education and/or certifications to qualify as experts in their fields. Although shared on Loudoun Now’s online platforms, the writers are solely responsible for this content.]

Leave a Reply