The FORT Podcast: Jonathan Brinsden

As CEO of Midway, Jonathan Brinsden guides the overall business strategy and operations which have led to the company’s creation of a $2B portfolio of core mixed-use assets. On this episode, Jonathan and Chris talk about Jonathan’s journey up to joining Midway, they discuss the Houston market as it navigates the COVID crisis, where retail and hospitality will go in the future and Jonathan’s experience with ULI and the Midway Foundation. Enjoy!

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(02:50) – Jonathan’s Background and Journey to Midway

(06:54) – Can you describe how the Town & Country Village deal came about and what the last 15 years of working on that project have been like?

(10:29) – What was the draw to this property back in 2004?

(12:12) – When you bought it, did you have to force the tenants out or let their leases run dry?

(14:00) – How do you arrive at a ‘final plan’ with a deal that big? 

(17:11) – Where do you stand today with Town & Country Village?

(17:51) – How do you program the experiential factor of your properties?

(20:55) – What makes an amenity have longevity?

(22:34) – How is Houston holding up in a post-COVID world?

(24:03) – Is Houston as dependent on oil and gas today as it was 20 years ago?

(24:54) – Is it ultimately a good thing for developers that the city of Houston doesn’t have a lot of zoning Laws?

(26:37) – What are you seeing in retail now and how has it progressed since March?

(28:56) – The Hospitality Side of Retail

(30:08) – Are tenants out in the market or is everything just dead?

(31:18)  – Is there anything you’re seeing in lease proposals that you hadn’t seen before?

(32:36) – Are Houston office tenants going back? Is there permanent damage to office usage with the realization of WFH?

(38:09) – Is there anything in terms of new technology that will make things safer for the next few years?

(39:55) – Will you be aggressively looking to acquire if the opportunity presents itself?

(41:57) – What’s the state of new development for retail and hospitality projects?

(42:52) – Are your developments public/private or just private?

(45:35) – In a public/private partnership, which side is the first to approach a project and present to the other side for consideration?

(49:00) – Do you have any opinion on the rising property taxes in TX?

(51:05) – What has ULI meant to you and why do you think it’s important?

(53:41) – What’s the Midway Foundation?

(57:48) – Do you have a morning routine?

(59:43) – What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

(1:02:25) – If you could put any message on a billboard, what would it be?

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