San Francisco has long laid claim to one of the biggest restaurant markets in the country, with nearly 40 eateries per 10,000 residents, far ahead of even New York City, according to the last census data. Surrounding markets add almost 6,000 restaurants to that total. But while there’s no shortage of hungry Bay Area diners, the market’s high barriers-to-entry pose a hurdle for expanding and new-to-market restaurateurs.
In response to the increased demand for retail site selection and leasing expertise, JLL has broadened its Northern California retail bench with the addition of restaurant veteran, Ross White. He joins the firm as Vice President specializing in retail leasing and tenant representation, and will be based in the San Francisco office. The addition of White follows JLL’s major expansion of its retail brokerage team in San Francisco earlier this year.
“Ross is an extremely talented retail specialist who takes a collaborative and innovative approach to each assignment to find the right fit. This has enabled him to secure long-standing relationships and trust with retailers and landlords over his 15 year career in the retail real estate industry,” said Jeff Badstubner, Northern California Retail Market Lead for JLL.
Badstubner adds White’s appointment will provide exactly the right expertise to JLL’s clients as they develop strategies to deal with the pace of growth within the restaurant sector in the Bay Area and throughout Northern California. “With the economy expanding and even more people eating out, the intensity of competition for new sites is as high as ever.”
Prior to joining JLL, White was with retail brokerage SRS Real Estate Partners. He is active in many charitable foundations including Elyse Pantke White Foundation and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, both of which support cancer research, and is member of ICSC’s NextGen Committee in San Francisco. White holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Utah, and was named CoStar Power Broker in 2006, 2008 and again in 2014.
“With nearly 3,000 restaurants, this region of California is by far the biggest foodie district in the state, and that number is poised to grow in coming years as entertainment and experiences become the focal point of retail,” said Naveen Jaggi, President of Retail Brokerage for JLL.