Robin McBride Zeigler
Robin McBride Zeigler
Chief Operating Officer at Cedar Realty Trust
Getting deals done for a 1 million-square-foot, mixed-use retail, residential and office complex requires the skills of a great multitasker.
And, we have to say, Robin McBride Zeigler is a candidate for greatness, if her work on Northeast Heights is any indication.
Did she manage to secure a great tenant for the project that Cedar is developing with Asland Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group? Check. She nabbed D.C.’s Department of General Services as a tenant (the agency was looking for a new headquarters).
Did she line up lenders? Check. JPMorgan provided the $105 million in construction financing back in May.
Did she get buy-in from the community? Check. The project is very much about the local Ward 7 community and putting on art and cultural exhibits, and Cedar worked closely on announcements and partnerships with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office.
Did she do it in the middle of a pandemic?
Well, you know the answer to that.
“It took a lot of man-hours,” Zeigler said. “The project update calls had 50 or 60 people on it — you never knew who was speaking. It was a yeoman’s effort for sure … but all parties involved were motivated.”
Oh, yeah. She also did it from her home for the last few years in Long Island, where Cedar is headquartered.
Even without the Northeast Heights project to keep her busy, Zeigler would have had her hands very full in 2020.
Cedar is invested in grocery-anchored shopping centers throughout the Northeast, with some 56 assets totaling 8 million square feet of space. “All our shopping centers were open during the pandemic,” Zeigler said. “And the operations of our portfolio — well, it was very taxing.”
The property management teams had to verse themselves in the relevant travel restrictions and safety restrictions, as well as the new needs and wants of the tenants.
“We worked with retailers on a tenant-by-tenant basis to keep our tenants open and operating to weather the storm,” Zeigler said. And she and Cedar were extremely successful. “Our collection levels were higher than our peers for every month of the pandemic.”