Outer Banks Commercial Real Estate Newsletter: March 2021

by Larry Lombardi, on Mar 15, 2021 8:47:22 AM

OBX CRE Spotlight

Eric Keplinger

Vice President, Business Development, AIA



  • I live in Virginia Beach with my wife, Bernadette, and 4 daughters. No grandkids yet, but Bernadette can't wait!

How long have you been working in commercial real estate?

20 years. 

How did you first get into real estate?

Well, I have an Architecture degree and practiced in that field early in my career, until 1999. Leaving Richmond at that time, I came to Hampton Roads to work in a Business Development/Marketing role for a firm that did design and construction. Shortly after that I got involved in HRACRE (Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate), and my network quickly expanded within the regional real estate world.

What was your first CRE transaction?

As an architect, I initially practiced in New York City, working primarily on corporate interiors projects. Returning to Richmond in 1993, I continued to practiced architecture and focused mainly on K12 school design. In Hampton Roads, I've been involved in a bit of everything. The firm I now work for, MEB, does a wide variety of commercial construction.
VB Sports Center
What was your most memorable CRE transaction?
I'd say it's the recently completed Virginia Beach Sports Center. While it's a municipal project, it was procured through the PPEA process. And my colleague and I at MEB chased the project for a couple of years, traveling the East Coast researching existing facilities and working with stakeholders to position our team as the preferred partner.
What's your favorite part of working in CRE?
Most definitely the people, a lot of big personalities in real estate. And a lot of people that have been willing to take big risks along the way to big rewards.
What’s the biggest misconception about CRE?
That the industry is somehow in conflict with the good of the municipality and/or its residents. That developers and elected officials are in cahoots with one another. All the developers that I know want nothing but the best for communities, and they are willing to take on significant financial risk to grow the region.
How would you describe the commercial real estate market in northeastern NC and the Outer Banks?

I'm certainly more familiar with the Hampton Roads market in Virginia. But I believe the northeastern NC market could be vital to growth of the overall region. We have so many assets in the region and we're primed for growth associated with projects like offshore wind and undersea cables, etc.

Can you share one great piece of advice for someone looking to buy/lease commercial property or land?

Due diligence! Commercial development is a sophisticated game, and it's riddled with potential pitfalls and risks.

What is your favorite thing about the Outer Banks?
Lately its been the Netflix show of the same name that my 14-year-old daughter has me watching with her! Haha. But seriously, probably the golf courses.
What's your favorite way to spend your free time?
Traveling with my family and working on a wide variety of unfinished projects around the house.


(757) 328-1844

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Topics:Commercial Real EstateEconomic DevelopmentCurrituck CountyOuter Banks