Starting a development company was not an easy task for Joe Ryan, but you would never guess that after hearing about Oppidan Company’s 200 successful projects in 24 states. At the time, Ryan was a Vice President at Richard Ellis and decided it was time to make a move. He resigned from his job even though he didn’t yet know what that move would be. And to top it off he was supporting his wife, two young children, and another child on the way.
His investment acumen motivated him to start his own development firm, Oppidan Investment Company. “Oppidan,” Ryan notes, “loosely translates to ‘Builder of Towns, Creator of Value’.” Built value he has, starting with a single bank project in 1991, in which he came up $300,000 short to finance the deal and raised money at Hubert’s Bar by collecting $5,000 personal checks from patrons while the Super Bowl was playing. One bank deal led to building more banks. Next, Ryan moved onto retail and established Oppidan as the premier “merchant real estate development company.”
The business model is simple for retailers and builds value at every step of the process. Oppidan provides expert site selection services, sources financing and oversees construction, and leases the property to the tenant “as soon as the lights go on.”
Oppidan’s business model allows it to manage the whole development process for the tenant but never collect a rent check; the tenant benefits by not having the real estate on its books until the store is ready for business and by minimizing its risk.