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Gibbons News

An Inside Look at Business
rgarbarine
“It’s a great opportunity for the students to learn about commercial real estate and understand the business behind the success of North Hills,” said Jim Baker, business educator and a club moderator.

The name North Hills is synonymous with outdoor shopping. But 20 members of iCube - Innovative Crusaders Understanding Entrepreneurship - received an inside look at what has made the mixed-use project successful during a recent visit to Kane Realty, its developer.

"It's a great opportunity for the students to learn about commercial real estate and understand the business behind the success of North Hills," said Jim Baker, business educator and a club moderator.  

The visit is part of the club's efforts to expose students to business, how to understand business in any industry, as well as help them to make decisions on what they would like to study and to identify their interests and passions along the way, said Darsey Williams, chair of the business department and a club moderator. She said the visit to Kane Realty is one of 4 or 5 visits to area businesses planned for this school year. The next visit is to Burt's Bees, the natural personal care company headquarters in Durham.

The group met with Kane Realty's Director of Operations, Stacey Buescher, and its Marketing Manager, Hannah Gordon. They talked to the students about business strategy, marketing, and operations management in commercial real estate, as well as about the company's "greenspace" projects and other community initiatives. Additionally, they shared with students the company's business model, Williams explained. The latter, she said, involves offering ways to draw visitors, retailers, and companies to the site, that include a farmer's market, free festivals, and helping retailers connect, collaborate, and create. Just like Gibbons.

"I hope students learned how Kane Realty built and developed North Hills to be one of the most influential shopping centers in the North Carolina," said Jackson Hering '18 and iCube leadership team representative.

Looking ahead, Baker and Williams said, the plan is that iCube will pursue internship opportunities for Gibbons students with Kane Realty.