Freeman headquarters coming to Bear Trap Dunes

Date Published: 
Nov. 17, 20177

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Following approval from Ocean View Town Council, Carl M. Freeman Companies is moving a corporate office to Bear Trap.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Following approval from Ocean View Town Council, Carl M. Freeman Companies is moving a corporate office to Bear Trap.When The Village at Bear Trap Dunes was built in the 1990s, it might have doubled the geographic area of Ocean View. There were grand plans for houses, golf, dining and shopping. Years later, Bear Trap hit the first three goals, but they never quite built the shopping community they intended.

Developers at the Carl M. Freeman Companies had envisioned boutique office space or retail businesses at 21 and 24 Village Green Drive. But the commercial development attempts were costing too much, and the real estate market was depressed. Since then, Freeman Companies have been trying to determine the perfect anchor businesses to attract smaller shops inside the community.

“That anchor is us,” said Chris Garland, senior vice president of development and construction. “Freeman itself is experiencing a regrowth. We’ve been around for 40 years in the market and 70 years [overall]. We’re going to bring to Bear Trap a corporate Freeman office for just about everything we do.”

Since the whole area is growing again, the time is considered ripe for Freeman to consolidate operations under one roof, including their Route 54 office.

“We think we’ll attract more business just by the nature of us being there,” Garland said.

That could help them overcome the challenge of luring businesses to buildings not immediately located on a major thoroughfare.

“It will allow us to actually start doing some deferred maintenance” that had been deferred because of uncertainty, Garland said.

The Ocean View Town Council said this week that they were happy to allow the changes to the old P-230 planning application — the final site plan for Bear Trap that was approved years ago. The two parcels were once again rezoned commercial after years as residential.