Terranova has managed to remain a market leader in commercial real estate despite several recessions. The commercial real estate company founded by Stephen Bittel and now led by Jonathan Wood is undergoing a strong growth period at the moment. The firm’s goals and values are closely aligned with Bittel’s, who holds himself as a well-respected leader in the real estate industry and the community. One of Bittel’s strengths is his ability to lead by example. “Most people’s definition of a recession is a ‘negative’ event, in that something bad has happened, such as the bursting of a bubble, a massive and lasting recession, or a severe economic downturn. Real estate, however, is very much a ‘positive’ asset class, with most property or real estate values rising during recessions,” explains Bittel.
Therefore, unlike the bursting of bubbles, the severe recessions and economic downturns are short-lived. When it comes to business, this means property sales are down but not in a “negative” manner, instead of reflecting the temporary weakness in economic activity. Moreover, the bottom-up approach Terranova Corp. takes to identify the needs and values of its customers means that the company continues to have a strong growth trajectory, even during rec for the past 41 years. Stephen Bittel is referring to what is now known as the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, an economic downturn that took hold during the summer of that year.
It began when global equity markets suffered their first significant decline since the dot-com bubble burst. Bittel’s interest in shopping malls was sparked by the success of Southland Palms Mall and then later the success of Southland Mall in business development and employee retention which has enabled Terranova to weather every storm. Stephen Bittel was an early entrant into the real estate business and he is best known for the successful ownership of Southland Palms Mall in Miami, Florida, which today is the largest mall in the United States. Bittel was determined to diversify his holdings into several different ventures including shopping malls, residential real estate, and hotels to serve as a source of income for his various ventures. One of these ventures, the Mercato Shopping Center in the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego, California, is considered one of the most successful shopping malls in the United States and it has been the driving force behind the growth of Terranova.