THE SON ALSO RISES

Why George Underwood III remade Spanish Village.

HEEDING I IIS FATHER’S ADVICE to “find out what the people in your neighborhood want and then provide it,” George Underwood III conducted a survey and discovered that the newest generation of Richardson families didn’t want run-of-the-mill retailers, discount houses or bargain stores; they wanted upscale specialty stores. One year later, the newly remodeled Spanish Village is heme to La Creme, The Doll Collection and Edward’s Pipe and Tobacco, among others.

Forty years after his father developed Richardson as a cozy bedroom community for returning World War II veterans, George III is reshaping at least one comer of his father’s development. George III and his wife, Andrea, have owned and managed Spanish Village Shopping Center at Coit and Arapaho for 10 years-long enough to notice the shift in demographics following the arrival of high-tech businesses like Fujitsu and Northern Telecom. As the “telecom corridor” began attracting large numbers of upper management executives with plenty of expendable income, the Underwoods began researching the spending habits of what they saw as a “new urban customer.”

“He’s pleased that the community continued to grow internally after it had grown physically,” the younger Underwood says of his father, now retired. “All those soldiers coming back from World War II needed a place to live and he saw that. Now we’re seeing the baby boomers become more sophisticated in their buying patterns. It’s the same group of people, just at a different point in the life cycle. “

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