The Best Booths At Last Week’s ICSC RECon


Las Vegas is the desert, and RECon is a tent city.

As 35,000 registered attendees at the annual global retail real estate summit flooded the Las Vegas Convention Center last week, a few of the roughly 1,000 exhibitor booths stood out.

After the jump, a sampling of the booths that had guests reeling, as well as photos from the
convention floor and the event last week in sunny Las Vegas. Read More

ICSC 2013

NYC Retail Heat Map


New York retail comes in sizes large and small, from spaces of only a few hundred feet in Soho
to the city’s massive department stores. As developers continue to find new parcels of land to build upon, new opportunities for retail take shape.

Downtown continues to be repositioned as a retail destination with Brookfield Place, One World Trade Center and the redeveloped South Street Seaport expected to house hundreds of thousands of square feet of shopping space. Not to be outdone, Herald Square is looking at a repositioning, aimed not at discount stores but full-priced international retailers.

After the jump, The Commercial Observer pinpoints 10 retail trends impacting New York City. Read More

Gentrification Watch

7-Eleven Expansion Riles East Village Neighbors


When The Commercial Observer spoke with Ken Barnes last month at the International Council of Shopping Centers, the senior director of northeast regional development at 7-Eleven laid out bold plans for the convenience chain’s continued expansion throughout Manhattan.

“We can’t open more New York locations fast enough,” Mr. Barnes said. “Every neighborhood is a target.” As the company hopes to add 100 more Manhattan locations to its 32 current outposts across the borough, one neighborhood isn’t taking the bullseye on its back lightly.

Alphabet City is fighting for its right to shop at independently-owned 24-hour destinations for late night beer and hygienic product runs. Read More


ICSC: Lessons Learned and Shopping Hotspots

Adelaide Polsinelli, senior director at Eastern Consolidated

The International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) New York conference is over. Meetings were held, retailers were courted, flirtations between players crackled with possibilities. The Commercial Observer asked three experienced New York brokers what they learned at the conference and where the city’s retail hotspots are. This is what they said…

West Side Story

“With Read More


Retail Redux: Robert K. Futterman on ICSC, Hurricane Sandy and More

Futterman for web credit Daniel M. WEiss

In the merely 13 years since its founding, the retail real estate brokerage Robert K. Futterman & Associates has been responsible for $20 billion worth of transactions. The firm’s chairman and chief executive, Robert K. Futterman, has helped tenants and landlords sign the dotted line on $10 billion worth of deals while making his company a presence in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Jersey and San Francisco.

Mr. Futterman spoke to The Commercial Observer as he wrapped up prep work for the International Council of Shopping Centers’ chaotic New York conclave, sharing his thoughts on the past year and future of retail real estate, the rebound from Hurricane Sandy and Downtown’s increasingly amorphous boundary. Read More


Five Must-Attend Events at ICSC


Each year when the International Council of Shopping Centers rolls into New York, retail real estate’s most recognizable faces line up to speak on dozens of panels and forums. To make things easier, after the jump, a look at five must-attend events on today’s schedule. Read More

Power Broker

The New Math: Michael Lehrman on his plan to introduce derivatives into New York City’s otherwise staid rental market.

Michael Lehrman.

Michael Lehrman thinks the commercial real estate services business is completely staid, calcified, old-fashioned.

He doesn’t use those words specifically. He’s a little more eloquent. He’s a Wall Street man now, and to him it’s practically laughable when major real estate services firms claim to be cutting edge when the heart of their analytical capacity is still rooted in the decades-old practice of collecting troves of market data and organizing them into endless charts in order to divine tomorrow’s market conditions. Read More

RECon: Las Vegas

World Trade Center Retail Operator Westfield Gives Vegas Presentation

Early renderings of WTC space.

Westfield, the mall developer that has entered into a $600-million deal to operate and lease more than 350,000 square feet of retail space being built at the World Trade Center, quietly unveiled plans for the much-awaited retail development to select real estate brokers and potential tenants at the annual ICSC retail conference earlier this week, several sources told The Commercial Observer. Read More

RECon: Las Vegas

Las Vegas Homecoming: Cushman & Wakefield’s Gene Spiegelman Returns to the Convention that Launched his Career

Gene Speigelman.

With the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon event around the corner, The Commercial Observer sat down with Cushman & Wakefield retail services executive vice president Gene Spiegelman to hear what keeps drawing him back to RECon year after year. Mr. Spiegelman, architect of complex and transformational deals that have earned him two REBNY Retail Deal of the Year awards, also tells us why taxing online retailers is an important way to level the cyber playing field and why zoning won’t protect mom-and-pop stores from what may be the inevitable. Read More


Westfield’s WTC Retail Takes Shape


Australian mall operator Westfield Group told attendees at the ICSC RECon in Las Vegas today that the company might be opening its stores at the World Trade Center development by March 2015, just one week after it officially inked its deal with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for a $1.25 billion deal to lease space at the site.  Read More


The Commercial Observer’s Vegas Vacation


The annual ICSC retail conference has kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center, drawing more than 30,000 real estate professionals, including some of the country’s largest retailers, developers and real estate services companies. The event is widely considered the industry’s Super Bowl of networking and dealmaking. Though the conference started officially on Sunday, by Monday morning the convention center’s sprawling floors—which make the Javits Center seem pint-size—comes alive in earnest with crowds of retail professionals. Here are a few observations from the opening hours of the conference. —Daniel Geiger

8:30The Commercial Observer steps out into the cab line at The Palms to head to the convention center. In the queue are several other ICSC-goers. A man quickly steps from the pack and offers to split a cab. He’s in his 30s, from New Orleans, and says he runs his own brokerage company. He looks incredibly bleary-eyed and wears dark sunglasses. “I was out till 4 a.m. last night at XS,” he explains, purporting XS (pronounced excess) to be the best club in Vegas. The cab driver chimes in that pool parties have become a popular destination for fun-seekers. “They’re top-tional,” he says. The broker takes note. Where are the best parties? he asks. “The Cosmo,” the cabby replies. He has taken several fares to the conference so far: “It seems like a busy year,” he says. Read More

Sales Beat

JLL Brings 446 West 14th Street To Market

Glenn Tolchin

An investment sales team from the real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle is rolling out a building in one of the city’s hottest retail neighborhoods just as the biggest retail industry event of the year is set to kick off.

The group, led by Glenn Tolchin, a rising sales executive at the company, and Richard Baxter, a senior level sales dealmaker at the firm, is marketing 446 West 14th Street, a three story, 21,000-square-foot property in the heart of the ultra-chic Meatpacking District. Though there is no set asking price in the sale, Mr. Tolchin and Mr. Baxter feel the property can net over $50 million, a hefty sum that equates to more than $2,000 per square foot. Read More

The Sit-Down

Retail is Dead, Long Live Retail: Patrick Smith of SRS Real Estate on the Future of Brick-and-Mortar

Patrick Smith.

Patrick Smith is an executive vice president and principal of the retail real estate services firm SRS Real Estate Partners, which was spun off from Staubach when that company was acquired by Jones Lang LaSalle. Mr. Smith is a busy leasing dealmaker not only in the city but nationally and represents a host of large retailers that have been active in the market both here and around the country, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Party City and Disney. With ICSC, the biggest retail event of the year, only weeks away, Mr. Smith weighed in on the state of the retail market with The Commercial Observer and discussed what he has planned for this year’s conference in Las Vegas. Read More