ICSC 2012: A Walk on the Wild Side


The International Council of Shopping Centers landed in New York at the Hilton yesterday morning for Day 1 of its two-day New York National Conferences. Keynote addresses were made, palms were greased and rubbery chicken was endured, as attendees shuffled between booths set up by retailers and brokerage firms ranging from A&G Realty Partners to Zinburger Frozen Yogurt.

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After the jump, The Commercial Observer’s Billy Gray joins, and attempts to stay above, the fray.
9:07—Chaos reigns as hundreds of brokers are told registration takes place not at the Hilton on the Avenue of the Americas near 54th Street, but at the Sheraton, one block away on Seventh Avenue.

9:21—Panic-stricken, sleep-deprived young brokers amble through the main lobby, gesticulating and shouting, “Where is the coffee!?” to no one in particular.

9:33—Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone Group, addresses a half-full Grand Ballroom West. “I’m usually not one to make these keynote addresses,” Mr. Gray says. “But it was either this or manning a booth that required 60 one-on-one meetings.”

10:04—A zombie-esque procession snakes through the Hilton’s Rhinelander Gallery, which is jam-packed with brokerage firms and retailers.

10:17—The CO takes note of rival booths’ foodstuff presentations. The Goldstein Group’s platter of black & white cookies takes the early lead.

10:35—“This is my booth: nothing,” jokes a Corporate Realty Advisors representative while standing in front of a seriously denuded booth.

10:51Ken Barnes, senior director of northeast regional development at 7-11, tells The CO that the line of convenience stores “can’t open more New York locations fast enough” and that the company is shooting for 30 signed leases in 2013. “Every neighborhood is a target,” Mr. Barnes says.

11:03—An elbow is discreetly but definitely thrown amid the jockeying for space in the Rhinelander Gallery.