2nd Annual Retail Forum

Join Commercial Observer as we size up the retail market in 2018 and beyond.


Principal and Strategy Director
Managing Director
Crown Acquisitions
Head of Retail Leasing
Brookfield Properties Office Division
VP of Development
Shake Shack
Executive Vice Chairman of Retail Services
Cushman & Wakefield
Senior Vice President
Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.
Executive Vice President
Newmark Knight Frank Retail
President, Chief Development Officer
Chairman, Real Estate Department
Fried Frank
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP


scheduleThursday, April 19, 2018

1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

2nd Annual Retail Forum

Join Commercial Observer as we size up the retail market in 2018 and beyond.


2017 saw a slowdown in the number of large leases across the city and retailers remain cautious as the industry continues its push on to the web in a meaningful way.  Simultaneously, big brands continue to shy away from traditional storefronts to more brand-driven experiences as consumer preferences change.  Retailers, landlords and investors continue to cope with this new reality, sharpening their pencils to figure out which location, tenant mix, lease structures and design choices make sense as they forge ahead.  

Join Commercial Observer as we size up the retail market in 2018 and beyond. Hear retail market experts share their perspective on key issues, including:

  • -Local and national retail trends and predictions for the remainder of 2018
  • -Which retail corridors and sectors are over- and underperforming
  • -How is retail design changing
  • -Navigating the now-hot pop-up market
  • -How retailers are shifting from traditional to experiential retail
  • -New technologies and platforms landlords and retailers are using
  • -How the city’s newest retail developments are performing and where the opportunities for small businesses are
  • -Financing retail real estate assets
  • -Closing the gap between landlord and retailer expectations
7:30 AM Networking Breakfast
8:15 AM Opening Remarks
8:30 AM The Leasing Report: What’s In Store for 2018?
9:30 AM Developing an Experience: How The Industry Is Shifting Its Approach to Retail
10:30 AM Closing Remarks


At Aggressive Energy we’re striving to power New York and beyond with affordable electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and biofuels. In addition to competitive pricing, we’re committed to our customers and have been offering reliable energy service for more than 30 years. As a leading energy supplier throughout the northeast, we promise to uphold our premium service while doing what’s right for our environment and our economy.


Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm with 45,000 employees in more than 70 countries helping occupiers and investors optimize the value of their real estate. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest commercial real estate services firms with revenue of $6 billion across core services of agency leasing, asset services, capital markets, facility services (C&W Services), global occupier services, investment & asset management (DTZ Investors), project & development services, tenant representation, and valuation & advisory. To learn more, visit www.cushmanwakefield.com or follow @CushWake on Twitter.


Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s Real Estate Department is the top in its field. With broad experience in all aspects of commercial real estate law, we are capable of successfully representing our clients in all facets of commercial real estate transactions. Our clients are industry powerhouses that are responsible for contributing to the development and reshaping New York City's skyline and other major cities around the world. Our team advises on the acquisition and disposition of single assets and portfolios; mortgage, mezzanine, and construction financing and restructuring on behalf of borrowers and lenders; leasing on behalf of landlords and tenants; joint ventures; real estate investment trusts; real estate litigation; environmental; and land use and development. We work closely with, and regularly advocate before, various NYC agencies. By collaborating with our tax, restructuring and insolvency, and litigation attorneys, we are able to address all challenges that impact a transaction. The Firm advises the world's leading corporations, investment funds and financial institutions on their most critical legal needs and business opportunities. Our approximately 500 lawyers are based in North America and Europe.


Founded in 1924, Friedman LLP Accountants and Advisors brings a profound understanding of the real estate industry — the result of more than 8 decades serving clients involved in a wide variety of real estate entities spanning commercial, retail, residential, and more. We have built long-term relationships with some of the largest and most sophisticated privately owned and publically held real estate companies in the New York area and beyond. Our dedicated Real Estate Group brings a rare combination of highly specialized knowledge and vast experience in the tax, accounting, and business planning aspects of real estate ownership, investment, operation, and development.

Beyond our core audit, assurance, and tax services, Freidman provides several unique services customized to our real estate clients' specific needs. Our State and Local Tax Services Group is well versed in helping real estate organizations manage compliance demands that arise from multistate activities. Our dedicated International Tax Practice brings broad experience and deep expertise advising inbound investors into U.S. real estate and outbound U.S. investors into foreign real property. We provide real estate clients with the tools and cutting-edge insight that they need to evaluate opportunities, make critical decisions, and achieve their strategic objectives. When a transaction is on the table, we ensure that our clients are armed with the most accurate and useful information and analyses— from valuing acquisition and merger targets to structuring deals to meet financial, tax, and reporting objectives to providing restructuring and/or divestiture/exit advice.

For more information, visit http://friedmanllp.com/industries/real-estate.


For over 25 years MG Engineering (MGE) has provided best-in-class, full service MEP engineering and technology design services. Their experience covers a broad range of sectors including corporate, residential, hospitality, retail, healthcare and building infrastructure. The firm has been named one of the top 500 design firms nationwide for the past five years and one of the best places to work in NYC by Crains NY.

Newmark Knight Frank

Newmark Knight Frank is one of the world's leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NKF's 14,100 professionals operate from more than 400 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.

With roots dating back to 1929, NKF's strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NKF's full-service platform comprises BGC's real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.

NKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets, whose common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick.


Rockefeller Group is one of the most trusted names in real estate – a leading developer, owner and investor, known for pioneering large-scale urban mixed-use development. For nearly nine decades the company has been trusted for its financial strength, stability and vision, and today remains committed to the selective acquisition, management and development of innovative, high-quality properties that create long-term economic and civic value.
Visit RockefellerGroup.com


Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, a leading construction law firm, provides sophisticated legal counsel and business advice to real estate owners and developers as well as architecture and engineering firms in the New York Metropolitan area and around the country. Many of its attorneys have direct experience with construction and design issues through their work as in-house construction counsel, education and training as architects and engineers, and by earning LEED accreditation. The firm provides counsel throughout the planning, design, and construction process — from drafting and negotiating contracts to advising on risk management strategies. Zetlin & De Chiara represents clients in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, and also advises on business formation, licensing and corporate issues.