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December 10, 2008



Day Two of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual New York national conference was humming with exhibitors and deal makers. We visited some booths to get takes on -- and plans for -- this market.


JLL Retail CEO Greg Maloney (right, with investor Greg Greenfield) tells us that the event confirms that retailers are taking a wait-and-see approach until they view sales figures mid-January. There’s a lot of equity built up in the market, and they’re just waiting for lenders to become active again. Despite this, he says his firm is busier than ever, thanks to an increase in receivership activity.


Grubb & Ellis’ Kenny Yip, Andrew Connolly, Henry Goldfarb and Stanley Lindenfeld. Kenny, Andrew and partner Pat Breslin are on the ground for Thunder Jackson’s Urban Roadhouse, which is looking to expand both in New York and nationally. So If you’re in Manhattan, have 1,500-3,000 SF in ground-floor space and a liquor license, give ‘em a shout.


NBBJ’s Jane Ayers was particularly intrigued by all the talk on innovative and creative changes in retail design. Retailers with whom she’s working are now more focused on leveraging their existing assets than on growth, making sure space is up to high standards, removing real and perceived barriers, and getting into the heads of customers. “Retail is getting very competitive,” she tells us. “There should be no reasons for customers to walk out the door.”


The lovely ladies of Winick Realty, Victoria Juharyan, Amanda Scoblick, Kelly Gedinsky and Jennifer Lopez, helped with the Columbus Village project that nabbed Jeff Winick the “Most Significantly Benefits Manhattan” REBNY award this past June. The five-building project, located on Columbus Avenue between West 97th and West 100th, includes 400k SF of retail space and 65k SF of community space. They’re now marketing 6k SF of retail space in the High Line Building, which is set to open this spring.


The GVA Williams Connecticut/Westchester team of Scott Lifschultz, Jason Wuchiski and Garry Steinberg just received a subleasing assignment for six TD Banknorth branches throughout the Constitution State. They also recently completed filling in a 24k-SF retail building in New Canaan, Conn. with a 16k-SF Walgreens, New Canaan Wine, and a family-style Italian restaurant—so you can eat, drink and buy Tums.


We’re feeling slightly less depressed about the retail sector since yesterday, especially since we found some big names that are expanding in the metro area. You’re probably scratching your heads over Starbucks, which announced 600 store closings in July, but Bill Miller, Sue McCarty and Anne Hoblitzell tell us that the company is increasing its profits by closing the underperforming stores. In turn, you’ll soon get your Frappuccino-and-free-WiFi fix at new locations, including the Tanger Outlets in Deer Park, LI; Hicksville, LI; and 58th and 6th in Manhattan.


Hess is also looking to expand in the Tri-State area, say Russell Wells, Joan Chapman and Tony Pagano, posing with the 2008 front loader toy Hess Truck. You can now pick up your own truck in Westbury and Lake Grove, LI, which recently opened; new locations are under construction in Shirley, LI and Glenville upstate. Additionally, the company is adding Dunkin’ Donuts to select Hess Express convenience store locations (we’ll resist the cop jokes).

Leo A Daly
Reznick Group
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