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ICSC Redux
ICSC Redux
Not everything that happens in Vegas stays there. Brown Rudnick's Tom Phillips, a real estate attorney specializing in retail, and state director of ICSC Massachusetts, brought back tales of what went on at the recent conference. He says there was a ?buzz in the room? unlike last year's meeting of the ?walking dead,? filled with fear. Historically, it's been a leasing confab and Tom says people were ?in conversations, making deals,? although Class A rents are still down maybe 25% to 30%. What's still challenging: filling up centers built in the last year or two with a critical mass and getting new development started. He says ?it's chicken and egg. If you get tenant A, you get tenant B to meet financing covenants.?
ICSC Redux
Tom, with partner Paul Laudano, says that one bright light was our own Legacy Place, which opened in Dedham last year well tenanted. Tom says, ?It was a constant source of discussion, one of few gems in the industry.? Fast-growing markets like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Orlando are still suffering from overbuilding. The industry was encouraged by some return of non-discretionary consumer spending, along with signs that unemployment isn't getting worse. Tom sensed an overriding belief that we won't return to the spending levels of ?07, but the fear of a continued tailspin is gone. ?There was a feeling that we may have hit bottom.?