DOWN TO BRASS TACKS AT ICSC
|It might have been schmoozing, golf, and tennis Monday, but it wasall business at the annual ICSC Convention in Charlotte come Tuesday morning. We snapped Horack, Talley's Henry Pharr, Selwyn Development's Jensie Teague, and Southeast Realty Funds Management's Bill Lehew. In one room, topics ran to innovative financing, JVs and development funds, while in another, a panel of CRE retail experts waxed on about how the retail climate has changed with the economic downturn.|
Mike Dyer and Norman Brody of MeadWestvaco Corp were up from Charleston to press flesh with the attending brokers. They were also scouting for anyone interested in helping them out with a 5,000-acredevelopment in the Charleston ?burbs called The Parks of Berkeley. The project, with an expected 20-year build-out, will have 13,000 homes and more than 6M SF of commercial and retail space. ?We're here trying to stimulate some retailer interest,? Norm says. Ground improvements begin in 30 days.
Norm was in the right place. Attendance at ICSC this year topped 1,200, about 350 of whom sat rapt as one panel debated whether the1031 exchange is still a sound investment vehicle despite the pitfalls of TIC ownership. The verdict? Yes. We're glad they didn't do that one after lunch.
We ran into Atlanta retail maverick Harold Shumacker (of The Schumacher Group) at Blue uptown, one of the numerous party platforms this week. (Below is the queue at Blue.) Harold, who was one of the hosts, says he's been attending ICSC events in Charlotte for more than 20 years and is pleased with how uptown Charlotte has matured. ?Downtown Charlotte feels like there's a lot more going on than downtown Atlanta,? he says. (That kind of praise listens good locally, since Charlotte never seems to tire of comparing itself to The Big Peach.)
Harold also seems to think Charlotte shows more signs of continued growth and development. ?In Atlanta, it seems like all of the construction folks are sitting dead in the water.? (OK, let?s skip the comparisons.) Ya?ll come back now.