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NAREIT's REITWeek  finished up on Friday, featuring good news for retail, and mild optimism for industrial and property management.
Simon Property Group's David Simon
"We've moved on." That was the message from Simon Property Group's David Simon,  right, on Thursday regarding the group's attempt to buy GGP. Since then, he's focused on what he sees as a slow-and-steady growth market for retailers, with Cabella's and Forever 21 taking up large spaces that may have been small anchors in the past. Simon is being thoughtful and patient in all locations, including its successful expansion to Europe, because there's no pressure to do a deal right now, David says.
First Industrial Realty Trust's Scott Musil and Bruce Duncan
Finding themselves better off than last year, First Industrial Realty Trust's Scott Musil and Bruce Duncan say they've been able to sell property, increasing occupancy to a still-low  81.4% in their 69M SF portfolio. Bruce says building costs vary vastly across cities—as low as $50/SF in  Eastern Pennsylvania to $115/SF in LA. He anticipates slow but continued recovery over the next year as small tenants lease new spaces or move to higher-quality buildings.
Inland Real Estate Corp.'s Brett Brown and Mark Zaltoris joined Raymond James & Associates' Richard Milligan
Inland Real Estate Corp.'s Brett Brown and Mark Zaltoris joined Raymond James & Associates' Richard Milligan to chat about Inland's new focus on property management, as well as its growing retail spaces. Inland recently partnered with PGGM to improve its asset management capabilities. It has also raised $106M for debt reduction this year. Inland recently brought BuyBuy Baby to the Midwest, signing leases for the infant goods retailer in three of its centers. The REIT has also seen growth in junior anchor stores like TJ Maxx and Best Buy.
Macerich's Quentin Velleley and Arthur Copolla
The enclosed mall isn't dead, say Macerich's Quentin Velleley and Arthur Copolla. Macerich's Santa Monica Place (under development) is leasing well and should be a top Southern California mall soon. Macerich also wants to develop and re-develop properties in Phoenix once more signs of recovery appear there. In Chicago, Michigan Avenue's  Northbridge Mall has stayed well-leased, even with rent increases in the last year.
For non-investment-grade REITs, the team from KeyCorp (that's, KeyBanc Capital Markets and KeyBank Real Estate Capital) was on hand to talk about how they could help with raising equity and placing debt. We snapped the Key players: Robert WoomerMichael SzubaDavid GordenMark KosterJohn HorriganKevin Murray, and Michael Hawkins, outside their suite on Wednesday. David, who heads the team, says public companies with solid balance sheets are a top priority for investors. Kevin, who works on the debt side, reports that multifamily and GSA assets, especially in coastal regions, continue to be a good place to invest. The group is also seeing foreign investment coming into Chicago, such as a Dutch pension fund that recently teamed up with  Inland Real Estate Corp.
Cousins Properties' Larry Gellerdstedt (right),here with Wells Fargo Securities' Brendan Maiorana
Getting leverage down to 40% within the next five years is a major goal for Cousins Properties' Larry Gellerstedt, right, here with Wells Fargo Securities' Brendan Maiorana. The REIT is also trying to sell or monetize non-core assets, like the few condos and industrial buildings it has acquired or developed. Larry is proud of what Cousins has done in the shaky market of Atlanta, where it brought 191 Peachtree Street from 20% to 77% leased, plus leased up Terminus 200  in Buckhead. If you'll be in Atlanta tomorrow (or need an excuse to go there), Larry is a featured speaker at our first Atlanta Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze. Register here.