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More from the ICSC Floor

Chicago Retail
More from the ICSC Floor

The rise of e-commerce and the fall of the US economy led to fewer retail deals over the past five years, JLL Americas Retail chief Greg Maloney told us at ICSC in Vegas this week. But with the economy back to pre-recession levels, retail deals are starting to close in big waves, especially around hot job growth markets on the coasts. Bricks-and-mortar stores are more resilient than even the harshest critics thought, Greg says, since there's nothing like an in-person experience: "You can't replace the touch and feel aspect of retail."

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Increased activity is causing retail owners to rethink existing properties, says Cushman & Wakefield Americas retail head Matt Winn. Dormant shopping centers are having to evolve, he adds, which means adding a unique mix of uses like healthcare instead of the same old fashion and food options. It also means adding newer local concepts to centers to spice things up.

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Inland Real Estate Group co-founder Joe Cosenza was a busy man in Vegas this week, as he pointed out when showing us his meeting list for the convention. A lot of those meetings were spent discussing Inland's recent partnership with Annaly Capital Management to purchase net-lease properties nationally. And wrapping up those deals shouldn't be a problem for Inland—Joe says from January 2013 to now the firm has closed 222 deals worth almost $2.5B. To Joe, it's still all about relationships: 116 of those 222 deals came from sellers Inland has worked with before.

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RKF's Lara Keene (with colleague Jeremy Ezra from NYC) spent a lot of her ICSC time talking with retailers for the firm's big Block Thirty Seven listing in the heart of the Downtown Loop. Owner CIM Group is looking to add a movie theater and fitness center to the project, she says, which already has a commitment from super chef Richard Sandoval for a Latin-themed version of the Eataly food market concept.