Live From ICSC
Bisnowis inLas Vegas this week, bringing you live coverage from the mega retail conferenceICSC RECon.
With 1,500 atyesterday'sseated luncheon as the backdrop, we snapped ICSC presidentMichael Kerchevaland outgoing chairmanBrad Hutensky(CEO of Hutensky Capital Partners of Hartford, Conn., a fund that invests in underperforming retail through loans, purchases, and JVs). Check out this Friday's National issue for our chat with new ICSC chairmanDavid LaRue,CEO of Forest City Enterprises.
"Just give me the damn deal!" Maybe that's not what he said, but we did a double take when we saw former NFL stand-out Keyshawn Johnsonin his ICSC RECon badge with the other 32,999 folks on the ground. We didn't get a chance to ask the ESPN sports analyst what his ICSC goals were, but we know that his company, Keyshawn Capital Development, focuses on CRE and development projects, including inner-city revitalization efforts.
Newmark Merrill CEO Sandy Sigal(right, with Allen Ginsberg) gave us his investment philosophy in 2013: Find the right value-add retail plays. The firm is focused on buying assets in markets like Chicago, Denver, San Diego, LA, and Sacramento. That's because cap rates for properties in core markets are at "stupid levels" when compared to in-place rents. A solid example: Twin Peaks mall, a 560k SF shopping center in Longmont, Colo. Newmark Merrill received a nearly $30M bond from the city to revitalize the property, which helped it attract Regal Cinemas, Sam's Wholesale, and Whole Foods to offset the loss of a former Sears there.
At ICSC's opening party around the Bellagio pool, we snapped Tom Lesnick, right, equity analyst for Baird, with David Rogers of The Jerde Partnership (which with Macerich was announced as winning ICSC's annual award for conceptualizing and architecting outdoor retail space Santa Monica Place); and DTZ's Julie Ahn, managing director of the investment department and in for ICSC from Seoul, South Korea. We applaud them for their restraint in keeping their coats on and not jumping into the pool on such a beautiful evening.
At the Transwestern booth, we snapped president for the Americas Chip Clarke and director of national marketing Kim Croley. Chip says based on the moods in San Diego last week at ULI and in Las Vegas this week, the real estate economy is on an "upward trajectory." Congrats to the Houston-based, 22-year Transwestern vet, who ascended to his new gig in January after running the Gulf Coast and Mountain region. Now he has seven regions and 33 separate markets to look after, plus pose for Bisnow ceremonial shots. What did he used to do with all his free time?