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Seen and Heard at ICSC

Washington DC Retail

Time senior political analyst (and Game Change co-author) Mark Halperin (right) has ID'd a big three, and we're not talking about LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Mark (snapped with the DC Economic Partnership's Chad Shuskey) was the afternoon keynote yesterday during ICSC Mid-Atlantic at National Harbor, where he said that while Hillary Clinton is by far the front-runner if she chooses to run for president in 2016, the GOP trio of Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, and Jeb Bush could give her a big challenge. If Hillary doesn't run, Mark thinks John Kerry could be a strong Democratic candidate.

After Mark's midday keynote, the dealmaking was on. Folks from all walks of the retail industry packed in the Gaylord's sun-kissed lobby bar in search of that perfect pact. (Excuse the figurative language. We're also trying to cut a deal, for our book of poetry.)

While attendees mingled in the afternoon, we caught up with Divaris Real Estate's Joe Farina and the DC Economic Partnership's Daour Diawara. Joe says Divaris just won a big assignment—exclusive real estate consultant for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia (we have a plan to convert Monticello to mixed-use apartments, but he wasn't in to it). Meanwhile, Daour says the Partnership had 20 meetings scheduled with retailers (including grocers and restaurants) over the two-day gathering.

Combined Properties' Drew Faha (flanked by MKAssociates' Michelle Kilby and Commonwealth Land Title's Candace Chazen) says the firm is in the entitlement stage of renovating its Penn Daw shopping center in Alexandria, which will include 400 residential units and more retail space.

All the way from Rochester: First Allied Corp's Jeff Lieber and Jackie D'Agastino, bookending Fantastic Sams' Bob Szymanski. Jackie tells us she and Jeff were in town since their firm, which owns 6.7M SF of shopping centers throughout the country, owns several in Maryland and Virginia.