By: Randall Shearin, Editor-in-Chief of Shopping Center Business
New York City — The ICSC New York Dealmaking was held at the Jacob K. Javits Center on Monday and Tuesday, bringing a record 10,000 attendees through the two-day conference. Shopping Center Business was among the exhibiting companies, along with shopping center developers, owners, municipalities, brokers and retailers. New projects were a focus for many, with many companies showcasing new large-scale developments across the country and even internationally. These included Baltimore’s Port Covington project, which had a massive booth on the exhibit floor.
Many tenant representation brokers cited a tightness of space in a number markets, brought on by a lack of new development. As well, many stated that many retailers are in a holding pattern on new locations as the year draws to a close. However, optimism was evident in nearly every one that SCB spoke with at the show. With new developments, many retailers are finding undiscovered markets, as well as strong co-tenancy from other tenants.
Butler Enterprises is developing Butler Town Center adjacent to its Butler Plaza in Gainesville, Florida. New-to-market retailers there are excited to find a market with strong established incomes and stability, say company executives. Similarly, Birmingham, Alabama-based Bayer Properties is developing The Summit at Fritz Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, which has attracted a cadre of upscale tenants like Bonobos, Arhaus, Shake Shack and Kendra Scott, which have traditionally located in more urban markets.
Retail is getting smarter with site selection, said industry expert Nick Egelanian at the conference. Instead of focusing on drive times and income-based trade areas, retailers are looking more at psychographics and online purchases to determine where their next brick-and-mortar locations should be.
After a strong start Monday morning, which featured a keynote luncheon speech by Under Armour Founder, Chairman and CEO Kevin Plank, the Dealmaking concluded on Tuesday afternoon.