The ICSC Blog

October 24, 2014

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ICSC’s Next Gen Comes Together for Next GENerosity

Seattle NGW

45 events all across North America
Over 3,250 participants
All coming together to network for a cause

As Next GENerosity week comes to a close, congratulations go out to the Next Generation community and its committee leadership for an incredible campaign. For the past year, Next Gen and the ICSC Foundation have been collaborating on the Next GENerosity campaign which culminated (in Next GENerosity Week. Each local Next Gen committee was challenged to host a program this past week. The ultimate goal was to promote and encourage social responsibility.

The Next GENerosity campaign has given the entire Next Gen community a unique opportunity to work together for the greater good of the industry and so support the industry’s charitable organization, the ICSC Foundation. They recognized that Next Gen-ers have the most to gain from a vibrant, growing shopping center industry and the ICSC Foundation is the only charitable organization dedicated to strengthening the global retail real estate industry as a whole.

The 45 events varied from traditional speed networking and panel discussions to the less orthodox go-kart racing and bowling. At the MA/NH/RI Next GENerosity event 18 donated prizes were raffled off to participants and they raised $1,700 for the ICSC Foundation. The dollars are still being tallied, but it looks like Next GENerosity will contribute over $20,000 to impact the ICSC Foundation and their real estate scholarship programs.

“Thanks for the opportunity. I wanted to get involved with Next Gen for some time and things have really gotten off to a great start! I’m very much looking forward to my continued involvement with the organization.”
Seth Marks
Goodman Real Estate Services Group LLC
Cleveland, OH

The 2015 Next GENerosity Campaign is already in the works. Let’s make an even greater impact with more engagement and more events. Congratulations and thank you to the entire Next Generation!

October 17, 2014

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Celebrating One Year of #MindfulMalls


Thanks to all who sent us what you're doing for your communities! Keep the photos & videos coming! #MindfulMalls #ICSCFoundation #ICSC #RoundTwo @AtlanticStation @ShopCapCentre @mvdshopping

View on Instagram

Last year the ICSC Foundation launched #MindfulMalls, a Twitter campaign to promote and recognize the incredible generosity and community spirit within the shopping center industry. They were inspired by all the ways, big and small, that shopping centers positively impact the community locally and globally.

Well it is clear that our malls and shopping centers are being mindful. We have had just about 500 #MindfulMall tweets that have led to 3 million impressions worldwide. Thank you to all the centers committed to enhancing their neighborhood and the world.

#MindfulMalls campaign is part of the ICSC Foundation’s mission to honor and encourage community outreach within our industry. The ICSC Foundation already awards shopping centers from around the globe for their charitable efforts with the Community Support Awards.

Do not forget to tweet using #MindfulMalls when your center is planning your next canned food drive, raising funds for charity or anything that shows the community work of our industry.

October 15, 2014

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Q&A With US Law Conference Speaker Scott Fisher

ScottFisherTell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m a partner in the real estate group at Arnall Golden Gregory LLP in Atlanta and just celebrated my 35 year anniversary at the firm. During that time I’ve represented owners and developers of virtually every type of commercial real estate and have negotiated countless purchase agreements, loan documents, leases, and joint venture agreements. I pride myself on looking at legal issues from a practical deal oriented perspective.

What will you cover at your 2014 Law Conference General Session and what should people expect to learn?
Our session will look at issues arising in the negotiation of joint ventures in real estate transactions. We have a panel with transactional experience representing the promoters/developers and the equity sources in joint venture negotiations. We also have a litigator to give a perspective on pitfalls to avoid.

What is your favorite social network to use and why?
Did I mention I’ve been practicing law for 35 years. While I’m on twitter and LinkedIn, I’m not a heavy user.

What is your favorite Business or Personal mobile app to use and why?
LinkedIn-It’s an excellent networking tool.

How can people reach out to you on social media?
Probably by LinkedIn or Twitter, but more realistically by good, old-fashioned email.

What is your best advice for First Timers and/or Next Gen attendees at the 2014 Law Conference?
Use the ICSC to build relationships and to become part of the industry. Also take advantage of educational opportunities offered by the sessions. There is probably no better place to learn about issues that arise the industry. It’s a great resource and a foundation that can be used to build a successful practice.

October 14, 2014

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Q&A With US Law Conference Speaker Lee Samuelson

Lee SamuelsonTell us about yourself and what you do.
I am a Partner in Hogan Lovells Real Estate practice. I help clients in structuring and executing the full spectrum of real estate transactions, with a particular focus on Shopping Centers over the years. My clients include public and private owners, developers, lenders, and investors.

My background includes transactions involving trophy properties, shopping centers, regional malls, hotels, office buildings, senior living facilities, and mixed use developments. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells I worked in real estate law at another prominent New York City firm.

What will you cover at your 2014 Law Conference General Session and what should people expect to learn?
My session is about the importance of drafting and negotiating real estate joint venture agreements (PLUG: Join us on Friday, October 24 at 10:30 am for our presentation: Winter is Coming- Will Your Joint Venture be Ready When the White Walkers Cross the Wall? ). I am looking forward to an interactive session where we can learn from each other’s experiences. Specifically, the panel will cover issues to focus on when drafting a joint venture agreement when things start to “head south.”

What is your favorite social network to use and why?
My firm is extremely active in social media, particularly LinkedIn. Our marketing department encourages our lawyers and professionals to both join LinkedIn and actively engage on the site. LinkedIn is an easy and convenient forum for not only connecting with clients, friends, colleagues, former colleagues, and others in my network, but also makes it easy for a person looking for someone with my skills and experience. Plus, LinkedIn provides a platform for my firm, and my colleagues, to share valuable insights and thought leadership with a targeted wider audience, whether through the Groups pages, or our Company page.

What is your favorite Business or Personal mobile app to use and why?
My favorite app is absolutely Google maps. It is so much more than providing directions. I know exactly where I am at all times, and the app enables me to find places and services anywhere in the world. But the best feature, without a doubt, is the traffic information. The color coded traffic condition system is genius.

How can people reach out to you on social media?
Hogan Lovells is among the most active leading global law firms on social media. Follow the firm on Twitter (@HoganLovells) and connect with us on LinkedIn ( and You can also connect with me personally on LinkedIn.

What is your best advice for First Timers and/or Next Gen attendees at the 2014 Law Conference?
The best advice would be to go with an open mind and network. Meet as many people as you can and attend a session that may be something that you are not familiar with, they are always interesting, and you never know what you might pick up.

October 13, 2014

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Q&A With US Law Conference Speaker Kevin Shepherd

KevinShepherdTell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m a farm boy from Kansas who now practices commercial real estate law in Baltimore. I handle transactions for pension funds, REITs, and institutional investors (both regionally and nationally), and have the good fortune to work with the top talent in the industry. When not representing my clients, I spend time working through the ABA and other groups domestically and internationally to fend off the federal regulation of the legal profession in the money laundering and terrorist financing realm. It may strike some odd that a real estate lawyer would be involved in this effort, but there have been relentless and aggressive efforts by the federal government to impose anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist obligations on the legal profession, and I have been at the forefront of this effort for the last dozen years. That activity allows me to help the legal profession in a meaningful, tangible manner. In my “spare” time, I like being outdoors playing the role of a gentleman farmer (e.g., clearing brush and mowing meadows) and getting back to my Midwest roots, so to speak.

What will you cover at your 2014 Law Conference General Session 5, “Breaking Bad: The Ethics of Dealing with Challenging Clients,” and what should people expect to learn?
We will be discussing how to manage and deal with difficult clients (is there such a thing? Yikes!). Younger lawyers are sometimes asked to represent difficult clients, such as those who engage in bullying tactics that may lead to ethical dilemmas. We hope to provide practical tips on how to manage these types of clients, ethically and otherwise.

What new technologies are you excited about and why?
I chair our firms’ finance committee, and I have an obsession with technologies that allow me to drill into fee arrangements so that we can better understand fee dynamics. I like to employ quantitative analysis to fee arrangements so that we can measure them from different dimensions. Most eyes glaze over when discussing this topic, but I don’t know how we can respond to client fee demands without a thorough understanding of cost structures and techniques to manage transactions.

What is your favorite social network to use and why?
LinkedIn in simple to use and it allows me to keep in touch with colleagues from around the country. Simple is better—for me.

What is your favorite Business or Personal mobile app to use and why?
I like flightradar24, which allows me to track flights flying over my office in downtown Baltimore. Most of the flights are heading to Europe and the Middle East in the afternoon and evening. OK, I know it’s geeky, but it’s a good app to use while daydreaming out the window. It’s amazing what flies over your head on a daily basis! I often wish I were on one of those flights heading somewhere exciting (or not).

How can people reach out to you on social media?
Please connect with me on LinkedIn so that we can get in touch.

What is your best advice for First Timers and/or Next Gen attendees at the 2014 Law Conference?
Soak it in and engage. Make sure to attend the roundtables and get engaged by asking questions and contributing to the discussion. Participation is the key.

October 10, 2014

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Q&A With US Law Conference Speaker Aubrey Waddell

Aubrey WaddellTell us about yourself and what you do.
I wear a number of hats. I spend my workdays negotiating global real estate outsourcing contracts for JLL, and managing claims that inevitably arise out of those services. I also do a fair amount of compliance and ethics training for our firm. When I’m not working for JLL, I’m a social secretary, chauffeur, fundraiser, tutor, stylist, decorator, and party planner for the Waddell family. I’m fortunate to have work that I enjoy so much.

What will you cover at your 2014 Law Conference General Session 5, “Breaking Bad: The Ethics of Dealing with Challenging Clients,” and what should people expect to learn?
Kevin Shepherd and I will explore the ethical nuances associated with difficult clients. We hope to provide real-world guidance for handling situations where a client might push the legal or ethical bounds of your engagement.

What new technologies are you excited about and why?
I’m impressed by all of the recent advances in sustainability. At JLL, for example, we’re leveraging technology to help minimize the significant impact real estate can have on the environment. It used to be that environmental friendliness was expensive. But now, technology is allowing us to save costs while simultaneously preserving and protecting resources. That’s powerful stuff.

What is your favorite social network to use and why?
I could never choose a single favorite! Facebook is the best for personal networking, LinkedIn is all professional, and Twitter is a mix of both. I can find out what’s happening with friends and family on Facebook, business connections on LinkedIn, and the rest of the world by a quick review of my Twitter feed.

What is your favorite Business or Personal mobile app to use and why?
I’m a shopaholic and a serial renovator. Pinterest is my guilty pleasure.

How can people reach out to you on social media?
LinkedIn is the easiest way to find me, and I hope you will! My twitter handle is @AubreyWaddell, but I’m not an active tweeter.

What is your best advice for First Timers and/or Next Gen attendees at the 2014 Law Conference?
Try to schedule yourself a bit. Review the attendee list before you come, and set up informal meetings with lawyers you’ve worked with previously or with whom you have connections in common. Also, don’t miss the first timers/NextGen reception, where everyone will be looking to make new friends.

October 6, 2014

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America’s Foremost Marketplace


By Jesse Tron

Without a doubt we are experiencing one of the most profound periods of evolution within our industry since the advent of the first suburban malls in the mid 1950’s. Both technology and the quest for experience have changed the way the consumer shops and so to how the shopping center has adapted to meet those newfound consumer wants and desires. Despite some inflammatory reports to the contrary, both shopping centers and malls are actually thriving.

Our research department recently conducted a comprehensive study that analyzes how shopping centers remain America’s Foremost Marketplace. The report checks the industry’s vital signs (spoiler alert: I’m happy to say that it received a clean bill of health), how retailers and shopping centers have embraced an omni-channel strategy, and the evolution taking place within the industry.

While the report goes into much greater detail, here are a few of the high-level takeaways I found to be most interesting:

  • E-commerce is complementary to brick-and-mortar retail as omni-channel customers tend to shop more frequently (3x) and spend more on average (3.5x) than single-channel shoppers.
  • In-store conversion rates are four times higher than online-only conversion rates.
  • 94% of total retail spending takes place in physical stores.
  • Retailers plan to open more than 40,000 stores over the next 12 months and more than 77,000 over the next 24 months – near a five-year high.

 The full report is available on ICSC’s website.

October 3, 2014

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ICSC Foundation Commemorates 25th Anniversary

ICSC Foundation Annual Report 2013 The ICSC Foundation released its 2013 annual report which looks back at their 25th anniversary year. Highlights include:

 Last year the foundation launched its first-ever Capital Campaign to increase the scope and reach of education and community outreach programs. By the end of 2013 $2.3 million of their $5 million goal had been reached. Ten months later they have doubled their efforts with $4.6 million. Thank you to all donors who have made the campaign a success.

Thanks to loyal supporters and ICSC volunteers the foundation reached many milestones in 2013. They show no signs of slowing down.

 Your name could appear in next year’s annual report. Apply for a John T. Riordan Professional Development Scholarship and be amongst the recipients. Deadline is November 17th.

September 30, 2014

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Retail Gets Its Groove Back: 10 Incisive Insights from the CEO of Shopping Center REIT, ROIC

Interview conducted and condensed by Michael Lagazo

Stuart Tanz, high qualityStuart Tanz, President and CEO of San Diego-based Retail Opportunity Investments Corporation (NASDAQ: ROIC), an excellent dividend growth REIT, shares leadership insights to kick off the ICSC Western Division conference this week.

Q: Were you always interested in shopping centers?

A: Yes. I started my real estate career in the late 1980s, as a one-man operation, developing small shopping centers in Southern California. So I learned the business from the ground up and have been focused in shopping center sector on the West Coast for almost 30 years now.

Q: What are your expectations for the ICSC Western Division conference this year?

A: We expect that it will be a very busy and productive conference. At the national convention in May, there was a lot of interest from retailers wanting to expand on the West Coast. So we expect to see the same level of interest and enthusiasm at this conference.

Q: What is your assessment of the current market conditions?

A: In terms of property acquisitions — there continues to be a good amount of activity in our markets. Thus far we are on pace for another very strong, record-setting year. In terms of leasing — we continue to see strong demand for space across our markets.

Q: What changes can the retail market in Southern California and the Western Region anticipate in 2015?

A: We do not expect any dramatic shifts in the retailing industry looking towards 2015. We expect demand for space to remain strong. As it relates specifically to our sector, grocery-anchored shopping centers, there could be a small amount of fallout, or transition, as a result of the Albertson’s/Safeway merger, but nothing that the market can’t absorb.

Q: How has the landlord-tenant dynamic shifted in the past several quarters?

A: Given the strong demand for space, the dynamic is much more balanced today.

Q: What trends are you seeing in leasing?

A: An increasing number of large, national retailers are looking to expand on the West Coast. Additionally, we are seeing a lot more regional and local retailers seeking space as well. Overall, the trends are very promising.


Q: As of Q2 2014, your portfolio is reported to have occupancy rates of 96.8%. North Park Plaza in San Jose, CA is 100% leased. How does ROIC maintain consistent occupancy?

A: By being very proactive and hands-on with our properties and tenants. And by owning properties that well-situated, competitively located in the market that feature daily-necessity retailers that serve the surrounding community well.

Q: What yield enhancement and value add strategies have been most effective in ROIC’s portfolio?

A: Repositioning newly acquired properties where we aggressively improve the tenant mix, typically bringing in new, strong anchor retailers that are well-suited for the market.

Fallbrook Center #02

Q: Which retailers would you identify as ‘best-in-class’ in the grocery-anchored or necessity-based space?

A: We don’t look at leasing that way. We instead take each property individually, look carefully at the demographic profile and competing properties and then work to identify what are the best retailers for that property.

Q: With $357.8 million of shopping center acquisitions year-to-date (July 30, 2014 earnings), how is ROIC different from other REITs in creating opportunities in the current market?

A: Having owned and operated shopping centers for nearly 30 years on the West Coast, we know the markets extremely well and as a result are able to access attractive acquisition opportunities through off-market sources.

Q: What can you share with emerging shopping center professionals?

A: Now is a great time to get into the shopping center industry, especially on the West Coast.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: Aside from enjoying time with my family, I’m involved in a variety philanthropic efforts – most notably the Tanz Neuroscience Center, which was started by my family 20 years ago and today is one of the leading research centers for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.


Stuart Tanz’s Bio:

ROIC Company Information:

September 26, 2014

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Congratulations to Montreal Eaton Centre


Congratulations to Montreal Eaton Centre, an Ivanhoé Cambridge property, the 2014 ICSC Foundation Canadian Community Support Award recipient. For the last decade, Montreal Eaton Centre (MEC) has supported Dans La Rue, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Montreal’s at-risk and homeless youth, through holiday campaigns that aimed to raise awareness and funds. 2013 marked Dans La Rue’s 25th anniversary, and Montreal Eaton Centre wanted to do something special by stepping up its commitment with the “Lights of Hope” campaign, to raise at least $25,000 for the organization.

The ICSC Foundation Community Support Award recognizes shopping centers around the world for their philanthropic work to address the needs of its community. The Canadian Community Support Award Winner, along with the winners of the other regional community support awards, will automatically be entered into a competition for the prestigious Albert Sussman International Community Support Award.