Each exhibitor at the ICSC’s RECon in Las Vegas has a unique booth that serves as both a meeting place and a billboard for the company’s brand. retailers generally use the same look and feel as in the stores — the McDonalds booth leads one to expect a hamburger — and brokerages tend to favor efficient meeting spaces.
The Jamestown Properties booth resembles a Bedouin tent.
Easy to miss from the outside, if you pull back the curtain the interior is comfortably furnished and gently lit. Against the back wall two cooks flown out from Bar Suzette, an eatery in Jamestown’s Chelsea Market, prepare gourmet crepes to order for visitors.
“They didn’t have to twist our arm too hard,” one of the imported employees said, smiling as he swirled out batter into a perfect circle.
Michael Phillips, the company’s chief operating officer, sits back on a blue living room-like couch. Brochures for Jamestown’s various properties sit in a basket on a coffee table.
Phillips is particularly interested in finding a high-end fashion tenant for a 7,200 s/f converted loading dock on the ground floor of the Milk Studios building in the Meatpacking district.
“We’re seeing meatpacking 2.0,” he said, “with the Whitney coming in and a lot of luxury good companies and carriage trade brands really bringing a level of dimension to the Meatpacking that maybe was missing in the first sort of pure couture focus that it had. We think that’s pretty compelling.”
The International Council of Shopping Centers event is a chance for everyone in the retail real estate industry to keep up with and weigh in on retail trends, Phillips said, regardless of whether the real estate in question is an actual shopping center.
“The future tenant for Milk Studios probably most assuredly doesn’t have a booth here,” he said. “But I think brokers are here, and I think industry people are here, and media is here and I think it’s a great moment to introduce and expose the real estate.”