Now that we’ve all recovered from Thanksgiving turkey and Black Friday sales, it’s time to get down to business for those of us in retail real estate – the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual New York National Conference, being held December 9 and 10 at the New York Hilton and Sheraton New York.
My sources tell me to expect a record-breaking attendance this year, with up to 10,000 professionals roaming the halls and hotel lobbies (a major reason, I’m sure, that this conference is moving to the Javits Center next year).
I can remember years back when the New York meeting was held in Westchester in the fall – and drew an audience in the hundreds rather than the thousands. But the shift to December in Midtown, at the height of the holiday season, has seen this meeting become truly a second national and international gathering of the major players in retail and shopping center development. If you want to know the state of the industry, you have to be here.
The Women’s Special Industry Group year-end program, being held December 9 focuses on the builders and the officials as I moderate “Building the Boroughs: Lessons in Urban Development,” with speakers Richard Bearak, Director of Land Use, Office of the Brooklyn Borough President; Seth Bornstein, Executive Director of the Queens Economic Development Corp; Melissa Burch, Executive Vice President, Commercial and Residential Development, Forest City Ratner Cos.; Paul Camella, Director of Development, Welco Realty; Donald Capoccia, Managing Principal and Founder of BFC Partners; Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp; Patricia Dunphy, Senior Vice President, Rockrose Development; and Caroline Pardo, Director of Leasing for Jamestown Properties.
The speakers have been instrumental in bringing major retailers to all five boroughs of New York City, and I expect a informative and fun discussion among these friendly competitors as they discuss their own projects, the challenges and opportunities in building in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, as well as in Manhattan, and the lessons they teach retailers and developers working in cities around the country. If the session is even half as lively as our pre-panel conference calls, you’re all in for a treat!
Some retail news to discuss with your colleagues at cocktail parties and the like: Rough Trade, the London-based music store that has just opened at 64 North 9th Street in Williamsburg; AT&T’s newly redesigned retail shop at 250 West 57th Street; and design company Kikkerland’s first store at 493 Sixth Avenue. Dover Street Market (160 Lexington Avenue) has set an opening date of December 21. Athleta has opened at 126 Fifth Avenue. Holiday pop-ups also abound, including Rebecca Minkoff at 427 West 14th Street; fragrance vendor Juniper Ridge at 101 North 8th Street in Williamsburg; WIRED at 353 West 14th Street; Google Winter Wonderlab at Bryant Park; and Brika’s unusual gifts at the Paramount Hotel, 235 West 46th Street. The Red Door Spa in Union Square has debuted at 200 Park Avenue South. Kiehl’s latest branch is opening shortly at 678 Ninth Avenue. Coach has unveiled its new luxe prototype at 79 Fifth Avenue. Nars has another shop, this time at 124 Prince Street.
And yes, the 2014 calendar begins! The New York Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women’s Network (NYCREW) will host its annual view of the year ahead, “Global Real Estate Trends in 2014,” with speakers Heidi Learner, Chief Economist of Studley, Jonathan Woloshin, Executive Director and Co-Head of Sector Research for UBS Financial Services; and Dennis Yeskey, Chairman of the MIT Center for Real Estate, offering their predictions and prognostications. The event will be held Tuesday, January 7, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the offices of UBS Financial Services, 1285 Sixth Avenue. For more information, visit www.NYCREW.org.
I’m also honored to join “Shopping the Globe,” a discussion of retail globalization trends being organized by my friends at Gensler for their clients and industry partners, to be held Tuesday, January 14 in conjunction with the annual National Retail Federation BIG Show. It’s a private event, but I’ll be sure to share what I learn even as I impart my own experiences helping retailers expand around the world.
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!