Last month’s International Council of Shopping Center’s (ICSC’s) RECon 2013 in Las Vegas was very encouraging. Overall attendance for the retail real estate industry’s biggest annual global event was over 35,000, a 10 percent increase from 2012 and a post-Recession record. Attendees and exhibitors, including retailers, developers, lenders and brokers, expressed optimism about the health of the U.S. retail real estate industry. I also noticed more young people coming into the industry, a trend I haven’t seen in many years…or maybe I’m just getting old.
It was quite obvious to me that everyone at the convention was more relaxed, but busier than in recent years. Our Stirling team had a full slate of productive meetings for all our properties, and we were all touting the strength of the Gulf South market. There was significant interest in our current development projects – Mid-City Market that will open next month in New Orleans, Fremaux Town Center under development in Slidell, and our recently announced Magnolia Marketplace project in New Orleans. We expect to finalize many deals from our meetings for these and other properties.
Another exciting development at Stirling Properties is the opening of our new office in Mobile, Alabama! Our new office will help us to expand our presence in the region in an area that is experiencing exponential growth. You will be hearing more specifics about this in the very near future!
The window of opportunity is definitely open for us now and we are all working hard to take advantage of this momentum. What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas – it will produce positive outcomes for us at Stirling and the Gulf South. Stay tuned for more news!