President’s Message: Optimism and Growth at ICSC

Marty MayerHaving recently returned from Las Vegas where I attended my 25th consecutive International Council of Shopping Centers Convention, I am struck by several themes that continued to emerge for me.

The upbeat mood and sense of optimism was widespread and apparent, a stark contrast to the mood two years ago. Convention attendance improved again this year which kept our booth buzzing with retailers, lenders and investors looking to learn more about our properties and services.

The amount of new development activity that we have in progress is incredible. Our colleagues in other regions were amazed to hear about the number of projects we currently have in the pipeline. Our markets are attracting a lot of attention both from new retailers entering for the first time, and from those looking to expand their footprints.

New Orleans, in particular, is in a sweet spot unlike I’ve ever witnessed in my career.

Now, more than ever, the importance of a strong brand is paramount to success in today’s environment. In order to attract capital, gain the confidence of retailers and navigate the complexities of a new development, it is crucial to have a strong track record and a well-respected brand.

I was once again reminded how strong our Stirling brand has become, in every niche we occupy, both locally and nationally.

While there are many uncertainties on the horizon – capital availability and terms, internet sales’ impact on bricks and mortar stores and consumer confidence; I believe we are well situated to weather those uncertainties and continue to experience new growth and prosperity.