The International Council of Shopping Centers’ four-day RECon retail convention and party marathon wraps up today in Las Vegas. Though some brokers told The Real Deal that the show felt busier than last year — and attendance rose — many said the velocity of deals seemed slower.
Glenn Rufrano, CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, said the number of attendees was expected to rise 10 percent over last year, to more than 35,000. That’s still below the record year 2007, when 50,000 people jammed the show’s hallways and parties.
Rick Friedland, whose family’s Friedland Properties is one of the largest property owners along the luxury stretch of Madison Avenue, said that luxury tenants attended the show, despite not having booths like their mass market cousins Duane Reade, Family Dollar Stores and GameStop.
“I think the higher end tenants are connected to the show in some way or another, either directly or indirectly,” he said, either as executives from the real estate arms of the retailers or their brokers.
Robin Abrams, executive vice president at Lansco, said in each of the last two years the market creaked back and volume picked up, but now in Manhattan’s pricier districts, the amount of space available in the near term is down.
“There is not as much product. Everyone is talking the talk, but there are not as many deals,” she said. “There is more competition and less space.”
Her colleague Lisa Rosenthal, a managing director at Lansco, said, “Landlords tell us they want such-and-such tenant. The landlords are being picky.”
At RECon’s unofficial closing bash last night, the New York Developers party, hundreds of Gotham players gathered at a poolside courtyard at the Bellagio hotel.
Attendees gossiped while noshing on sushi rolls, beef sliders and raspberry chocolate desserts, washing them down with mixed drinks and bottled water under the mindful eyes of lifeguards watching out for inadvertent late-night dips.
Ziel Feldman, managing principal at HFZ Capital Group; brokers, such as Adelaide Polsinelli, senior director at Eastern Consolidated; and financial adviser David Tobin, principal of Mission Capital Advisors were among the guests.
Earlier that night, a smaller crowd gathered at a party thrown by Friedland Properties at the restaurant She by Morton’s at the Shops at Crystals on the Las Vegas strip. In addition to Friedland principals William Friedland, Elizabeth Friedland Meyer and Rick Friedland, brokers from Lansco, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Retail and Massey Knakal attended the fête.