Manhattan in Vegas: a temporary gravitational swing

Exclusive count of how many New Yorkers from which firms are headed to ICSC's RECon 2014

TRD New York /
May.May 17, 2014 04:00 PM

Tomorrow a temporary but fundamental shift will impact the city’s commercial real estate industry. The center of gravity will shift 2,500 miles west as the bulk of the city’s real estate players decamp for Las Vegas for several days to participate in the annual conference hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Even as insiders acknowledge the impact of the movement, the actual depth of it has remained unclear to most of the industry. To understand its impact, The Real Deal analyzed ICSC attendance records to see who the approximately 1,900 professionals among the more than 500 New York City brokerage companies, owners, lenders and retailers have registered to attend the three-day conference RECon 2014, from May 18 to May 20.

The Midtown-based brokerage Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and the lender JPMorgan Chase Bank are flying out the highest number of professionals from New York City.

NGKF has registered 50 brokers and other professionals attending the show known as RECon, which is expected to attract its highest figures in five years. Attendees from the brokerage include company CEO Barry Gosin, President James Kuhn and Executive Vice President Jeffrey Roseman.

JPMorgan is sending the greatest number of professionals from a lender, and the second-highest crew of any kind. The team, with 49 people registered, includes Terence Cooney, head of retail lease management and renewals.

Acadia Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust based in White Plains, is sending the most of any landlord, with a team of 28 people, including Kenneth Bernstein, president and CEO. Acadia owns retail properties nationally, and also locally, Such As 120 West Broadway, 15 Mercer Street and 152-154 Spring Street, all in Soho.

The annual ICSC convention is the largest retail convention in the world. Attendance is expected to top 33,000 people, up from 32,700 last year, and the most since 48,044 attended in 2008. The highest total ever was 50,700 in 2007, figures from ICSC show.

TRD compiled the names and totals for this year’s New York City attendees through an analysis of a database ICSC provides to members and the press to search for other attendees at the show. The analysis only included companies that were both located in or near New York City and had a significant presence within the five boroughs.

The survey did not include professionals in additional regional offices. For example, Eastern Union Funding has a total of 21 people registered to attend from various offices, but just seven from New York City.

The Midtown-based brokerage RKF is bringing out the second-highest number of professionals from a brokerage firm, with 40, including company CEO Robert Futterman. Following them is Cushman & Wakefield with 39, CBRE Group with 33 and the mortgage brokerage and advisory firm Meridian Capital Group.

After Acadia was Thor Equities, which (combined with its leasing team) is sending a total of 27 people, including CEO Joseph Sitt. Next is the Related Companies, which will be represented in Las Vegas by a number of top brass, including CEO Stephen Ross, CEO Jeff Blau and President Bruce Beal among a total of 24 professionals.

Next is Kimco Realty, another REIT like Acadia, which owns several malls in New York City, Including Mill Basin Plaza and Ocean Plaza in Brooklyn. They are sending out 22 professionals including Milton Cooper, executive chairman of the board.

Rounding out the top five is Ashkenazy Acquisition, Which Owns Properties Such As 625 Madison AvenueAnd 660 Madison Avenue. The firm is sending out 19 people, including company CEO Ben Ashkenazy and President Michael Alpert.

The second-highest number of professionals sent by a lender is Barclays Capital and Citibank, each with 17; Morgan Stanley with 16 and three firms, Bank of America, UBS and Cantor Commercial, each with 15 professionals.

Large retailers with offices in New York also are sending teams, but far fewer people than many of the other top firms.

The Sweden-based global clothing retailer H&M is sending the most New York-based professionals of any retailer, with seven, including the firm’s North American President Daniel Kulle; and six people each are coming from Ann Taylor’s parent company Ann; Equinox Fitness Clubs and Starbucks. Rounding out the top five was fast-fashion retailer Zara, with four professionals.

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