Make big bets with big partners.
That was the message UnderArmour CEO Kevin Plank had for the retail dealmakers at the first day of the ICSC conference Monday.
It was, after all, Plank’s company that signed a megadeal with Boston Properties earlier this year to take the former FAO Schwarz space at the GM Building, beating rival Nike to the punch.
“That 53,000-square-foot space that we’ve taken over is something that we hope to create emotion,” Plank told the crowd inside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. “We understand the history of it. And hopefully we make people when they walk by our store feel the way they used to when they used to walk by [FAO Schwarz].”
By moving in and striking a deal quickly, UnderArmour was able to sign a lease for the GM Building space and edge out rival retailer Nike, which last week turned around and inked a $700 million deal at 650 Fifth Avenue.
Outside the auditorium on the convention center floor, retail movers and shakers caught up with one another, recounting the weekend’s ICSC parties and talking up deals in the works.
Bradley Mendelson, who jumped from Cushman & Wakefield with colleague David Green to Colliers International last month, said he was still getting his feet under himself at the new firm.
The plan is to build a “lean and effective” team of about 10 to 15 brokers over the next four years to bulk up Colliers’ footprint on the retail landscape, he said. (The firm didn’t crack the top 15 brokerages in a recent ranking by The Real Deal of the most active retail shops in Manhattan.)
Mendelson said he also played a role in helping Colliers with its other high-profile coup: luring the investment sales team of Richard Baxter, Yoron Cohen and Scott Latham from JLL.
“They asked if I was going [to Colliers] and I said ‘absolutely.’ They were just waiting for the right spot in their deal cycle to make the move,” he said.
Other brokers on the first day of ICSC took the opportunity to showcase marketing plans for big-ticket accounts.
JLL’s Patrick Smith, who’s spearheading the leasing effort for the 250,000 square feet at Brookfield Property Partners’ Manhattan West megaproject, displayed some of the first renderings and floor plans for the shopping component.
“Most of the world recognizes this as the Hudson Yards district,” he said, explaining the plan is to market Brookfield’s property as a unique space. “You can’t really do justice to it if you don’t have [the marketing materials in place].”
Attendees at the Javits Center included Wharton Properties’ Jeff Sutton, Cushman & Wakefield’s Joanne Podell, Eastern Consolidated’s Adelaide Polsinelli, Meridian Capital Group’s David Schechtman and CBRE’s Richard Hodos, just to name a few.
The Real Deal will be following all the ICSC action at the Javits and party spots. Check in frequently for updates.