Brokers see more activity at ICSC in Vegas

TRD talks to Related’s Jeff Blau, Newmark’s Jeffrey Roseman and Winick's Annie Shinn

May.May 23, 2011 06:48 PM

The booths at RECon, the world’s largest retail real estate trade show taking place in Las Vegas this week, tell a story on their own of the industry through their size, location and pull on attendees.

The booths of brokerage firms like CB Richard Ellis and Newmark Knight Frank were more densely packed than their competitor Jones Lang LaSalle today, but also smaller. JLL took a much larger corner space, and its display included a waterfall spelling its name in cascading letters on the outside wall.

RECon, the annual trade show put on by the International Council of Shopping Centers, is considered by most brokers to be the most important show of the year. It started yesterday and runs to Wednesday, and draws approximately 30,000 attendees to the more than 1,000 exhibitors spread across three massive halls.

Most attendees said the number of attendees appeared to be up this year compared with last year.

Jeffrey Roseman, an executive vice president of Newmark Knight Frank Retail, said this year, the show is, “more vibrant.”

Jared Epstein, vice president Aurora Capital Associates, was walking the convention this morning and believed displays were more pronounced.

“There are larger booths. It’s more about branding and visibility,” he said. However, his company does not have a booth.

“We are under the radar,” he explained.

Annie Shinn, an associate at Winick Realty Group, who has attended RECon for the past couple of years, said her firm took the same amount of space in the same location, but she believed there was more foot traffic.

Jeff Blau, president of Related Companies, said it was, “a great show.”  

Eliot Tawil, who works alongside investor Jeff Sutton at Wharton Properties, said he perceived more activity in one of the three halls that concentrates on retailers, as opposed to the other two which concentrate on landlords and brokers.

And he added, “That’s what we are here for — [to meet retailers].”

Michael Boxer, a founding partner of RCG Longview, a debt and equity financing firm, said he’s already made some good contacts at the show.

He met with a large national bank which he declined to name, and they discussed how “our mezz[anine] business can complement their [senior] lending,” he said.

Follow our live tweets from the show at #ICSC and #RECon.

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