“The vibe was positive. People feel good about where retail is right now. It’s proven to be resilient.”
Poline and Executive Recruiter Cary Beale met with current clients with ongoing searches and upcoming hiring needs, prospective clients, and a handful of existing and potential candidates during the shopping center industry’s annual conference, attended by over 25,000 people.
Poline shared highlights from the 3-day conference:
- Retail is no longer the out-of-favor asset type as in the recent past. Companies with open air retail feel particularly good about asset portfolios, low vacancy rates, and strong leasing activity.
- Developers who were pessimistic at ICSC New York in December 2022 have become more optimistic about the future. Signals regarding future interest rate movement show a healthier environment for transactional activity and development by the end of 2023 and early 2024.
- Construction pricing has stabilized and, in some cases, improved while supply chain issues have mostly resolved. Both factors allow construction firms to submit more competitive bids.
- There’s some consensus that interest rate increases are likely to slow with future borrowing activity to become stronger due to the relative affordability of debt.
- Widespread opportunity exists but especially in markets like Florida and the Southeast where high population growth and lack of available product is leading to a robust retail market.
Poline and Beale had yet another positive experience in Vegas.
“The energy was noticeably more upbeat among developer clients. Conference activity was strong, with a high level of traffic. And the Hendon Rocks! Party at The Cosmopolitan was a highlight as always!” says Poline.