It’s ICSC week in New York City and while many in the retail business consider the event secondary to the larger conference held by the organization in Las Vegas each May, for many Manhattan real estate brokers, the conference is the most important of the year—and not necessarily just because of its jam-packed daytime roster of speakers and seminars.
In establishments from the New York Times’s four-star-rated Del Posto to the Dream Hotel in Lower Manhattan, buttoned-up retail brokers will be wining and dining potential clients during a two-day orgy of after-hour soirees, dinners and suds-soaked meetings, all designed with the deal in mind.
The weekly phone calls. The dinner invites. The gifts.
When representatives from Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, waltz into the New York Hilton for this year’s two-day International Council of Shopping Centers conference, many of the city’s most intrepid retail brokers will be close behind them, perhaps even plying those officials with compliments, dinner invitations and business opportunities.
In September, retail brokerage veteran Patrick Breslin joined Studley as executive vice president of East Coast Retail Services, a division that, until now, the international real estate firm never had reason to focus on. The former president of Grubb & Ellis’s U.S. retail division and a retail broker at CBRE, Mr. Breslin, 50, spoke about his strategy at the International Council of Shopping Centers this week, his goals for Studley’s new East Coast Retail division and father Jimmy Breslin’s views on commercial real estate.
We were inside the West Ballroom at The Hilton New York, on the hunt for available seats when a large and friendly man sitting dead center in the front row waved us over and asked us to sit with him.
That friendly man was Bruce Ratner, head of Forest City Ratner Companies, who had no idea that he had just invited two reporters from The Commercial Observer to join him.
“All the New Yorkers are walking around looking tired,” said David Firestein, president of Northwest Atlantic Real Estate Services, speaking by cell on Tuesday from Las Vegas, where the temperature stubbornly remained in the triple digits and sweaty brokers gossiped about absent retailers, a depressing lack of raucous parties and an overall air of Read More