|RENTV was in attendance at the ICSC SoCal Idea Exchange held at the LA Convention Center on Feb. 1, 2017. As with all major ICSC events, it was buzzing with activity as soon as the gates opened in the morning with more than 1,100 commercial real estate professionals coming together for this annual networking and deal-making event.
If there was a consistent theme shared by panelists and attendees it was “How are we keeping up with the retail evolution?” This concern makes sense given the dramatic game-changers now affecting the retail sector.
The panel session titled “Making Box Spaces Work” kicked off the event with an engaging discussion that focused on various repositioning options for box spaces. It included case studies as presented by five panelists: Bruce Pomeroy of Evergreen Development Co, Maurice Funes of Seritage Growth Properties, William Horner, CRX of Fitness International, Schuyler Jackson of Grocery Outlet and Chris Kiehler of Burlington Stores.
Pomeroy led the discussion by identifying that the first step must always be to identify short-term versus long-term repositioning strategy for any vacant space. “Owners have three options: to re-tenant, demise or demolish a space. Each option should be fully considered based on the short- and long-term benefits and costs involved -- which will always double!”
“I can’t emphasize enough on how important it is to understand the existing conditions and use restrictions,” shared Horner. “You can’t get too far into the process without understanding the impact of title issues, existing co-tenancies, CC&R’s, zoning, entitlements and city conditions have on prospective utilization.”
The 24-tenant Retailer Runway followed the panel session featuring a selection of grocers, soft goods, entertainment, services and restaurants. Each shared their respective brand strategy, Southern California expansion plans and site specifications.
Among the retailers featured were Sprouts Farmers Market, Smart & Final, Grocery Outlet, Rite Aid, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hibbett Sporting Goods, Burlington Stores, Tailored Brands, DXL, Altitude Trampoline Park, Phenix Salon Suites, SportClips, LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, TruFusion, UFC, Crunch Fitness, Burger Lounge, Dunkin’ Donuts, WaBa Grill, WoodRanch BBQ & Grill, and Rubio’s Coastal Grill.
The morning panel was followed by a luncheon featuring Keynote Speaker Ken May, CEO of Topgolf, who was interviewed by Arturo Sneider, CEO and Cofounder of Primestor. The discussion centered on the evolution in the retail-entertainment experience and the expansion of Topgolf as a game-changer.
After lunch, it was off to a few hours of networking with many of the RENTV faithful and new contacts while strolling through the exhibitor hall with more than 110 exhibiting companies. That was followed by a little more networking with live music, food and drink at one of the many Convention Center terrace areas.
In another news item of note, the big annual fall Western Conference & Deal Making convention, which has been at the San Diego Convention Center in August-September the past few years...will now be held at the LA Convention Center… yes...it is true!! And the date is October 2-4th.
For more information on the 2017 SoCal Idea Exchange, please visit www.icsc.org/2017SC1.