ICSC Is Where Shopping Center Owners and Tenants Meet
ICSC is the premier organization for shopping center owners and real estate professionals, with over 70,000 members in 100 countries, so Louisiana Commercial Realty is excited to promote New Orleans at their Dallas conference this week and encourage national companies to bring their business to the Big Easy.
Over 2,000 shopping center owners, big and small, attend the Texas oriented conference where property owners and prospective tenants are able to connect and discuss doing business together. Almost every city in Texas and these well-known companies are represented:
- Chuck E Cheese
- Dollar Tree
- Jersey Mike’s
- Mr. Gatti’s Pizza
- Murphy Oil USA
- Panda Restaurant
- Shipley Doniuts
- Smoothie King
- Ulta Beauty
- Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux
Since New Orleans is over 300 years old, Louisiana Commercial Realty zeroed in on the “Adaptive Reuse” session, where developers shared their secrets to getting old properties back into commerce. Wildcat Management explained how they were able to buy a historic building from the city for $1 and move it brick by brick to a impoverished neighborhood and put the property back into commerce and make the project feasible. Every developer shared that none of their projects would have been feasible without tax incentives and help from local economic development.
Louisiana Commercial Realty first put Adaptive Reuse into action several years ago with three projects in New Orleans.
- We brokered 741 Canal Street, a vacant 140,000 square foot vacant building which was put back into commerce as The Saint Hotel. We were the sole brokers for the transaction.
- We also brokered one of the largest leases in New Orleans, a 75,000 square foot 3 floor vacant space in a high rise office building on Poydras Street that was redeveloped as hotel space. We represented both parties in the transaction.
- The 5 acre vacant industrial site at the foot of Poydras was not on the market, but we put the deal together as both buyer and seller broker and the property was developed into The Marquis, as affordable apartments.
Grocers Always Adapt
Kroger, represented by Rita Williams, Director of Economic Development, shared how grocers are integrating technology into future plans. RFID’s are dead because artificial intelligence can now analyze a shopping cart full of items and determine a price of an item by the shape of its box. Grocers all shared they are working to be nimble and always adapt. For example, Kroger is testing a social hour with a wine bar and local music in concert. The hope is to attract shoppers to the store for events they enjoy, and they will end up buying groceries. One challenge to adapting is how to reinvent at 120,000 square foot store.
Finding Solutions To Labor Woes
Kroger explained that labor is still costly and hard to keep, but what employers are learning is how to be flexible, such as asking workers what schedule can they commit to working, and offering tuition reimbursement. Online sales are up 10% at Kroger, but Amazon has exploded with online visit growth 10 times that of Kroger.