Blogging live from ICSC’s RECon: Ready for a taste of Vegas

Eteri Zaslavsky

Eteri Zaslavsky

Rebekah Carlson

Rebekah Carlson

Brokers and officials from commercial real estate firm Next Realty, which operates a busy office in Chicago, are in Las Vegas this week to attend the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon, the biggest convention serving the brokers, developers and managers who build, operate and lease space at shopping centers across the globe.

Next Realty’s Eteri Zaslavsky, who in 2012 led the raise of Next Realty Fund VII, a private equity fund targeting retail and parking investment opportunities, and Rebekah Carlson, director of marketing at the company, are blogging from the convention this week for REJournals.com.

Read along to share their experiences. You’ll at least get a taste of Vegas, even if you’re stuck in the Midwest.

Before the convention starts … by Eteri Zaslavsky

Ready to fly to Vegas.

Ready to fly to Vegas.

Well…you didn’t have to wait for the ICSC convention to begin on Sunday in Las Vegas. It started at the O’Hare International Airport, or maybe even in the weeks prior as attendees arranged countless meetings in hopes of landing a new business opportunity, acquisition or lease renewal.

This is my eighth year attending the show and this has been the most anticipated one yet. My schedule is booked solid (if not double booked).

At the risk of using a cliché ’80s movie title, we are “back to the future.” In the same eight-year period, the real estate cycle has come full circle. Back in 2006, it seemed like there was no end in sight to the real estate boom.  Property valuations were increasing to all-time highs.  Lenders were underwriting proforma rents and splitting basis points to win business.  Much has happened since then. But did we learn anything?

So, what does the future hold in terms of the economy, interest rates, employment, retail sales and the Internet?  Maybe this year’s convention will provide some insight. Or maybe we will have to wait another eight years to see what really happens.

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