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Live from ICSC RECon: Next Realty May 2014 Blog Posts


Blogging live from ICSC: Footloose

Posted on May 20, 2014 by rejblog


Rebekah Carlson, Next Realty, LLC

Taking a break after starting the day with a meeting with my favorite Cushman affiliates and then a meeting with the Village of Montgomery, Ill., to hear about what’s going on there.

Eteri and I came up with a few ICSC-inspired reasons why the skills needed to make it in retail real estate correlate with the characteristics of a successful dance campaign in Elmore City, Ala.  (Footloose is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, by the way).

Here’s what we’ve learned about what it takes to be successful today…

1) You have to step outside the norm.  New perspectives foster creativity and innovation.
2) Challenge your assumptions, and those of others.  From site selection to merchandising to forecasting, every analysis should validate and/or challenge preconceptions.
3) Fight through the hard times to get what you want. We’ve survived the downturn – now capitalize on that grit and give it all you’ve got.
4) Question the status quo.  Does it have to stay the same? Really?
5) Persevere.  Keep your head down and get your work done!
6) Be present.  We have connected and reconnected with countless people at the show, and cannot recommend enough that relationships matter.


Blogging live from ICSC: Hot!

Posted on May 20, 2014 by rejblog


Eteri Zaslavsky, Next Realty, LLC

The investment environment at Las Vegas ICSC this year is as hot as the weather outside.  The convention center is filled with hustle and bustle. From large institutional investors to small local players, everyone has capital to deploy.  Investors are searching for yield, developers are on the prowl for the next development opportunity and capital (both equity and debt) is plentiful.

The general outlook from the convention is positive.  But unlike the last time around, real estate professionals are cautiously optimistic.   People seem to be asking a lot of questions.   What is fueling the growth?  How long will this last?  Is this sustainable?  How do we minimize the downside risk?

There seems to be consensus about one thing, in order to minimize downside risk, take advantage of the attractive debt and lock it in long-term.   And as you navigate the investment environment, try not to get burned.

Posted in Chicago Commercial Real EstateIllinoisIllinois real estateretail | Tagged ChicagoEteri Zaslavsky,ICSCIllinoisNext RealtyRebekah CarlsonREConretailLeave a comment



Blogging from ICSC’s RECon: A league of their own

Posted on May 19, 2014 by rejblog

A league of their own

Rebekah Carlson, Next Realty, LLC

I spent Saturday with a group of women in real estate.  Was it a social/political action committee?  Perhaps an event to raise awareness for some cause?  Was it an official women-in-real estate event?  Not in the slightest.  We were just spending time together, being people.  So when the conversation turned to gender, real estate and the intersection of the two, I paid careful attention.

Remember the movie A League of their Own?  If not, let me refresh your memory.  Baseball investors needed revenue during World War II, and sent their scouts to find talented girls, put them on teams and fill the stands. The girls played, and played hard, perfecting their craft and achieving some measure of success in spite of great opposition and critics’ review of everything from attire to familial relations.

Like the girls in the movie wanted recognition as baseball players first and personalities second, the overarching conclusion I came to in my conversation is that these women in real estate find – and want to find – their gender largely irrelevant.

The women I know in real estate are in the industry because they love it and are talented, clearly, in a league of their own as well.

Posted in Chicago Commercial Real EstateIllinoisIllinois real estateretailshopping centers | Tagged Eteri ZaslavskyICSCLas VegasNevadaNext RealtyRebekah CarlsonREConretailLeave a comment



Blogging from ICSC’s RECon: Build it and they will come?

Posted on May 19, 2014 by rejblog

If you build it, will they come?

Rebekah Carlson, Next Realty, LLC

Going into a tradeshow, particularly this one, is like a field of dreams. We build a 600-square-foot booth, hoping, anticipating that our presence attracts customers, investors, tenants and deal-makers.

But we are not just building a booth, we’re building an industry.  And we, as an industry, build the American dream. Shopping centers for people to spend – gasp! – expendable income.  Locations for mom-and-pop entrepreneurs to flourish. Companies to employ thousands.

Even now, early in the upswing of the cycle, it remains to be seen whether the increased activity we have seen is industry-wide or sustainable.  What are we building and will it endure?

If you are here, come by our booth at C141 M St. After all, we built it specifically hoping you would come.

Posted in Chicago Commercial Real EstateIllinoisIllinois real estateretail | Tagged Eteri ZaslavskyICSCLas VegasNext RealtyRebekah CarlsonREConretailLeave a comment



Blogging live from ICSC’s RECon: Survey says

Posted on May 19, 2014 by rejblog

Survey says

Eteri Zaslavsky, Next Realty, LLC

While at dinner last night with a few real estate investors, developers and brokers, it became apparent that there are several views about the current state of the industry and its future.

Some folks were of the opinion that the market is healthy and values have room to grow, yet others questioned the current fundamentals and valuations.  Despite the fact that there is a ton of capital chasing few good deals, are the current values justifiable and sustainable?  Will the frenzy continue or will the music stop?

If you ask 100 real estate professionals this question, as in the classic American game show Family Feud, the answers will be divergent.

Posted in Chicago Commercial Real EstateIllinoisIllinois real estateretail | Tagged ChicagoEteri Zaslavsky,ICSCIllinoisLas VegasNevadaRebekah CarlsonREConLeave a comment

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

Posted on May 19, 2014 by rejblog

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

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 …

Eteri Zaslavsky, Next Realty, LLC

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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