The text below is excerpted from “A Message from the President” By ICSC President and CEO Tom McGee.
This vitality in our industry is reflected at RECon, with its increasingly diverse variety of exhibitors. Each year we see innovative new tenants and new technologies designed to make centers more entertaining, convenient, and efficient. Municipalities and other public agencies also recognize the importance of RECon, eager as they are to attract developments that will make their communities more vibrant and prosperous.
All of this activity does not get the attention it deserves as media often focus more on the challenges facing our industry, and less on the way we are meeting those challenges. It is worth noting that, for all of the news about retail closings, the national retail occupancy rate actually rose slightly last year, to 95 percent by December, according to national commercial real estate research and services firm Franklin Street.
Our industry is continuing to evolve to meet new market trends, as owners revitalize and reinvent their properties with new tenants, uses and technology. And that is something to celebrate.