By Tony Wilbert, Wilbert News Strategies
LAS VEGAS (May 23, 2011) - As 30,000 people pack up and head to McCarran International Airport for flights home, it's time to reflect on ICSC's huge RECon show.
First, the overall mood proved to be much more upbeat in recent years. One developer from Oklahoma City, Okla., said he nearly canceled his trip this year because he had deals to close. Atlanta developer Jim Jacoby was in a great mood, celebrating his new deal with Porsche, which has committed to moving its North American headquarters to Jacoby's Aerotropolis mixed-use development adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
While in Vegas, a group issued an open letter calling for Porsche to consider leaving Georgia altogether because of just-signed illegal imigration law. Smartly, the automaker said, "Nein" and will continue with plans for the $100 million HQ at Aerotropolis.
As for Jacoby, he told ICSC revelers that the Federal Aviation Administration really likes Aerotropolis as a potential home to a 650,000-square-foot regional headquarters/training center. That will be another big win if Jacoby makes it happen.
Second, OliverMcMillan, new owners of the erstwhile Streets of Buckhead, used retail real estate's largest stage to announce a new name and whittled-down plans for the project. The new name "Buckhead Atlanta" didn't inspire too many people, so we've come up with some suggestions:
Peachtree at Buckhead (actual intersection of development); The Shoppes at Tony Buckhead; The Peachtree at Buckhead Avenue (Cousins Properties might have a little issue again of the project went the Avenue route).
Last, the Atlanta party of the year had to be Hartman Simons' 10th annual RECon bash. Yes, the law firm is a client, and no wasn't as glitzy as Hendon Rocks, but the party still raged at midnight. Even a fancy New York City marketer (Karen Fluharty) commented that the Hartman Simons party might be the social event of ICSC.
See you there next year.