On the Road with Marinus Dijkman (REP)

'After the Gold Rush,' was the theme chosen by the International Council of Shopping Centers ICSC European Conference, held in Prague, Czech Republic, from April 28-29, welcoming some 600 attendees. Real Estate Publishers (REP) was represented by Marinus Dijkman Editor-in-Chief and Connie Moser, Senior Editor, who had numerous opportunities to speak with many of the industry players in attendance. The buzz we heard was: the recovery, back to basics, a return to our roots, humility, fundamentals, customer focus, renovations and innovations.
By Marinus Dijkman, Editor in Chief, Real Estate Publishers (REP)

MarcusWild ICSCPrague

Delegates and speakers are welcomed to the ICSC Conference, After the Gold Rush, by Marcus Wild, Chairman ICSC European Advisory Board and CEO SES Spar European Shopping Centers, Austria.

After the Gold Rush
Rising construction costs, a drop in consumption of up to 50 % in Baltic markets, banks stopped financing in many regions, and in Turkey retailers threatened to strike and 'stop shop' because they could not pay.

The general consensus is that the worst is over, but proceeding with caution is advisable given the uncertainties of the future, if the shopping center industry is to successfully adapt itself and rebuild.

Here are some snaps and sound bites:
• "After the Gold Rush, the non professional players have disappeared."
• "Now the spreadsheet acrobats have gone, we need those with industry experience and knowledge who are not afraid of innovation and creativity," said Joerg Banzhaf, Chair of the 2010 European Conference and Managing Director of ECE Projektmanagement in Germany

Shopping centers were built in locations pre-2007 which were never going to be sustainable in the long term.
• "It was 'Fools Gold'."
• "Some centers should never have been built."
• "There is not enough good quality space so saying there is too much spare retail space is misleading." said Glenn Aaronson, CEO of Multi Development, and continued:
• "The principals of real estate investment haven't changed – it's about research and knowledge., said Chaim Katzman, Chairman of Gazit Inc, Equity One Inc and Atrium Eurpean Real Estate Limited. He added,
• "We don't ne

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