Since the publication of “Improving Tenant Mix: A Guide for Commercial District Practitioners”, we have been quite busy making sure that folks in the field know about this great – and free – resource! 

Most recently, the International Downtown Association (IDA) held a webinar and I had the opportunity to serve on a panel with colleagues Cindy Stewart (ICSC), Joel Dabu (Taubman Companies) and Davon Barbour (City of Hollywood, FL). Joel works for a nationally recognized high-end mall developer, and provided great insight into how they approach retailers. Davon shared how his City approached retail attraction along one particular corridor, including the importance of public engagement in defining corridor needs. It was fascinating to juxtapose both public and private sector approaches to this work and to see how much they overlap.  A few things we all agreed on – the importance of knowing your market and customer; the importance of relationship building; and participation in ICSC trade shows. The podcast can be purchased for download on IDA’s website here

On that note, earlier in the season I presented at RECon, ICSC’s largest trade show held every year in Las Vegas. If there is a place to be in May for those in the retail industry, it is RECon (short for Real Estate Convention), with over 36,000 attendees from all over the world. The session, entitled “Optimizing Tenant Mix for Downtown Business Districts” offered practitioners an overview of the book and offered a practical step-by-step process for advancing retail attraction in traditional downtown and “Main Street” urban environments. A number of attendees followed up with us directly, with one graciously saying…

“I attended your session ‘Optimizing Tenant Mix for Downtown Business Districts” at RECon. I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it was “meaty”, as in I took home practicable and actionable information. Your talk was one of the only talks at RECon that seemed to understand that solutions must be customized to the market and that some markets are challenged by economics, demographics (particularly household income) and other constraints unique to each location.” – Michele Dempsey, Scranton, PA


And back in February the Philadelphia Association of CDCs and Philadelphia LISC invited me to speak to a full house of Philly-based corridor managers as part of a 1/2 day workshop. Our colleagues in Philly did a great job marrying the content from the book with a panel of practitioners who do this work locally and then topped this off with a series of round tables organized around the themes of the book. I always encourage using the content in an interactive way that gets people engaged and talking to one another – and it was a pleasure to see it come off without a hitch. 

Our tour inevitably continues…we are thrilled to have been invited back by ICSC to participate at the Wharton University of Shopping Centers in Philadelphia on March 7th, 2016. We’ll keep you posted on registration as the date nears. It would be great to see you there!

If your city or organization would like Larisa to come speak to your community, please contact us at info@larisaortizassociates.com. 

Authored by Larisa Ortiz