After reflecting on the Las Vegas ICSC Convention recently, I think the biggest impression received from the hectic 3 day event was the upbeat, energetic attitude that was present in the people at the show and the show itself. There was activity from retailers, pad users, and discounters which created enthusiasm from landlords, capital providers, and brokers. One consistent theme echoed through the event: it takes longer to get deals done now. While retailer expansion is gaining momentum, every step of the development process is more labor and capital intensive. I would have to agree with a lot of the participants stating things are getting better with our economy, albeit slowly, but the European markets loom as a dark and not so distant cloud. The people we met with were excited about their projects and the tenants they are working with while optomistically looking for new projects with these tenants in the near future.
Based on the experience and influx of information given at the ReCon ICSC 2012, I would say "We are not where we want to be, but we're on our way".
I foresee ReCon 2013 to be an explosive event and Net Lease Alliance is already making preparation to be a part of it.