It’s been busy week for us here at Hartman
Simons. After our firm co-sponsored the annual fundraiser for the ICSC Georgia
Political Action on Tuesday
, many of our attorneys spent the following days at
the annual ICSC Southeast Conference, held at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Two
of our lawyers – Bob Simons and Benno Rothschild – moderated panel discussions
at the show.

After the show ended, we had a chance to
talk briefly with Peter Hartman to get his take on where the area retail sector
stands after the ICSC show.


Attorney-hartmanWhat was the overall mood at the ICSC
Southeast Conference, and how did that compare to the past several years?

Hartman: Very positive and much more optimistic than the past several years.

Broadly speaking, after observing the
industry this year and attending the conference, what's your take on how the
retail sector is performing in the Southeast in terms of investment sales,
leasing activity and development? 

Hartman: It seems that the volume of transactions are up substantially and for
the first time in probably four years, there are ground-up projects being
planned and leased.    

What types of properties – urban or
suburban – are retailers seeking the most right now?

Hartman: With a few exceptions (e.g., Avalon in Alpharetta, Ga.), most of the
new deals seem to be in more urban in-fill locations.   

Gaze into your crystal ball for just a
second: In what shape will the southeastern retail sector be in the fall of
2013, when the next ICSC Southeast Conference is held? 

Hartman: I think that if the mood and economic news continue to improve, next
year could be very active in retail real estate.