DC Delegation Conducts Another Successful Trade Mission to ICSC RECon
Last month, Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilmembers, city officials and community partners joined the Washington, DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) RECon Convention in Las Vegas – the largest retail industry convention in the world. The DC delegation joined over 34,000 retail industry professionals at the convention to communicate to the entire retail development community that DC is a primary growth market with major development projects and neighborhoods ready to support new retail investment.
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According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, “over 50% of the industry’s annual retail real estate leases are conceived or consummated during RECon.” In two days, the District delegation held nearly 80 meetings with retail and restaurant representatives and talked with over 350 individuals who walked into the District’s booth about the unique opportunities available only in the city. One such unique opportunity is at Saint Elizabeths East Gateway Pavilion where retailers can open a new temporary “pop-up” concept and test the market for a $1 rent!
This year, the delegation focused their efforts on promoting retail opportunities in Wards 5, 7, and 8, DC’s Great Streets, as well as major development projects throughout the city – Saint Elizabeths East Gateway Pavilion, Walter Reed, the Strand Theater. Meetings were held with a variety of retailers including restaurants, grocery stores, gyms, movie theaters, pharmacies, specialty stores and big-box retailers.
The District government and the WDCEP’s attendance at ICSC conventions for the past 15 years have led to deals that landed many of the popular retailers and restaurants seen in the District today, including Harris Teeter, Target, Best Buy, Trader Joes, among many others. Since the convention, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the WDCEP have followed-up on meetings held at the convention to move forward deals throughout the city.