Below are some observations from the 2014 ICSC in Las Vegas:

Activity level continues to increase from year to year over the low point of 2008. Attendees all said that they were very busy, consensus was that the strong retail market would continue until at least the next year’s RECon. Attendance was low on Sunday as people seemed to still be adjusting to the new schedule.

Increase of merchant developers in the market looking for JV equity for BTS deals and take-outs. Credit, term and interest rates are still driving factors in cap rate compression; more institutional investors are looking down stream at lessor credit and lease term for yield; achieving better yields recasting leases on short term deals and then selling into 1031 exchange market. Developers are more active and talking about larger build-to-suite projects.

REIT sector ARC is the 900 lb. gorilla, there was a lot of interest about what’s next for the REIT sector. With other merger and acquisitions seems like there could be a thaw in the sale/leaseback sector with the announcement Red Lobster deal. Will other retailers look to capitalize?

Definitely talk/concern about proposal to do away with 1031 exchange regulations; something to watch and there is industry wide participation via PAC etc. to politicians. There was a feeling could create velocity for developers/sellers selling into 1031 exchange market.

Single tenant net lease real estate is desirable sector for multifamily investors who are reallocating and moving into passive management vehicles for both estate and tax planning purposes. Felt like the new show format inhibited some on floor and after hours networking opportunities.