It’s been a weird decade for commercial real estate, to say theleast. Retail was no exception.

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Before the crash of Lehman Brothers, we saw people flooding theannual International Council of Shopping Centers conventions in LasVegas who had no business being there in the first place.Developers built lifestyle centers in locales that didn’t needthem. Same-store sales were sky high for retailers that ended upnot existing anymore. The flow of lattes seemed endless.Blockbuster existed. It was if there would be no end to the moneyflowing into the industry.

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Of course, much like the tech boom, it ended.

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So where does retail go from here? Honestly, it doesn’t seemthat bad. Sure, we still have employment problems in this country.But people need clothes and food and entertainment and Christmaswill never go away.

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Looking back on the last 10 years, the biggest story byfar in the retail real estate industry was the failure of GeneralGrowth Properties. General Growth was perceived as the mostsuccessful mall company at the time, maybe not a financially(indeed, it had a ton of debt) like Simon Property Group, orflashy, like the now-bankrupt Mills Corp., which Simon bought afterthat firm failed. But it had prestige, with its amazing Las Vegasportfolio and trophy malls around the country.

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Well, General Growth is back and never actually died. Neitherwill retail. Just don’t expect to light your cigars on $100 billsany time soon.

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