LAS VEGAS-In this interview from the show floor of RECon 2014,Faith Hope Consolo, chair of the DouglasElliman Retail Group, takes us on a North American tour ofsorts. City by city, she ticks off the hot and up-and-comingmarkets in both the US and Canada. And some of those markets justmight surprise you. Of course, Consolo also gives some specialconsideration to her own backyard, the always-hot Manhattanscene.



| Faith, in an interview I just had,the executive said that while he's optimistic about retail'sdirection, he's not ready to dip his toe into the water yet. What are you seeing?


Faith Hope Consolo: You have to lookat history. Whenever there's a downturn, there's always somefallout. But retail always bounces back. Think of the most recentdownturn. We were still able to bring some new retailers all overthe United States and especially in New York, and do deals thatwere very favorable.

| Let's go around the country. If you were a retailer, where would you want tobe?


Consolo: Retailers today are muchsavvier. They're going where there's opportunity. It's no longerabout demographics alone. The top markets that I am seeing—otherthan New York—are Miami, Chicago, Boston, and I'm going to surpriseyou with Seattle. Then we go up to Canada. Toronto first and thenMontreal. And then we come back down, to Texas, because for somereason, Texas survives everything, storms and downturns,everything. Dallas first and then Houston.

| What are you seeing in terms ofup-and-coming markets?


Consolo: Markets that areup-and-coming include Denver, Malibu, the San Fernando Valley. SanFrancisco is strong but it's so volatile and changes in a New Yorkminute. You can look north of Boston and see a very strong shoppingcorridor. The Carolinas are hot. Atlanta is interesting. They beattheir chests a lot but they really have to get their downtowntogether.

| So let's talk about NewYork. Hot, obviously. But what's theheadline?


Consolo: We're seeing something wehaven't seen in several years: menswear, all types of menswear,casual, designer, everything. And anything having to do withaccessories.

| So what's theoutlook?


Consolo: I wouldn't be a broker if Iwasn't eternally optimistic. But you know what? We've done reallywell in not-so-great times. I've been through maybe fivedownturns, and I know how to shift gears and follow the trends. I'mvery optimistic. In good times and in bad, we put on our tap shoesand we dance as fast as we can.

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John Salustri

John Salustri has covered the commercial real estate industry for nearly 25 years. He was the founding editor of, and is a four-time recipient of the Excellence in Journalism award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.