SAN DIEGO—Even though the recession is all butbehind us, consumers still want to make sure they're getting thebest deal at retail, which bodes well foroutlet centers, said ICSC chairman StephenLebovitz, president and CEO of CBL &Associates Properties Inc., during ICSC's Western Division Conference here lastweek. During one session, Lebovitz was being interviewed by ICSC'sprogram-planning committee co-chair TimothyJackson, VP of Wallace PropertiesInc.

Jackson asked Lebovitz what trends he was seeing in retail realestate in the various parts of the country where his firm holdsshopping centers. Lebovitz said, “Our centers werebackwards in occupancy during the recession, but we were able tobackfill that space.” He said we are in one of the best scenarioswe've had in years with regard to occupancy.

When Jackson asked him if any retail projects in particularstand out, Lebovitz said when he was at an ICSC conference in SanFrancisco last month, he toured a Westfieldfacility that offered co-working space for incubatingretailers, even space and a heavy investment intechnology. “They're really taking advantage ofthe tech market in San Francisco. We're all adjusting to thechanges happening in this space.”

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on GlobeSt.com and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.