NEW YORK CITY – Stirling Properties, a full-service real estate advisory firm operating across the south, is exercising greater flexibility as it navigates rising construction costs passed through from steel tariffs, shortage of skilled labor and inflation of construction materials, said Donna Smith, senior vice president of asset management and new business at Stirling, at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Deal Making Conference 2019.

Due to labor shortages, particularly in the Southeast region where the firm operates, Stirling has had to actively work with clients to redirect costs from working with a freight that is farther away from a development or redevelopment site to execute projects.

Generally, dealing with changing variables around rising construction costs, Stirling has had to put its head down with clients, including tenants they represent, to change a project’s development or redevelopment design to manage unexpected costs from tariffs and mounting expenses from raw materials, while maintaining a project’s intended purpose and use, according to Smith. “We had to be flexible with tenants because we would have a whole different design and tenants would have theirs,” Smith said. “Ultimately, you have to massage a layout to work for them.”

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Mariah Brown

Mariah Brown is the New York Bureau Chief and Real Estate Reporter for, covering the New York Metro area, Northeast region and national real estate trends. She is responsible for producing multi-media content, including articles, podcasts and video. Before joining the GlobeSt team, she served as a New York Times fellow, reported for the Associated Press in New York and Philadelphia and several other New York City-based outlets.

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