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The retail sector is enjoying exceptionally strong growth, and the prognosis is excellent as the economy continues to fuel consumer demand. However, REIT and private retail owners no longer seem satisfied with the core growth of their portfolios. Their focus now is on squeezing more value out of their properties by pursuing mixed-use developments that integrate hotels, office buildings and multifamily in, on and around their properties. This is being played-out in a range of assets, from premier super-regional properties to suburban malls in transition. The trend is also fueling demand for development talent that can bring the new-product expertise to the retail team. This comes at a time when the market is already red hot for developers. However, the mall guys have a real advantage in attracting talent because they often control great sites that are prime for these strategies. It’s an exceptional career play to be the product specialist in these dynamic companies.

Anthony J. LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders

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