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Perspective

Over the past year, I have highlighted the significant demand for development professionals across all sectors. With the development cycle in full swing, the need for seasoned talent continues at a feverish pace. However, the professional currently in hyper-demand, and in very short supply, is the mixed-use specialist–the seasoned pro who can put together a complex puzzle of retail, residential, hospitality, entertainment and office and somehow make it all work in a high-stakes, long-cycle deal. In the business section of the Sunday New York Times, there was an article on the strength of the retail REIT sector, pointing out that mall owners are now focusing on so-called lifestyle centers that combine a variety of uses in an urban, mixed-use setting. The conundrum is that anyone capable of driving one of these projects to a successful completion is, in all likelihood, already fully engaged, thus making for a very shallow pool of talent indeed.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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