News From The International Shopping Center And Retail Convention
By William Henry PhD
“Jobless Recovery”, “Urban Food Deserts”, “Demalling” and rationales for “Political Gridlock.”
Once every year retailers, shopping center owners, and their service providers come together in the Nevada desert to discuss industry performance and trends. An array of best-selling authors, media personalities, political pundits, and industry insiders are assembled at “ReCon,” the flagship event of the International Council of Shopping Centers, or ICSC, held in Las Vegas. Tone setters at this year’s conference included best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell; Joan Lunden of Good Morning America fame; former U.S. Senate leaders Trent Lott (R) and Tom Dashle (D); and other industry gurus.
Subjects that are sure to grab headlines include the following:
• Internet Sales Tax Levels the Playing Field
“Sticks and bricks” retailers and shopping center owners lobby for legislation to tax internet retail sales. They appeal to the public’s “sense of fairness” as they push for enactment of a new tax.
• “Gateway Cities” Provide Safe Harbors for Currency Fleeing Asia and Europe
Seattle, San Francisco, and L.A., as well as Boston, NYC, and Philadelphia capture foreign capital before it can make its way into “land-locked” cities of America’s heartland.
• “Jobless Recovery” puts Florida Eighteen Months Behind
Despite a recent indicator showing a net employment gain of 3% in some areas of the state, Florida continues to lag behind due to the housing meltdown.
• “De-Malling” Gives Rise to a “Sense of Place”
Distressed enclosed malls are razed to usher in open air mixed use centers with both retail and multi-family housing components. Social gathering places are fashioned at focal points to engender a “sense of place.” According to author Gladwell, such places are good for psychological well-being and thereby could reduce the risks for heart attacks, cancer, and other catastrophic illnesses.
• Politicians Tackle “Food Deserts” Amidst Urban Sprawl and Promote Wellness
America’s mayors embrace the war on obesity by promoting location criteria that provide grocers, deli owners, and other purveyors of healthy foods incentives to locate in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The mayor of Oklahoma City touts the loss of millions of pounds of human fat in his city and the associated potential savings in healthcare costs.
• Congressional Gridlock Attributable to Air Travel, Fundraising and Media Bias
Former senators Lott and Dashle contend that convenient air travel enables congressmen to forego weekends of conducting the nation’s business in D.C. so that they can now spend four day weekends at home raising cash. The media makes matters worse by polarizing the positions, rather than reporting the news. This rationale brings to mind the adage “What happens in Vegas SHOULD stay in Vegas” when pundits blame circumstances for negligence.
By and large, the 31,000 or so attendees seemed to be in a cheerier mood than last year. Vegas, by the way, can’t conceal a number of abandoned construction projects that may also prompt another admonishment to visitors by Dorothy (of Wizard of Oz fame): “There’s no place like home.”
Reliable Group, LLC Architects AA# 0003523 is a well-known architectural and construction management firm based in Tampa, Florida. RGA is headed by Dr. William Henry, both an architect and certified expert witness who issues opinions and testimony concerning design and construction related matters. Having designed over 250 landmark buildings in the state of Florida, he has represented and testified for both plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving code violations such as associated with design and construction defects as well as American Disabilities Act – ‘ADA’ violations. William Henry, PhD (Bill) may be reached at (813) 226.2220 or email@example.com.
Copyright © 2012 REAL Magazine
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