Texas ICSC Members Dine with New Mayor of Houston, Discuss Future of City and Its Retail Component

HOUSTON, TX — A change in leadership, such as just happened in Houston with the recent election of Sylvester Turner as Mayor, can have significant impact on the local business community.

With that possibility in mind, a group of ICSC members recently enjoyed an evening of fine dining conversation with the Mayor and his Deputy Director of Economic Development, Gwendolyn Tillotson. Hosted by Point of Sale Outdoor Media (POSO) President, Raymond Rodriguez, and organized with the help of International Council of Shopping Centers Texas lobbyist, Dana Chiodo, the group’s main focus was understanding the Mayor’s challenges and how they relate to the retail real estate industry. The guest list represented a good cross section of the local retail real estate business; in attendance were CEO Mark Cover and Director Michelle Moudry from Hines Realty, Regency Centers VP Abe Pacetti, Brixmor Property Group SVP Michael Axelrad, and Weingarten Realty CEO, and past ICSC Chairman, Drew Alexander, along with Rodriguez and Chiodo.

For its part, the ICSC group brought deep, industry-relevant insight to the evening’s discussion. With a wealth of knowledge about Texas retail trends and how retail benefits municipalities, the members understand the need for thriving shopping centers in Houston. Shopping centers create jobs and add to property values and neighborhood appearances, while generating a critically needed revenue stream for cities. The types of jobs in retail range from entry-level to management, and in Texas total 1,033,410 positions*. Retail sales tax revenues benefit entire municipalities; in Texas, $14.9 billion* was collected. These benefits pair well with Mayor Turner’s goal to make Houston the most livable city in America. (*2014 totals; most recent data currently available.)

Overall, the group found common ground with the shared goal of improving the quality of retail shopping in Houston, and the need for technological updates and improvements in sustainability and design to improve consumers’ experiences; Point of Sale Outdoor Media, for instance, has brought 100% sustainable, solar powered advertising signage to shopping center public areas.

About the ICSC

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. For more information about ICSC visit: www.icsc.org and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to www.thecenterofshopping.com.