Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Insight from ICSC 2024

We’ve been attending the annual Spring ICSC conference for many years, and it’s always a decent view of the what’s happening in the “retail world.” We have been seeing a dramatic shift in the favor of the landlord, and that was definitely a big topic of conversation this year. We are also seeing a certain segment of junior anchors as well as some of the larger boxes get very active again.

A couple of other quick takeaways:

  • The retail apocalypse that was forecasted a decade or so ago, depicting the demise of physical location, is a distant memory. Online and bricks & mortar are now dancing well together. 
  • Interest rates, value and cap rates were the constant talk as well. We’re all hopeful to see improvement with the discount rate in the fall. This is impacting everyone, and it’s not so fun, but getting inflation down closer to the target 2% benefits all.
  • While the balance has shifted more to the landlord side, and retailers are expanding, I find a few still on the sidelines, in the wait-and-see, for different reasons.

To sum it up, the opportunities are still out there, they’re just in flux.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.