13 Jul A Recap of the Michigan ICSC Idea Exchange in Detroit
In 2017, the Michigan International Council of Shopping Centers Idea Exchange (ICSC) was held at Detroit’s Cobo Hall after a sequence of unpredictable events. This year it was on purpose. For more than a decade, the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi hosted ICSC, making its move to Detroit a big deal. From the perspective of our Detroit based firm, it’s wonderful to have several hundred commercial real estate professionals come downtown and open their eyes to this brave new world. The acknowledgement from ICSC that Detroit is the place to hold this annual conference is something I have long hoped for, and now feel will continue here for a long time to come.
Attendance this year seemed particularly strong and not just with the usual suspects. Along with all the familiar faces there were plenty of new ones. Some from out of town, and others who are new to the industry. Most refreshing is the presence of a new generation of commercial real estate professionals. The influx of talent is a great sign for Detroit, Michigan, and the industry at large.
The ICSC committee did a great job of cultivating interesting speakers from around our region. Warren Evans, Mark Hackel and L. Brooks Patterson were all scheduled for the first panel discussion. Even Ben Carson was rumored to make an appearance. Sadly, three of those four did not make it – unfortunate to say the least.
The early session topics covered significant questions like:
“What were the greatest recent accomplishments in your county?”
“If given $500 million to invest in your county, where would you put the dollars?”
The county representatives who did attend delivered their respective messages; however, the messages weren’t as powerful as they would have been first hand.
Luckily, for all who attended, Mayor Duggan did not skip out for a more important lunch. He engaged the crowd with positive news of the city and the deals in process across the 7.2 square miles that encompass downtown Detroit. He mentioned more than 10,000 residential housing units are under development and spoke about the full city street lighting restoration project. Additionally, and possibly most exciting, he remarked that Detroit is one of six cities in the running to host the NCAA final four! Members of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy discussed grappling with the rapid change in the city and reaching out to professionals that are curious to find new ways to market the region, state, city and neighborhoods to help carve an identity we can all be proud of.
Industry conference days are great for a host of reasons including the education, the networking, the deals and the friendships. ICONIC was a proud sponsor of ICSC in Detroit and we will continue to do so as long as we can walk to the show!
If you’re interested in learning more about ICONIC Real Estate, contact us.