Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Retail Mood Lifts at MAPIC

The global footprint of the Wisconsin Real Estate Program continues to make an impact around the world. While Department Chair François Ortalo-Magné, was in Hong Kong presenting at the MIPIM ASIA Conference (see previous posts), Faculty Associate Joe Walsh traveled to Cannes, France to participate in the annual MAPIC Conference. With over 6,500 attendees, MAPIC focuses on the retail sector of the global real estate market.

During the conference closing session, Walsh presented the findings of a survey of MAPIC attendees which was conducted and compiled by him, with assistance from several students from HEC Paris, the #1 business school in Europe (FT). (The selected HEC students studied real estate finance in France under Ortalo-Magné and Tim Riddiough last spring through a unique partnership between HEC and the Wisconsin Real Estate Program.)

Survey results confirmed a renewed sense of optimism in the international retail market. For example, results showed 53% of those polled felt more optimistic at the end of MAPIC than they did at the start. Asked how they felt the market perspectives had changed over the past 12 months, over 65% of retailers expressed optimism, while 35% of developers said they felt an improvement in the retail real estate sector. International retailers polled before and during MAPIC 2009, report that they believe the market has bottomed out and that 2010 will see a significant recovery in certain retail sectors and territories.

Chris Igwe of CB Richard Ellis, who also presented during the closing session, noted, “There is a future. There is hope. What’s been interesting here in Cannes is the mood, which is clearly positive.” He advised developers that understanding retailers’ needs is increasingly important. “In our industry, a lot has been said about ‘build it and they will come.’ You can’t just build anything today, because nobody will necessarily buy it up. We need to dialogue more to understand what has worked and what hasn’t.”

Wisconsin’s involvement in MAPIC builds on a long history of
collaboration with REED MIDEM, the coordinators of the annual MIPIM Conference in Cannes, France, as well as a unique partnership with HEC for the Global Real Estate Master (GREM) degree program. This innovative program brings together students from HKUST, HEC Paris and INCAE for a semester of intensive real estate training at Wisconsin. The first class will commence in Spring 2011. Visit the GREM program website at bus.wisc.edu/grem.

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