Shopping Centers Today

SEP 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 29 of 59

Jay Drexler National Vice President of Retail Leasing, Oxford Properties Group I t was never Jay Drexler's aim to stay at any company for as long as this. And yet today, 11 years after joining Toronto- based Oxford Properties Group fresh out of college, Drexler is still here, as the firm's national vice president of retail leasing. He has held eight titles during his tenure at Oxford, all of them focused in one way or another on retail leasing. "I had every intention of working for a smaller, entrepreneurial firm," said Drexler, 33. "I didn't originally intend on staying here for as long as I have, but it's been incredibly positive." Drexler oversees Oxford's Canadian portfolio, compris- ing 11 shopping centers and street-front and mixed-use retail space, totaling some 14 million square feet. He leads a 30-member team stationed coast to coast, from Québec City to Vancouver, British Columbia. Oxford has been the real estate arm of the $100 billion Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System since 2003 and has offices in New York City, London, Berlin and Singapore. "There is connectivity of the retail platform throughout those offices," said Drexler, "so I do consult and assist in retail projects in those markets, and in Paris as well." 30 S C T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 Drexler says he hopes to help the pension fund double in size over the next several years. "The great thing about our organization is the commitment to retail [in the] long term and the commitment to adapt, to evolve and to lead, as opposed to following and being reactive," said Drexler. "We have a very change-oriented CEO, and we run a very bottom-up approach to the organization and [to] decision making. It is much more of an entrepreneurial environment, where we allow people to have accountability and responsi- bility over their assets and their various responsibilities." Drexler knew real estate would be his career path since as far back as college; he earned a bachelor's degree in urban development from the University of Western Ontario. He remains motivated by the retail industry itself, he says. "The access to businesses at various stag- es of their growth and development — everything from start-up mom-and-pop entrepreneurial organizations that have great ideas and may need assistance, all the way through to major organizations that are global — and the access to really quite incredible people throughout those businesses is something that continues to be very attrac- tive to me and continues to motivate me," he said. "And frankly, I learn from that." He also knows the value of relationships, as they have helped propel his career. "We are not in a complicated business, but the relationships are paramount, and I have always approached the biggest and smallest relationships alike with trust, respect and honesty," he said. "I think for some it can be overcomplicated, and I always try and go back to simplifying it and approaching the biggest chal- lenges with that kind of context." Drexler is an avid skier and coaches ski racing on week- ends. He is a loyal fan of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and is a volunteer for the team's fundraising and char- ity arm, called Jays Care. "I love getting out in the world and experiencing everything that is out there to offer," he said. "It's a pretty amazing place when you get the free time to go experience it." RELATIONSHIPS ARE PARAMOUNT. I HAVE ALWAYS APPROACHED THE BIGGEST AND SMALLEST RELATION- SHIPS ALIKE WITH TRUST, RESPECT AND HONESTY '' '' JAY DREXLER —JAY DREXLER

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Shopping Centers Today - SEP 2018