Shopping Centers Today

AUG 2015

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 54 of 59

New York State Teachers' Retirement System.) "My early career was split be- tween value creation and risk mitiga- tion," McLean said. She became chief investment officer in 1997 and then president in 2002, at which point she unloaded many of the firm's smaller market holdings. "The investment mar- kets were beginning to become very ag- gressive," McLean said. "We took the opportunity to sell 49 assets that were primarily located in smaller second- ary markets." This proved to be smart: Those were the markets hit hardest in the recession of 2007. "Jodie has really good intuition as it relates to real estate and investing," said Jeff Chamberlain, vice president of Publix Super Markets. "She has a good gauge of areas that are chang- ing. The centers we've been in have all been really successful for both our companies. … I have a great deal of re- spect for Jodie. Anything she offered would be given serious consideration." With McLean at the helm, Edens is today at the forefront of another retail real estate trend: investing in urban re- tail locations, such as Boston's South Bay Center, which has a Target and a Home Depot as anchors and where the company hopes to add up to 500 units of housing. In Washington, D.C., the firm opened Union Market in 2010, with a 42,000-square-foot film center and four stories of residen- tial space. "In 2011, for the first time in nearly 100 years, the rate of urban population growth outpaced suburban growth, reversing a trend that held steady for every decade since the incep- tion of the automobile," McLean said. "Since 2012, demand has outpaced supply in the urban areas that we oper- ate. This trend is expected to continue until 2019, when supply should out- pace demand for space." But for McLean, the community connection remains the most impor- tant aspect of the firm's developments. She keeps letters from consumers who write to relate how they have benefited from Edens' centers. One of the most moving of these came from a resident of Newtown, Conn., site of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Edens' Sand Hill Plaza turned a vacant storefront into a site that functioned as a gathering place for the community, com- plete with a complimentary video arcade and snacks. This, wrote the resident, was the first moment following the tragedy in which parents could feel relaxed and safe enough to finally let go of their chil- dren's hands. It is just such moments, McLean says, that spur her on every day. "I love going to one of our centers and watch- ing two people bump into each other and catch up," she said. "Communi- ties thrive when people connect with one another." S C T A u g u s t 2 0 1 5 / S C T 55

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Shopping Centers Today - AUG 2015