Shopping Centers Today International

NOV 2015

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

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With Multi Corp. now aiming to extend its port- folio beyond the 90-plus shopping centers it manages in Europe and Turkey, Dechesne appears likely to be able to realize those desires. "We'll do some major ac- quisitions, hopefully, in the Dutch and Belgian mar- ket," she said. Reached by telephone at her office last month, on only her second day on the job, Dechesne sounded upbeat, though also realistic about the chal- lenges of trying to expand the 16-asset portfolio she oversees. Given the high density of retail space in the Low Countries, Dechesne acknowledges that RanÇoisE DEChEsnE spEnT hER fiRsT 12 years at MaB Development as a director, developing new retail and mixed-use projects. Then, after this hague, netherlands–based development firm was sold and its new owner opted to do away with the real estate assets, she became CEo for two years, liquidating the portfolio and shutting the company down. Today, a de- cade and a half later, the 51-year-old is man- aging director of amsterdam-based Multi Corp.'s netherlands and Belgium divisions, and she seems visibly glad to be focusing on acquisitions and development once again. "now i want to build up, i want to be active, [to] let everything grow," she said. pursuing growth will not be as easy as when there was more room to build. "The Dutch market is quite full," she said. "There are a lot of square meters of retail when you com- pare it to our total inhabitants." Ground-up growth may be easier in some of the firm's 11 outside markets, whereas closer to home, Dechesne says, the way ahead will involve refurbishing rather than building. "i think the name of the game is more the redevelopment of shopping cen- ters right now," she said. "it has to do with optimizing the tenant mix and fully focusing on the customers in existing centers." as to that, keeping track of what the F portfolio tune-up Mul Chesne relishes upgraDing properties in the netherlanDs anD belgiuM By Bennett Voyles n e w s m a k e r s 54 s C T / n o v e M b e r 2 0 1 5

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