Shopping Centers Today

JUL 2018

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

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IMAGE CREDIT GOES HERE G ridlocked roads, rickety bridges, overburdened transit systems and other infrastructure problems act as a significant drag on retail sales, experts say, even though this issue draws far less attention than the supposed threat posed by e-commerce. is is why a newly formed task force — created and supported by ICSC's Office of Global Public Policy — is focusing on the need for infrastructure projects that can spur development and make it easier for people to go out to shop and spend. e 14-member task force held its inaugural meeting last month, in Washington, D.C. "It's made up of a host of people from around the coun- try with expertise in real estate development, infrastruc- ture financing and other disciplines," said April Anderson Lamoureux, who heads the task force and is president of Anderson Strategic Advisors, a Boston-based economic development firm. "Our task is to consider the state of U.S. infrastructure and seek opportunities for change that will support the retail and development sectors. We expect to continue this effort until we see a package of legislation introduced and passed through Congress." According to the American Society of Civil Engineers' most recent Infrastructure Report Card, the cumulative let- ter grade for U.S. infrastructure is an eye-widening D-plus, based on the conditions of 16 infrastructure categories that ASCE charts every four years. is latest report, published in March 2017, does cite some encouraging progress in rail development and six other categories. But the U.S. must now invest nearly $4.6 trillion — about $2 trillion more than originally planned — if the country is to boost its grade to a B by 2025, the report's authors write. By ASCE's calculations, inaction on distressed infra- structure already costs the typical American some $3,400 per year in lost disposable income, according to Brian Pallasch, the professional body's managing director of government relations and infrastructure initiatives. "e average person is losing hundreds of dollars per year just sitting in traffic in an urban area," he said. "Failing or underperforming infrastructure — whether it is traffic, power outages or leaky pipes losing millions of J U L Y 2 0 1 8 / S C T 33 101

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