ICSC: International Council of Shopping Centers

Deal Making for the Public Sector

Hone Your Deal Making Approach infographic

What to do Before Attending Deal Making Events

Do your homework and come prepared to talk about the specifics of your community:

  • Location of the development site in relation to the available population.
  • Access provided by the existing street and highway infrastructure.
  • Traffic counts on adjacent streets and nearby arterial thoroughfares and highways.
  • Market or trade area for the development site.
  • Permitting process in rural or tertiary markets.
  • If you don’t control the property, do you have a relationship with the owner to provide site access?
  • Population within the primary trade area (cultural diversity, households owned vs. rented, average household income, spendable income, etc.)
  • Public transportation access to the development site.
  • Other major employers or large institutions in the area.
  • Any other community-specific information that might attract development.

Hone Your Pitch

  • Think of this as your elevator speech (you just may be in an elevator as you market your community).
  • Be concise. You’ll have 5-10 minutes to make your story stand out from others offering a similar pitch.
  • Prepare a one-page fact sheet, including contact information, as a leave behind.

How to Have a Successful Meeting

1. Make Appointments:

  • Have appointments made and confirmed before attending a deal making event.
  • Overscheduling is better than under-scheduling. Meet with as many developers, brokers and retail contacts as possible.
  • Use the ICSC website to research event attendees. Many retailers have specific site selection criteria, unique expansion plans or evolving business plans. The more you know about prospective partners, the better the conversations will go.

2. Build Contacts:

  • Bring business cards.
  • Don’t forget to pick up business cards from contacts you meet.
  • Collect available literature from prospective developers or retailers.
  • Follow-up with contacts with a tailored thank you note, key takeaways from your conversation, and additional information.

Showcasing Your Community for Opportunities

  • Highlight what you’re looking for and your ultimate goals on all communication tools including your website and marketing materials.
  • Present your site data in a visual way if possible. Know what information your targets seek and make it easy for them to find.
  • Consider exhibiting your community at ICSC deal making forums or other events.
  • Many ICSC events have a P3 Pavilion (area of the floor dedicated to forming public-private partnerships) or you may seek out available territory in other areas of the exhibit hall that you find attractive to your mission.

Offering Incentives

Public-private partnerships are often the reason that many projects break ground. They create an environment of collaboration between two partners, which leads to further economic development because of buy-in toward success on both sides.

Retail incentives are not all financial and can serve as the key factor in attracting the private sector to pay attention to your retail development project.

  • Determine whether your community is able to have incentives.
  • If so, focus on how they can enhance the greater good as you market them both to the private sector and to your community, as they can often be misunderstood.
  • Communicate the benefits of these partnerships.
  • Examine closely when and if you should offer the incentive.

Helpful Terms in Deal Making Defined

P3: Public-Private Partnership, which may be within any industry when the public and private sectors collaborate on a project.

BIDs or BIAs: Business Improvement District or Business Improvement Area are non-profits funded through additional taxes to the local businesses within the defined area and provide additional services such as street cleaning, events, beautification and even capital improvement projects.

Demographic Analysis: Retailers and developers evaluate the vital statistics and socioeconomic facts of any given market area.

ECDD: Economic and Community Development Department is the municipal organization promoting and managing growth and development for a community.

Economic development: Creation of wealth through which community benefits are created.

EDC: Economic Development Corporations are non-profits that promote development within certain geographic areas.

EIA: Economic Incentive Agreement is an agreement between a municipal government and private partner to share the profits or municipal taxes generated by the development.

GLA: Gross Leasable Area is the amount of floor space that can be rented.

LOI: Letter of Intent is an outline of an agreement between two or more parties and is similar to a MOU (memorandum of understanding).

NOI: Net Operation Income is all the income minus all the expenses of a property.

QSR: Quick service restaurants or casual dining.

RDA: Re-Development Agreement between the public and private sector that outlines the terms of the partnership and the responsibilities of both parties.

Retail Inventory: Stock of all the types of retail available to any given market.

Retail Leakage: Results when community members spend money outside of their community or when money spent within the community is transferred out. This commonly happens when the retail needs of a community are not met.

RFI: Request for Information refers to basic facts about a project and is generally a first step.

RFP/RFQ: Request for Proposal or Request for Qualifications for any given project.

Site Criteria: The specific requirements (square footage, parking, building type, signage and demographics) a tenant desires to consider a location or site.

Tenant Representative: The brokerage firm that has been hired to exclusively find sites for a specific retailer within a certain geographic area.

Triple Net Lease: The tenant is responsible for all property tax, maintenance and insurance.

Workforce: Describes the labor pool of any given area.


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