Honoring 4 under 40, retail real estate’s next generation

under40

Publish Date: May 22, 2017

Honorees of ICSC Next Generation’s third annual 4 under 40 spoke about the future of retail real estate and shared advice for the next generation of leaders during a panel discussion Monday. It was moderated by Jason D. Richter, managing principal with commercial real estate and investment firm Hudson, himself a 4 Under 40 honoree in 2016.

“If there’s something I’m relatively proud of, it’s just encouraging people that it’s a great industry, and to grow we need to get young, great talent into our industry,” said Sam Ankin, 37, co-founder and managing principal of Northpond Partners, LLC, a Chicago-based investor and operator of retail and urban mixed-use properties.

Ankin noted that his mentor was Bill Shiner, founder and CEO of The Shiner Group. “Everything in life I think is timing related, and I learned a ton from him. Being able to grow up in the 2000s, when retail was rapidly expanding, there were a ton of deals getting done,” he said. “To work for someone who was super disciplined at that time taught a lot of lessons going into the downturn of 2008-2009.”

Andrea Olshan, 37, is the CEO of Olshan Properties, (formerly Mall Properties Inc.) which manages 10 million square feet of retail properties, containing regional centers, community centers, urban retail, and power centers.

She is the daughter of the firm’s founder, Morton Olshan, but her path into real estate was not preordained. “During college I wanted to explore investment banking but I ended up in the real estate department as a summer intern at Lazard and I really loved it.”

Running a third-generation company has its challenges, she said. “I hold myself accountable. What I’ve always tried to bring to the business is a level of rigor and discipline. My advice to anyone entering the business is to be prepared and do your homework.”

Ross Bailey, founder and CEO of Appear Here, an online marketplace for short-term retail space based in London, is the youngest of the honorees at age 24. In April the firm opened its first U.S. office in New York City, and has the backing of Simon Property Group chairman and CEO, David Simon, among others.

Bailey said he got his start in retail at age 19, when he opened a temporary shop in London to sell T-shirts commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. That led to a discovery of demand by other retailers for temporary space, and Appear Here was launched at the end of 2013. Last year in London he had 4,000 stores.

Still, Bailey does not view himself as a strict disruptor of the retail establishment. “This is the way things should be,” he said. “It’s about giving people access, it’s about widening the pool of people who could be exceptional retailers.”

Ross Cooper, 34, president and chief investment officer at Kimco Realty Corp., is also part of a next-generation family business. His grandfather is Kimco founder Milton Cooper. He started with Kimco as an analyst in the acquisitions department in 2006.

“I’m a big believer in the Golden Rule,” said Cooper. I also think you should be prompt and responsive. If I’m not early, I’m late. And if you send me an email I will answer it right away.”

Look for a profile on the 4 Under 40 honorees in the July issue of Shopping Centers Today magazine.