CSA conference debuts real estate track; Container Store, Starbucks, Macy’s among retail speakers

New York -- The SPECS conference, presented each year by Chain Store Age, will debut a real estate track as part of the 49th annual event. Held in Dallas from March 17 to March 20 at the Hilton Anatole, SPECS will feature real estate workshops designed toward educating and informing the retail development executives who attend the SPECS conference.

On Monday, March 18, from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Andy Graiser will host a session on optimizing a real estate portfolio. Turnaround specialist Graiser, who is co-president of A&G Realty Partners, will be joined by Jon Graub, Executive VP of Real Estate for Charming Shoppes, to discuss the acquisition by Ascena and the subsequent decision to shutter the Fashion Bug chain. The presenters will also discuss trends in portfolio optimization and ways the right-size the retail ship.

Also on Monday, from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Forest City’s Emerick Corsi and Macy’s Harry Koehler will discuss “Making Mixed-Use Developments Work for You.” Corsi, who is president of Forest City Real Estate Services, and Koehler, who is operating VP – Site Planning & Traffic for Macy’s, will discuss the advantages and challenges to opening stores in mixed-use projects.

Completing the real estate track will be a 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. session on Monday: “Smaller Stores, Bigger Markets – the Advantages and Obstacles to Urban Growth.” Chain Store Age columnist and president/CEO of Jeff Green Partners, Jeff Green, will moderate a weighty panel of retailers, including Valerie Richardson, VP Real Estate, The Container Store; Kim Williams, Store Development Director, South Central, for Starbucks; and Lisa Burbey, Real Estate Manager for Chipotle. The team will outline their own experiences in urban settings, as well as provide tips for downtown success.

To view the full program and register for SPECS, visit www.specsshow.com.