Jim Edwards

Senior Associate
Velocity Retail

Years with company: 1
Years as ICSC member: 7

What is the biggest issue facing shopping center real estate?
While the Phoenix market is improving, vacancy rates are declining, and leasing activity is up, we still have an abundance of vacant big boxes. More than 275 big boxes are vacant in the Phoenix area. Many of these are not viable for retail use any longer.

How have consumer attitudes affected the retail market?
When consumer attitudes are positive, retail sales increase. During the recession, spending was down, and this has an obvious effect on retail sales. With improvements in the job market, economy and local housing values, we should see improvement in leasing.

What was your most significant deal in 2013?
Our company recently was awarded 1,534,276 SF of retail owned by Northstar Realty Finance Group. I am part of the team responsible for marketing and leasing this portfolio.