Miami Broker Marc Gilbert spent two dozen years at Cushman & Wakefield before taking the top job at ShopCore Properties, a subsidiary of Blackstone. But ultimately, the lure of being CEO of a large retail owner didn’t compare to closing deals in South Florida and beyond.
Gilbert returned to Based in Chicago Cushman & Wakefield’s Miami Office last week after serving eight months as general manager of ShopCore and running his own store for six months. In addition to returning to his former vice president title, he was named Cushman’s Retail Capital Markets Group Leader in the Americas.
In his new role, Gilbert will work to grow Cushman & Wakefield’s retail investment platform and work with partners Adam Feinstein and Mitch Halpern on sales transactions.
Gilbert first joined Cushman & Wakefield in 1997 when he sold Venturvest Realty, the brokerage firm he had founded eight years prior, to Cushman.
“When I came in in 1997, after selling the business to them, I thought I would be there four or five years. So my initial thought didn’t pan out,” Gilbert said in an interview.
After leaving ShopCore last year, Gilbert said he realized he had built a strong network inside Cushman & Wakefield as well as outside the company that would difficult to create elsewhere. So when the opportunity to come back presented itself, he took it.
“I really felt like I was coming home, and I really felt like it was my best bet to be successful in the future because I already knew the culture, that I loved, and that. It was kind of the natural place to continue in my brokerage business,” Gilbert said. “What I realized I had missed when I left was the camaraderie and the ability to know exactly where to go for resources, knowledge and expertise. Why should I, in the middle of my career, trying to replicate that again?”
During his time at ShopCore, which he left after discovering the job wasn’t right for him, Gilbert said he saw firsthand the power of Blackstone’s investment portfolio which includes multiple types of commercial properties and a variety of operating companies. Information shared between Blackstone’s businesses gives the investment giant “a unique advantage, and it benefits everything Blackstone does,” he said.
“Their ability to cross-reference data from all of their different platforms and investments and synthesize it into trends helps each of their investments improve,” Gilbert said. “If you think of ShopCore and retail, Blackstone invests in all types of properties. So as the industrial space grows, they can see tenants grow, which may indicate to them that other retailers grow. They’re invested in retail businesses, so they can see retailers grow.”
A third-generation Miamian and an MBA graduate from the University of Florida, Gilbert got into commercial real estate after working at an accounting firm that’s now part of KPMG. He went into business with a client accounting firm, then started his own brokerage firm afterwards.
As Gilbert prepares for his trip to Nevada later this month for the 2022 ICSC retail show in Las Vegas, he said the state of retail is strong outside of Class B malls. and C, in part because the coronavirus “has made retail more successful.”
“This is the first time in my career where I’ve really witnessed a partnership between tenants and landlords and how to get through this pandemic and come out stronger,” Gilbert said. “It was a real partnership. There were a lot of give and take on both sides. Landlords had to be flexible. Tenants had to be nimble and adapt the way they ran their business for a long time. Retailers understood what they were trying to do.”
On the retail investment side, demand for properties remains strong, although the rising cost of borrowing to buy properties may affect this, he said.
“It’s gotten a little choppier due to interest rate increases, but homeowners who want to buy good retail products are still leaning, and prices are still finding balance no matter where interest rates are. interest,” Gilbert said. “So today it’s unchanged, but I think the Fed is going to raise interest rates another 50 basis points in the next couple of meetings. Maybe that will have an impact, but maybe not. .”