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Retail Real Estate Jobs – Lawyers in Shopping Center Redevelopment

Thanks to the contracts and other legal skills involved in the work, real estate careers make for popular law graduate jobs when you don’t want to be a lawyer. Within the real estate career world, you’ll find commercial real estate jobs, which include retail real estate jobs and the interesting niche of shopping center redevelopment.

The role of a shopping center redevelopment director is a hybrid position between retail leasing and real estate development, blending work that includes legal, construction, and business/sales.

Today’s guest, Marc Newman, a shopping center redevelopment director based in New York, compares his role to that of a leasing representative at a retail real estate firm. However, Marc explains that a redevelopment director is a more strategic position that needs to look at the entire shopping center and analyze how to potentially reposition it.
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Today’s Guest

Redevelopment director Marc NewmanShopping Center Redevelopment Director Marc Newman
Title: Redevelopment Director, Retail Real Estate Firm
City: New York, NY
Law School: IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, IL
College: American University in Washington, D.C.
Previous Career: Retail leasing for a retail real estate firm
Videos: Marc Newman’s career advice

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Shopping Center Redevelopment

Marc tells us that if you’re working in shopping center redevelopment at a company that develops, owns, manages and/or leases shopping centers, you’re doing more than just trying to lease a given space in a shopping center to a retailer.

For example, a shopping center may have an outdated layout, requiring it to be reconfigured in order to attract or retain tenants and remain competitive with other local centers. Or perhaps a center’s neighborhood has changed to the point where different retailers should be strategically targeted as potential new tenants to better fit the market.

Marc says your legal skills are useful in this path for understanding the legal issues, wearing many hats and juggling details. This use of your legal skills makes these retail real estate jobs good alternative careers for lawyers.


This is a transcript preview for the video on retail real estate jobs in shopping center redevelopment.

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Luber: Hey everyone – welcome to JD CareersOutThere – where we explore careers paths both in law and alternative careers for those of you thinking, “I hate being a lawyer“. It’s my mission to help you find a career that fits you and help you succeed using your law degree.

I’m your host Marc Luber, the founder of JDCOT. I’ve always used my law degree to work in alternative careers for lawyers – first in the music industry and then as a legal recruiter. I’ve been helping lawyers with their careers since 2003 and I’m excited for the opportunity to help you.

Today we’re exploring careers in real estate – and we’re specifically looking at retail real estate jobs in Shopping Center Redevelopment. We’re talking to my old friend from law school, Marc Newman, who’s a Redevelopment Director at a retail real estate firm in New York. Here’s a little preview of our conversation where he explains what it’s like to work in shopping center redevelopment:

Marc Newman: Well a redevelopment director, at my company, and at many companies that are in a similar space as our company, is a person that primarily does what a leasing rep would do at a retail real estate firm, but it’s more of a strategic position, in that, you’re not just trying to lease a given space in a shopping center to a retailer, but you’re looking at the entire shopping center and thinking about maybe how you might reposition the center.

It’s a more capital-intensive expenditure for our company to redevelop, as opposed to just lease, space. It usually entails reconfiguring the center and it requires a slightly different set of skills than just leasing. It requires legal, a little bit of legal acumen; requires a little bit of construction acumen. A lot of times you’re working with the municipality, so it just entails a little bit more than what a typical leasing rep might do.

Luber: So explain this. Let’s back up. So your company then owns shopping center properties around the country?

Marc Newman: Exactly. Exactly. These are open-air, grocery-anchored, Kmart-anchored, Wal-Mart-anchored shopping centers that you find throughout the United States and all the suburbs. They’re really located everywhere. There are companies that invest in these properties and own them, manage them and lease them.

So it’s like any real estate investment vehicle but with a very specific vertical focus on shopping centers.

Luber: So these properties already exist and then you’re helping to bring in tenants? Is that…

Marc Newman: Yeah. So like a leasing representative at a company like ours is usually a salaried employee or an employee that gets part salary, part commission, that is hired to lease space in a shopping center to retailers.

They have to understand how retailers work, they have to understand a little bit about the way that the GAP operates or a grocery store would operate and work with those grocery stores or those apparel stores or whatever stores that would be in one of our centers, work with them to work on either a 5-year lease or a 10-year lease.

They’re usually pretty long term deals, they’re pretty large transactions in that there’s usually a lot of money involved upfront in building up the space for the retailers and they pay rent for a specific number of years, either 5 or 10, sometimes more years.

Luber: And what you’re building up is customized to their specific needs, right?

Marc Newman: Exactly. Many times it’s built out to their specific needs. Absolutely.

Luber: When we were talking on the phone, you were saying some really interesting things about how for each client you’re learning specific things about their business and about the demographics and psychographics of the people that shop there so that you can match up “does this community really properly fit this brand”? Is that some of the stuff you’re…

Marc Newman: Right. Exactly. So when you say client, I think you mean like a retailer, like a tenant. We call them a tenant.

So, for instance, a retailer that if I am working on a shopping center in Highland Park, Illinois, versus a shopping center in the east side of Buffalo, New York, it’s a different demographic. It’s a different kind of retailer that’s going to be interested in opening up in Buffalo versus Highland Park.

So you have to understand the retailer, understand who their target market is. You have to get…it’s not a strict marketing position that way, but it does help to understand who the retailer’s appealing to, what other retailers they like to be near. A lot of what makes a successful shopping center is the mix of retailers that are there.

Luber: Interesting stuff! Alright, we’re gonna dig much deeper into these retail real estate careers in redevelopment in the Full Interview. Marc will tell us all about what this shopping center redevelopment work is like, how your JD comes into play in this field, and how to break in to this and related paths.

You’ll want to join the JDCOT membership for access to the full, in-depth career interviews & transcripts that will help you find and land a career that fits you. Check out what people are saying about JDCOT by clicking here.

Thanks again for watching everyone – I’m Marc Luber and look forward to seeing you again soon. Take care.

©2015 Careers Out There

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Thinking of leaving the law? The best first step you can take is a good look in the mirror. START HERE:

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You’ll also get periodic updates, reminders & access to career guidance programs sent to your inbox. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe via a click at any time.