Our Mission

Learn who we are and how we serve our community


Meet our leaders, trustees and team


Developing the next generation of talent


Covering the latest news and trends in the marketplaces industry

Industry Insights

Check out wide-ranging resources that educate and inspire

Government Relations & Public Policy

Learn about the governmental initiatives we support


Connect with other professionals at a local, regional or national event

Virtual Series

Find webinars from industry experts on the latest topics and trends

Professional Development

Grow your skills online, in a class or at an event with expert guidance

Find Members

Access our Member Directory and connect with colleagues

ICSC Networking Platform

Get recommended matches for new business partners

Student Resources

Find tools to support your education and professional development

Become a Member

Learn about how to join ICSC and the benefits of membership

Renew Membership

Stay connected with ICSC and continue to receive membership benefits


How Regency Centers’ Pilot with Short-Term-Leasing Tech Provider Spacewise Works

April 22, 2024

Spacewise CEO Chalid El Ashker wants landlords to rake in more cash from specialty leasing by letting tenants hop online to book short-term deals for pop-ups, kiosks, film shoots, digital screens and holiday events. He pointed to the booking platforms that have bolstered hotels and airlines since the mid-1990s. “Commercial real estate — and especially retail real estate — is using a tiny fraction of the potential that online channels and online marketing are offering.”

Zurich-based Spacewise — which already works with nine real estate companies and retailers across Switzerland, Germany, France and the U.K. — has opened a Toronto office and is pitching its digital booking and space-marketing platform in North America. “We’re in conversations with at least a dozen landlords about bringing our solution to bear for their organizations,” said Spacewise Americas chief commercial officer and president Brennan Wilkie. “We’re also speaking with some pretty prominent retailers that are thinking about shop-in-shop type monetization.”

This spring, Spacewise announced that Regency Centers had put 25 properties on the platform in markets like Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, as well as Regency’s home base of Jacksonville, Florida. The initial locations include an enclosed mall with plenty of kiosk opportunities, as well as centers that boast large green spaces and common areas, said Regency marketing and communications vice president Jan Hanak. “We thought these 25 — based on their type, size and market — would make for a good proof of concept. From there, we can see where it takes us.”

Specialty leasing tenants can use the Spacewise digital platform to grab short-term spaces at 25 Regency Centers properties, including kiosks at Serramonte Center in Daly City, California, above, and Village at La Floresta in Brea, California, at top. Village at La Floresta photo courtesy of Regency Centers

Regency’s 482 owned and managed properties, most of them grocery anchored, are 96% leased, Hanak noted, and long-term leasing remains the landlord’s top priority. However, demand for short-term space is growing. “We’re starting to see some brands and advertisers that have had an interest in short-term pop-ups, activations and alternate uses at our properties,” Hanak explained. “Advertisers for tourism destinations have wanted to have activations on green spaces at our properties or even parking lot spaces. And then of course, there is demand for short-term leasing at our traditional, vacant units, where we have some nice white boxes.”

Contributing to the trend are formerly online-only brands that want visibility in high-traffic, physical locations, El Ashker said. “If a brand just wants to live online and acquire business through Facebook or Instagram, the unit economics in many cases don’t work out anymore.”

But, as Hanak noted, leasing professionals need to spend their time focusing on the highest-value tenant relationships and deals. One particular headache for specialty leasing teams, Wilkie added, is dealing with unqualified tire kickers. “Specialty leasing teams spend a massive amount of time and motion on low-value, back-and-forth communications with initial prospective tenants,” he explained. “Sometimes teams will say: ‘I took my morning, went and visited the site with them, and then I found out they were not even a real business.’”

Return on investment suffers when companies spend too much time manually vetting and negotiating with such would-be lessees, Wilkie said. Spacewise’s pitch: With a digital platform, retailers and landlords can streamline and automate more of the work. The company offers the functional equivalent of tripadvisor.com or hotels.com, a way for landlords or retailers to advertise and better track internally their available short-term or store-in-store space.

In Regency’s case, Spacewise created a branded, short-term leasing subdomain that is separate from regencycenters.com, which remains focused on longer-term space opportunities. Still, Hanak noted: “You feel like you’re on a Regency Centers web property.”

Spacewise also provides a digital way to handle processes like qualifying, insurance, leasing, licensing, payments, renewals and follow-up notifications. According to El Ashker, the time-saving approach is ramping up productivity in Europe, where Spacewise’s largest client uses the platform across 800 locations and about 4,500 spaces, closing more than 500 digital deals per month. “If I can use digital tools to automate most of the steps or even the whole process, then [short-term leasing] suddenly becomes highly profitable,” the CEO said. “The common area is being activated much more.”

He predicted digital leasing will take off as short-term deals continue to grow and younger techies come to the fore. “Leasing and property-marketing teams need to be set up in a way that they can filter bigger volumes down to the most qualified leads super efficiently. It’s really the right time to get up and running and prepare for what things will be like in five years.”

By Joel Groover

Contributor, Commerce + Communities Today


A centralized platform leveraging 15 data sources to provide access to commercial real estate listings and enable financial and market analyses, site selection and demographic and trade area research.

Visit the platform