GlobeSt: Influencers in Retail Real Estate 2024

Retail has been an interesting space for the commercial real estate sector. In recent months consumers have shown signs of slowing purchasing in response to higher prices. At the same time, the fundamentals in the space have never been stronger for owners and landlords, amid a scarcity of space and strong demand. Navigating these dynamics are the following individuals who we have selected as this year’s leaders in the industry.


Sandy Sigal founded privately held shopping center developer and owner NewMark Merrill Cos. in 1997 and has overseen the company’s growth to more than 12 million square feet of retail real estate in California, Colorado and Illinois. The company owns or manages 95 shopping centers, representing a collective value of more than $2.5 billion. A 27-year veteran of the industry, Sigal is passionate about supporting small businesses and meets frequently with local and state politicians about the struggles in the industry. He has focused on helping his tenants and the community with programs like “Together We Can” aimed at helping tenants remain in business during the pandemic and “Wave of Kindness” where shopping centers partner with local tenants to give back to first responders, emergency room staff, educators, the under-housed and seniors. Sigal has been interested in computers since he was young and has embraced technology for his firm and properties. He is chairman of BrightStreet Ventures, a company he co-founded to provide opportunities for his tenants and other center owners by integrating online platforms with traditional brick-and-mortar business. He also is an investor in more than 100 PropTech companies, many of which are integrated into his business. In 2022, the California Business Properties Association awarded Sigal the Ernest W. Hahn Award for his impact on legislative, regulator and public policy issues on behalf of the industry. He also received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Los Angeles for community and business involvement. Sigal is board president of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization providing mentorship and support to children through one-to-one relationships with adult volunteers.


A pointer in the retail real estate technology field, Mark Sigal leads Datex Property Solutions as CEO. Along with partner Scott Mahler, Sigal created a real estate portfolio management platform that integrates with portfolio owners’ property management and accounting data to improve operations. The platform manages thousands of shopping centers and tens of thousands of retailers nationwide, generating more than $3 billion in rental income. It also allows retail landlords to analyze sales and merchant health data to make better leasing decisions, cut reporting costs and eliminate errors through process-driven reporting automation. The company produces the Datex Tenant Track Report, which has tracked merchant health, rent collection trends, and retail sales numbers, broken out by month, merchant category and national chain vs. small business dating to 2019. Sigal is responsible for overseeing the growth of the company, managing client relationships, product delivery, business models, and expanding the capabilities of the platform. Under his leadership during the past three years, sales have grown more than 100% and recurring revenues have increased 200%, which new client additions have grown 75%. He also has led the development of new features including a leasing automation system, a CRM system built for retail portfolios and ad hoc reporting tools that enable new KPIs to be quickly instrumented. Sigal has been a member of ICSC for more than 30 years and works closely with ICSC’s research team on the retail metrics that Datex provides under license to ICSC. He is also a respected writer and communicator, having written articles for several publications. Sigal has also written more than 600 articles for his blog, The Network Garden, and has been a featured presenter at numerous industry events, including Stanford Graduate School of Business, Maker Faire and Foo Camp.

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