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TRC Blog

May 01 , 2008

The Retail Connection Wins Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Southwest Area - North

The Retail Connection Wins Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Southwest Area - North

May 1st, 2008 - Steve Lieberman and Alan Shor joined together in the summer of 2003 with a shared vision to build a company that would embody their high standards and team-oriented approach. On January 2, 2004, they launched The Retail Connection, L.P. (“TRC”). Immediately attracting and engaging top professionals throughout the industry. TRC combined Lieberman’s strategic vision with Shor’s operating and management strengths. Within six months, TRC was a full-service retail real estate services and investment firm, had attracted two dozen of the industry’s top players, represented over 40 retail chains & approximately 4 million square feet of property listings. The Company quickly expanded its infrastructure with seasoned professionals, state-of-the-art research, technology, and its knowledge-driven platform. Today, the firm represents over 160 retail and restaurant clients including JC Penney, Gap, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Sports Authority, Circuit City, Equinox, JoAnn’s, Houston’s, and JP Morgan Chase, more retailers than its competition combined. TRC’s retail clients are the primary catalysts for the company’s business model and are truly partners in the business. On the project side, TRC represents many of the leading investment companies in the business. Currently, TRC has 16.5 million square feet of retail project assignments, including over 2 million square feet of its own developments. In addition to tenant and landlord representation, TRC completes its end-to-end resources through its three investment divisions: Connected Development Services, Connected Acquisition Services and Connected Capital. Connected Development Services facilitates tenant-driven, ground-up development. Connected Acquisitions Services buys and repositions existing retail properties and Connected Capital arranges financing, operating, and strategic planning for regional and national retailers’ growth plans, including roll out and expansion capital, as well as merchant banking services. The Company has received recognition as one of DFW’s Best Places to Work in 2005 and 2006; Fastest Growing Companies in 2007; Largest Commercial Real Estate Brokerages in 2005, 2006 and 2007; DFW’s Largest Commercial Retail Developer for 2006 and 2007; and Best New Retail Hospitality Development for 2006 -- 800,000 square foot Arlington Highlands.

Ernst & Young
Steve Lieberman
and Alan Shor launched The Retail Connection, L.P. on January 2, 2004. Within six months, the company was a full-service retail real estate services and investment firm, had attracted two dozen of the industry's top players, including partners Steve Greenberg, Terry Syler and David Wilson. Today, the firm of 70, represents over 160 retail clients including JC Penney, Gap, Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom's, and JP Morgan Chase.
TRC's core focus is, and always will be, driving the expansion plans of the company's retail clients and everything TRC does serves to extend the reach of their real estate programs. The key to TRC's success is the tremendous insight, visibility, unparalleled influence and opportunities the company derives by virtue of its relationships [particularly the 160 plus retail chains that the firm directly represents] and TRC's end to end role in their expansion programs. TRC's ultimate objective is to provide the connection at every point where retail and real estate come together. The linkage between, and synergy of, TRC's complimentary business units and knowledge driven platforms provides the firm the ability to fully leverage its unparalleled strength and capacity.
TRC is rewriting how the industry works; piercing and bridging historically perceived conflicts of interest, and measurably distinguishing itself from its competitors. The company's 18 million square feet of third party leasing assignments, ownership in a half dozen retail chains, and 10 projects totaling approximately 4.5 million square feet of Hybrid, Lifestyle and Power Centers in various stages of development, further reflect the distinctive balance that the firm has achieved. TRC is headquartered in Dallas with offices in Houston and San Antonio.

THE RETAIL CONNECTION Steven A. Lieberman CEO | Alan P. Shor President When Steven Lieberman and Alan Shor founded The Retail Connection in Dallas in 2004, the retail real estate industry was driven largely by shopping-center owners. Shor and Lieberman, who each had extensive ties to retailing firms, set out to turn that model on its head. Today their unique company is a brokerage, advisory, and investment real estate firm that's driven not by the needs of property owners, but by its strong relationships with retail tenants.
"What I really saw [in 2004] was the opportunity to build a new platform," Lieberman says. "Everything we do is driving the retailers' expansion plans."
Shor, who handles the company's operations, was a friend of Lieberman's and a natural fit for the pioneering venture. A lawyer by training-he worked for years at Troutman Sanders, a major Atlanta firm Shor left Troutman to join Zale Corp., where he rose to become president.
Lieberman, meantime, had been the top-producing broker and heir apparent at The Weitzman Group, a leading retail real estate firm in Dallas. "What I didn't have [there]," Lieberman says, "was a shared vision:'
With about 70 employees and offices in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, The Retail Connection now represents roughly 160 retail and restaurant clients. Among them: Gap, Houston's, The Sports Authority, and Bed Bath & Beyond. The company also buys and develops shopping centers and helps retailers with financing and strategic planning.
Lieberman's "new platform" seems to be succeeding. According to Shor, revenue at The Retail Connection has grown by a whopping 417 percent since its founding. -G.H.

The Dallas Morning News
7 Area Semifinalists Named - by Angela Shah Seven North Texas companies were named semifinalists Saturday in Ernst &Young's Entrepreneur of the Year contest.
Among the regional winners are chief executive officers at software company Skywire Software, hospitality chain Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and commercial real estate firm Retail Connection.
This is the 22nd year for the awards program, which recognizes leaders in over 135 cities in 50 countries throughout the world. Awards are given to entrepreneurs who demonstrate extraordinary success.
The regional winners' will vie for the national award in their categories.
Three to four national finalists will be selected in each of the 10 categories from 26 regions at a banquet, in Palm Springs, Calif., in November. One of the finalists will be named the winner for the category, said an Ernst & Young spokeswoman.
From those 10 national category winners, one company exec will be selected the national Entrepreneur of the Year to represent the United States in the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2009.
Winners are inducted into Ernst&Young's Hall of Fame.

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