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Targeting national real estate market.

Michael Hirschfeld has had the opportunity represent some of the most prominent clients in retail real estate, most of them targeting the competitive Now York market. His vision, though, has always gone farther afield than Fifth Avenue.

Hirschfeld says he always dreamed about heading up a national retail program. So, when Michael Silver, the president of Equis Corporation, recently asked him to establish the national retail division for his rapidly expanding firm, Hirschfeld says he leaped at the chance.

According to Silver, Hirschfeld has perfect credentials for the job. And, while the highly motivated Hirschfeld anticipates the challenge, he feels the Equis approach - 100 percent pure tenant advocacy - will give him an added advantage.

Reputation For Retail Forecasting

"In choosing a person of Hirschfeld's stature, we are looking to set a new standard for retail real estate in the country," said Silver. "Hirschfeld has a national reputation in recognizing retail trends which will be invaluable to our now effort."

Hirschfeld was a founding partner of New York's Garrick Aug Associates Store Leasing Inc. and Garrick Aug Worldwide, serving as the CEO and chairman for these firms from 1974 to 1986. He then opened his own firm, The Hirschfeld Group, which specialized in retail real estate throughout the United States. Hirschfeld is known for his widely disseminated annual report on "The World's Most Expensive Streets."

In addition to his name recognition, Hirschfeld's track record speaks volumes of square feet. He has leased or consulted on more than 12 million square feet of retail space in the course of more then 23 years in commercial real estate. His clients have included a blue chip list of retail companies, including Tiffany & Co., Bergdorf Goodman's Men's Store, Brioni, The Gap, Brookstone and Deisel.

Hirschfeld says of the this opportunity, "I have represented retail tenants exclusively over the last 15 years and I enjoy that role. Twenty years ago though, zany firms went not much further west than the Rocky Mountains. Now, most retail companies are truly national chains and in many instances multi-national, and often international chains. Their space needs are different in different markets. Clients will be especially attracted to Equis because we represent the end user exclusively, focusing not only on the corporation's space needs but with attention to their bottom lines. And Equis has offices all across the country.

Based in Equis' New York office, Hirschfeld says his plans include regional retail offices to be located in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, and Miami, with some five to as many an 10 consultants and retail brokers in each area. He also sees an additional 12 offices in other locations to establish Equis' retail group presence across the country. These will represent national, regional and local retailers seeking to establish their presence in major markets. They will allow Equis to cover in-depth the 200 most important shopping areas, and all of the important regional shopping centers and malls throughout the United States.

"I want to emphasize that we will not only deal with site selection, but also with retail lease auditing and retail strategizing. We will utilize a very sophisticated demographic mapping of retail consumers and offer innovative computer analysis of space and site potentials," Hirschfeld said.

Hirschfeld, a Connecticut resident, will soon celebrate with his wife, Bonnie, their 20th wedding anniversary. They have a son, Brian. While Michael in not fielding business for Equis, he is kick-saving pucks aa a goalie with the Hockey North America Vipers.

Equis, founded in 1984, pioneered the offering of integrated real estate services to Corporate America, focusing exclusively on space occupants. The company, whose blue chip clients include Chrysler, Ameritech and Travelers, has over 300 employees in 32 offices nationwide. It completed approximately $3 billion in client service transactions in 1996. Equis also maintains strong international affiliations, including an alliance with Knight Frank, a leading European real estate firm.
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Title Annotation:Profile of the Week: Michael Hirschfield, Equis Corp.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Feb 11, 1998
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