Forest City Prez & CEO LaRue Elected ICSC Chairman

David LaRue, Forest City Enterprises’ president & CEO, has been tapped as the new chairman of the International Council of Shopping Centers for the 2013-2014 term.

David LaRue

David LaRue, Forest City Enterprises’ president and CEO, has been tapped as the new chairman of the International Council of Shopping Centers for the 2013-2014 term.

He succeeds Brad Hutensky, president & principal of Hutensky Capital Partners in Hartford, Conn., who remains on the ICSC Executive Committee.

LaRue was elected by the organization’s Board of Trustees at RECon, the ICSC’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.

“Being named chairman of ICSC is a significant honor and I will strive to build on the work of prior chairmen to advance the organization’s mission and service to members,” LaRue said in an ICSC release. “I look forward to the opportunity to get closer to our members in the U.S. and abroad over the next year.”

Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC president & CEO, pointed to Forest City’s diverse real estate holdings as one of the reasons why LaRue’s election as chairman of the ICSC was a good choice.

“Our members are building shopping centers, mixed-use and other kinds of projects; they are everywhere and working in every kind of real estate,” Kercheval said in a news release.

“David heads a company that owns property across multiple categories in its core markets, and therefore his experience meshes with that of just about every one of ICSC’s members in one way or another,” Kercheval added. “Forest City is also a leader in sustainable and innovative development, all of which makes David’s nomination an exciting one as we, as an industry, embrace the future.”

Forest City, headquartered in Cleveland, owns about $10.7 billion in retail, office and residential properties around the United States, including 46 retail properties, 47 office properties and 122 residential communities. The company’s retail holdings include regional lifestyle, neighborhood and enclosed centers as well as urban, big-box and, entertainment properties. The firm’s Brooklyn, N.Y.,-based subsidiary, Forest City Ratner Cos., recently opened the Barclays Center, sports and entertainment arena that is part of the $4.9 billion, 22-acre, mixed-use Atlantic Yards development in downtown Brooklyn.

LaRue succeeded Charles A. Ratner as head of Forest City in June 2011. He has been with the company since 1986 and held numerous roles including Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President from March 2010 until June 2011.

An active member of ICSC for almost 20 years and a trustee since 2008, LaRue has served on the ICSC Global Task Force, which undertook a review of the organization’s programs and services. He has also been an advocate of ICSC’s Global Public Policy Efforts in Washington, D.C.

One of the priorities LaRue and ICSC will focus on during this coming year will be to push for federal legislation requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes in those states in which brick-and-mortar retailers are required to. Known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, the bill passed in the Senate earlier this month but has yet to be considered by the House of Representatives.

“Traditional physical stores cannot continue to be discriminated against by this tax policy,” LaRue said in the ICSC release. “Reform in this area would also benefit cash-strapped state and local public coffers.”

In addition to naming LaRue ICSC chairman, six members were named to the Board of Trustees. They are: William B. Horner, CFO, Fitness International; James J. Lampassi, vice president, real estate and construction, Petco; Carlos Medeiros, CEO, BR Malls; Mark L. Myers, executive vice president, head of commercial real estate, Wells Fargo Bank; Brian Smith, president and COO, Regency Centers; and Arturo Sneider, SCLS, partner, Primestor Development.