UCR Urban Welcomes James West

DALLAS, Texas, April 7, 2009 ─ Dallas-based UCR Urban, a division of United Commercial Realty, has appointed industry veteran James West as executive vice president to enhance the firm’s growing national retailer representative services group. UCR Urban, whose client list includes Gap, Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret, Crate & Barrel and other national companies, is rapidly expanding its national presence and enhancing its service offerings.

West is nationally recognized for revamping the real estate department at Chico’s FAS, Inc. His efforts resulted in approximately 800 store transactions during his tenure and the growth of the company from $90 million to $1.5 billion in sales. He also serves on the board of Everything But Water.

According to Mickey Ashmore, CEO of United Commercial Realty, West’s experience is unmatched in the industry and adds an important differentiator to UCR Urban’s retail real estate offering. “James was instrumental in Chico’s dynamic growth and was recognized by Wall Street for lowering occupancy costs from 13 percent of sales to 6 percent,” said Ashmore. “His consultative expertise is just what the current market conditions call for – he’s been on the inside with a national retail chain and has a deep understanding of all aspects of real estate, from site selection to development to reviewing a lease.”  Ashmore added, “It’s probably going to be a year to 18 months before retail growth starts to turn. During this time, retailers will need to be nimble and proactive as they ride out the storm. Having James on board gives UCR Urban an additional resource to help retailers navigate through today’s tough economic climate and position them for growth when the market starts to rebound. It’s a win-win for the retailers and UCR Urban.”

“It’s critically important to understand and deliver the value and expertise that retailers need, especially during this economic downturn,” said West. “Companies are looking to us for a 360-degree perspective and to advise them as they work to maximize efficiencies of both their properties and real estate departments, and as they restructure their portfolios and leases.”

Most recently, UCR Urban has been awarded retailer representation assignments with Kirkland’s, a specialty retailer of home décor, and lululemon athletica, a yoga-inspired athletic apparel company. UCR Urban will be helping both companies with their strategic expansion plans throughout the United States.


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