"Stu, it's been a great experience, fielding the calls, meeting the people, and negotiating deals".   Rick Parks, TRF

Retail Leasing Calls began with a young executive charged with leasing a rapidly expanding retail portfolio in the Northeast.  It was 1968, a watershed year of upheaval and innovation.  As Vice President of Leasing for Kimco Realty, Stuart Makler was frustrated with the day’s “hang a sign and wait for the call” leasing ethos.  He saw an opportunity to merge his Masters in Marketing with ideas gleaned from his family’s direct mail business.

Stuart believed that direct mail techniques could dramatically increase the statistical probability of identifying local tenant prospects, accelerating leasing efforts. Kimco supported Stuart’s idea and the program was born.  It proved stunningly effective in meeting the firm’s demanding occupancy goals.

In 1971, Stuart launched Retail Leasing Calls, providing direct mail tenant prospecting and related services to the industry at large.  Stuart quickly established that the Retail Leasing Calls program worked nationally, with any property type, no matter the market conditions.

In the years since, over 1,800 Retail Leasing Calls campaigns have generated a gazillion dollars in new leases (ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration).  Stuart has become a famously visible industry expert.  Along with his wife Mary, Stuart has exhibited Retail Leasing Calls at hundreds of ICSC conferences, where they are a much-loved part of the networking scene.  An early participant in the ICSC University of Shopping Centers, Stuart has trained thousands of leasing professionals.  He remains a popular guest speaker at ICSC events and frequently leads round-table discussions throughout the country.

Stuart Makler - Founder
Stuart Makler - Chairman and Founder

In the 1980’s, Stuart teamed up with LA Land Company to develop a number of high-end specialty centers in Southern California.  This venture gave Stuart the opportunity to teach the business to his sons Howard and Matthew, each of whom pursued successful retail real estate careers after working with Stuart and Mary in Retail Leasing Calls.

Howard Makler recently assumed the role of Managing Director for Retail Leasing Calls.  Having literally grown up learning marketing and leasing from his father, Howard has demonstrated himself to be an innovative and intuitive marketing impresario, spearheading countless campaigns for Retail Leasing Calls.

Howard has also pursued independent projects with stellar success, having created and sold two successful companies.  Over 20 years ago, he co-founded Excess Space Retail Services, now the largest firm devoted exclusively to redeploying surplus space for retailers.  Under his leadership, the firm recovered more than $2.2 billion in capital for its national chain store clients, including Kroger, Albertsons and SuperValu grocers, The Gap, Walgreens, McDonald’s and AMC Entertainment.

More recently, Howard plunged into retailing itself, creating Howie’s Game Shack.  The concept transformed experiential entertainment by introducing a new video gaming environment.  The 12,000 s.f. facilities allow 250 gamers to simultaneously play PCs and XBOXs in a competitive manner similar to sports.  Howie’s Game Shack quickly became the nation’s largest operator of technology-based interactive game centers, popular with retail landlords seeking more family-based entertainment options for their centers.

Howard has served on the Board of Directors for The Skyhook Foundation – a 501(c)(3) charity, founded by the legendary basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and as the Vice Chairperson/Member Board of Directors for Athletes & Entertainers for Kids – a 501(c)(3) charity.  He’s a lifetime member of the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation, and 20-Year Honorary Member of the Long Beach Police Officers Association.

Today, Retail Leasing Calls remains a family enterprise operating nationally.  It stands as a unique value-added service available to the industry, poised to serve ownership’s needs for the 21st Century.

2014 ICSC Award

In 2014, the Retail Leasing Calls Team was honored with an award from the ICSC in recognition of more than twenty years of support by Retail Leasing Calls for ICSC's RECon event.

RECon is the Global Retail Real Estate Convention, which features more than 1,000 exhibitors and 32,000 attendees over a three day span.

Founded in 1957, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry with more than 63,000 members from over 100 countires.

©Retail Leasing Calls Inc.  |  550 Paularino Ave.  Suite D102, Costa Mesa, California, 92626  |  714-309-4548
ICSCMember ICSC Since 1967