Here at Kimco, we are moving full steam ahead into 2017. But before we dive too deep into the new year, let’s hit the brakes and take a look back at some of our blog highlights from 2016.

Summer sensations lit up our blog this year. We interviewed Sal Valentinetti from America’s Got Talent, had a visit from Chef Emeril Lagasse at Airport Plaza, and caught them all -- Pokémon that is -- at our shopping centers. Our Kimco experts also followed hot industry trends ranging from brick-and-mortar versus Amazon, in-store restaurants, millennials transforming retail, virtual reality, and more!

As a company, we stood strong in the face of tragedy, showcased one of our very own Kimco veterans for Veterans Day, learned about raising autism awareness, and supported several community initiatives during the season of giving.

From left to right: Conor Flynn, Kathy Cross, Debbie Heeren, Tom Taddeo, Andy Manjuck, and David Domb at Island Harvest’s annual Food Drive at Munsey Park Plaza, Merrick Commons, and Manetto Hill Plaza

We welcomed eight new authors to the blogging team in 2016, and look forward to hearing their continued unique perspectives that keep our blog content fresh. Retail Minded’s Founder and Editor Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle, and ICSC’s former Vice President of Communications Jesse Tron, also offered their outside expertise and joined us as guests on the blog.

Some other moments worth mentioning: We took another “LEEP” forward with the Illumi-Nation program, revealed the winners of our 2016 REIToon Cartoon Caption Contest, explored the new GICS Real Estate Sector, and got serious about sustainability.

A few of your favorites

From buzzworthy retail topics to redevelopment projects, here are the five posts that piqued our readers’ interest:

  1. Kimco's current (re)development pipeline. We snapshotted the major projects Kimco was working on in 2016 as part of the company’s 2020 Vision.
  2. Kimco customers gotta catch 'em all. Charlotte Manley, director of real estate for the Southern Region, shared the techniques Kimco used at some of our centers to take advantage of the summer mobile craze, “Pokémon Go,” and increase foot traffic.
  3. Win $1,000 in our annual cartoon caption contest. Once again, we unveiled our annual REIToon Cartoon Caption Contest that gives real estate’s funniest professionals a chance to win $1,000 simply by captioning one of our cartoons.
  4. Kimco begins demolition of Hurricane roller coaster to make way for Dania Pointe. Paul Puma, president of our Southern Region, took us along for a ride -- the disassembly of Dania Beach’s famous wooden roller coaster to make way for Dania Pointe, Kimco’s mixed-use center.
  5. The tipping-point: Brick-and-mortar vs. Amazon. Kimco’s CEO Conor Flynn addressed the inevitable impact technology has had on the retail industry, and the rapid rise of the biggest retail disruptor in our world today.

Big ‘thank you’ to our tenants

Our talented and hardworking tenants never cease to amaze us. We appreciate the 14 Kimco tenants that took time out of their busy schedules to share their success stories as part of our StoreFront series:

  • Café Zupas in Kimco’s The Fountains at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove, Minnesota
  • Cassariano Italian Eatery in Kimco’s Mineola Shopping Center in Mineola, New York
  • Dandelion in Kimco’s Suburban Square in Ardmore, Pennsylvania
  • Delsette in Kimco’s Suburban Square in Ardmore, Pennsylvania
  • Dirty Burger in Kimco’s Manetto Hill Plaza in Plainview, New York
  • El Quetzal in Kimco’s Suburban Square in Ardmore, Pennsylvania
  • Everything Christmas in Kimco’s Corona Hills Plaza in Corona, California; North Massapequa S.C. in North Massapequa, New York; and Airport Plaza in Farmingdale, New York
  • Five Star Guitars in Kimco’s Tanasbourne Village in Hillsboro, Oregon
  • The Paperia in Kimco’s Suburban Square in Ardmore, Pennsylvania
  • The Puppy Pantry in Kimco’s Village Shoppes -- Flowery Branch in Flowery Branch, Georgia

The best is yet to come

We are dedicated to improving the Kimco blog by tailoring content to satisfy our readers’ interest in retail news, while showcasing the diverse range of our tenants. How are we doing? Are there any topics you would like to see covered in 2017? We welcome your feedback and suggestions in the comments below!