The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the International Franchise Association (IFA) have announced a new partnership to provide online matchmaking services to franchise companies looking to open new stores and landlords looking to lease vacant spaces.

The new website, located at www.icsc.org/ifa, allows IFA members to post the space criteria that define their expansion programs free of charge. At the same time, ICSC members can post their available space vacancies, which can then be searched by geographic location, square footage, site demographics or ownership/management company.

While the website went live earlier this month, ICSC and IFA will start promoting it heavily in the new year, according to Jay Starr, senior vice president of marketing with ICSC.

“We developed what we think is a really good tool to help the members that we have to operate more effectively and efficiently in their business,” he says. “And IFA sees it the same way.”

Earlier this year, one of the country’s largest shopping center landlords, Kimco Realty Corp., launched a service to help franchise operators search its portfolio for appropriate spaces. ICSC’s and IFA’s website appears to be the first free of charge industry-wide database, however.