The man credited with turning the shopping center industry into a cohesive entity died today at age 88. Alfred Sussman, the ICSC's very first employee, served the powerful trade organization for 28 years, retiring in 1986 from his post as executive vice president.

During his tenure, Sussman watched ICSC grow from only 75 U.S. members to more than 48,000 in 77 countries. He also helped develop the recommended lease form, which provided landlords guidelines for renting space in their shopping centers, as well as ICSC's Idea Exchange meetings, the Spring Convention, government relations programs, professional accreditation, expansion into Europe and the creation of the organization's publication, Shopping Centers Today. To show its appreciation for his dedication, ICSC endowed The Albert Sussman Chair in Real Estate at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. In 1995, the organization honored Sussman by naming its research library for him.

Sussman is survived by his sons Bernard and Daniel and three grandchildren. A funeral service will be held tomorrow in New York.

In other news, Cushman & Wakefield named Bruce Mosler president and CEO of the firm, effective January 2005. Mosler joined Cushman as executive vice president in 1997. He became president of U.S. operations in 2000. Outgoing president and CEO Arthur Mirante, who has led the firm for the past 20 years, handpicked Mosler as his successor.

Citigroup Smith Barney analysts Jonathan Litt and Ross Nusbaum met with public REIT execs at NAREIT's annual Institutional Investors conference in New York, which ends today. Some of the nuggets they report: Simon Property Group hasn't ruled out the possibility of buying an additional 25 percent of its Italian joint venture with Rinascente. Mills Corp. is expected to form a joint venture at its Del Amo Fashion Center in California, but not with bosom buddy Kan Am. The Arlington, Va.-based REIT is also negotiating to buy out the remaining stake in its Spanish Madrid Xanadu megamall. Acadia Realty Trust execs doubt that the Mervyn's sale will be a straight real estate play, though they decline to reveal their involvement in the ongoing disposition of the portfolio being auctioned by owner Target Corp.