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January 21, 2010 
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Next week: Five of the biggest names in capital markets, Beitler, Reschke, Maki, Kavanau, and Friedman, take on the topic at our next Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze: the future of credit, construction financing, and the CMBS market. Jan 27, Oak Room at the Metropolitan Club. Sign up now!

The recession may be over, but the economists' predictions are just beginning. Members of the Chicago chapter of the Real Estate Lenders Association met yesterday at the Union League to speculate on whether we'll have an L, U or V shaped recovery.
DePaul University's Michael Miller

We snapped DePaul's Michael Miller, center, who predicted 2.5% GDP growth this year, which is about as much as the economy can sustain. He forecasts unemployment will stay at 9.5-10%, inflation should be about 2.2%, while oil prices will stay at $75-90 per barrel. The most important part of coming out of the recession will be the government's exit strategy, he said.

Associated Bank's Sarah Walker and Mesirow Financial's Adolfo Laurenti

Associated Bank's Sarah Walker said stimulus funds helped with unemployment, but it was costing $135,000 to create just one green job. (By our math, $1 for the green job salary and $134,999 refurbishing so the employee's Prius fits in a cubicle.) This doesn't bode well for the real estate sectors banking on those jobs for improvement in vacancy rates. Mesirow Financial's Adolfo Laurenti said the biggest change in employment has been the IT sector because it diversified the US economy to a point where there won't be any massive layoffs, but there won't be a mass of rehiring either.

Team Krusinski

This isn't the first recession Krusinski Construction Company has been through. Brothers Joe and Jerry Krusinski, the oldest and youngest of five siblings, founded the company more than 36 years ago and have now expanded to 35 employees. We snapped this of Joe, Andy Johnson, Joe Krusinski III, Jeff Moecher, and Steve Moeller after a leadership meeting Monday. The company originally started with industrial projects, but branched out into healthcare, office, and institutional products throughout the Midwest. One of its biggest today is the Pronger-Smith medical office in Tinley Park, a two-story, 32k-SF structure attached to an existing campus.

Jeff Krusinski, John Brady, Jerry Krusinski, and Jim Wilkinson.

A few more Krusinski guys: Jeff Krusinski, John Brady, Jerry Krusinski, and Jim Wilkinson. Three of Joe's four children (Joe, Gina, and Jeff) work for the company, but they all came in being supervised by employees other than family. They tell us the company has stayed afloat during the recession by encouraging education and certification, like LEED-AP or ASHE. Becoming experts at pre-construction technologies, like BIM and AutoCad, has also helped. The company's Oak Brook office has a training and video conference room for its employees to stay in touch with each other and other members of the Citadel Group, a network that helps Krusinski with projects throughout the region and country.


Farr Associates' Jonathan Boyer

Farr Associates' Jonathan Boyer has a lot of energy, and so do the projects he's worked on. He spoke yesterday at the Chicago Architecture Foundation about building the first net-zero energy home in Chicago, the Yannell Residence on the northwest side; he also covered the Shaw Technology and Learning Center on Homan Drive in the Lawndale area. The Learning Center formerly housed the Sears catalog factory and now has 450 students in two grades, with a new grade to be add each year. The building has a geothermal heating system that provides most of the school's heating and cooling for about 10 months of the year.


January 27 - Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze - Capital Markets -Beitler, Reschke, Maki, Kavanau, and Friedman talk the future of credit, construction financing, and the CMBS market, among other issues. Oak Room at the Metropolitan Club. Crazy low price. Info


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