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September 26, 2008

Notes on


Doom and gloom seems to be the most recent catchphrase, but the atmosphere at the RealShare|New York conference yesterday was anything but. Over 525 execs attended the annual event, held this year at the Roosevelt and seemed in a mood to debunk the pessimism. Now, we're not saying they were buoyant, but there seemed an underlying feeling that public mood is inordinately driven by headlines and that the commercial real estate sector will muscle through (we didn't say muddle through). Of course, that was yesterday, before the latest bank failure and budget fiasco. 


Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Commission, kicked off the event with a status briefing of all the projects the city has under its belt, including the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, World Trade Center rebuilding, West Side Yards, Willets Point revitalization, and transportation-oriented CBDs. The economy has handed the EDC a markedly slow sales environment, decreased housing permits, and development troubles, NYC is still growing and the commission is ready to prove its metal, getting as many projects started as it can before Mayor Mike's reign ends next year. 


As promised, the notes: The city economy has lost momentum, but it hasn't ended. Job growth is still above last year's, minus the financial sector. Don't be complacent. Make more sustainable decisions. Long-term trends are not ominous. London's got it worse. The lack of spec development is a bright spot. NYC's mass will help the market work through rising vacancies. It's all cyclical. We've been through this before, and the city will come out stronger. Jones Lang's Kenneth Siegel, right, predicts 2009 will be tough and 2010 will be treading water-but the city will come back with a great big roar. Not apparently objecting: Property & Portfolio Research's Michael Cohen and Herrick, Feinstein's Carl Schwartz.


Shorenstein's Andrew Goodman, center, with Bobby Swennes of Brookfield Properties and colleague Mark Portner. He told us that the morning panels were more bullish than he expected, which he says only proves New York's resiliency.

Arent Fox
Leo A Daly
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