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We dropped by ULI's Real Estate Outlook 2012 last week where Smead Manufacturing Co's SVP Dean Schwanke (on right with Bank of America's David Hudson) is cautious heading into 2012. "We have to continue to watch the Euro and European markets, which could potentially derail the US and Atlanta's recovery." Dean also had an opportunity to admire Atlanta's cityscape from the 8th floor of the Omni Hotel where he had a room with a magnificent view overlooking Centennial Olympic Park.
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During the discussion, Ackerman & Co's president Kris Millercompared Atlanta to a college ball player who is now playing in the pros. "Atlanta has taken first place for granted,? he says. Kris also says look for a dramatic rise in apartment development projects in the near future given that sector fundamentals are strong.
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We caught up with ING Investment Management's SVP Greg Michaud who had a few words about econonic development. "Atlanta needs to step it up to compete," he says, given other cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Nashville are emerging markets and challenging Atlanta for investment dollars. (Greg also consented to let us Photoshop his image so he had a long, curly mustache, but we didn't do it... yet).
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Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group's Lance Patterson (drinking coffee with Bridge Street Investments' Andy Rinzler) was moreoptimistic. Although Atlanta ranked 36 of 51 markets for commercial investment prospects, Patterson says, there's a great deal of outside capital coming into Atlanta. Patterson listed the Streets of Buckhead as a recent example—construction on the project is expected to resume given that San Diego real estate firm OliverMcMillan bought the deal earlier this year.