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Michael Spedden, Brendan Gill, Marty Copsey, and George Hasser at the Westin on October 11, 2012
MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services' Michael Spedden, MacKenzie Management's Brendan Gill, MacKenzie Construction's Marty Copsey, and Bignell Watkins Hasser Architects' George Hasser at a—you guessed it—MacKenzie event last weekat the Westin. Brendan's takeaway from keynote Anirban Basu, CEO of Sage Policy Group, is that there's big opportunity in non-core markets like Baltimore. That's because REITs, institutional investors, and foreign investment are seeking safe havens in gateways (like New York and DC). The result: Private equity and opportunistic money is coming into Baltimore and similar cities and getting good deals.

John Harrington, Steve Seymour, and Bill Whitty at the Westin on October 11, 2012
MacKenzie Retail's John Harrington, consultant Steve Seymour, and MacKenzie Commercial's Bill Whitty were among the 200 who heard Anirban say Maryland is behind Virginia in the business climate and heavily reliant on the federal government, which could send us into another recession. But, he says, the state has one of the most educated workforces. All that's needed is an environment where businesses can thrive (or an environment in which we can extract more value from the SATs).
John Black, Chris Bennett, Glenn Ercole, and Drew Clark at the Westin on Oct. 11, 2012
Anirban also says hospitality finance in the area is picking up (when you play October baseball, more visiting teams need a place to stay—sigh, there's always next year). MacKenzie Capital's John Black and Glenn Ercole (with Evergreen Advisors' Drew Clark on the right and MacKenzie Commercial's resident tall man Chris Bennett) can vouch for that, considering the hotel-related deals coming across their desks.