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Minds were generally optimistic at the CCIM 2012 Charlotte Commercial Real Estate Forecast luncheon at Carmel Country Club. It's hard to be a pessimist over lunch, but there's also the matter of the area's  strengthening jobs market, increasing non-residential construction, and more real estate deals getting done. (Which pairs quite nicely with a BLT.)
Johnny Harris, Lincoln Harris
Lincoln Harris president Johnny Harris, the keynote, set a positive tone, though he did note that there's a risk of overbuilding when it comes to multifamily, at least in certain parts of town. He also praised Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which he termed the lowest-cost major airport in the world, but said that more control by the Charlotte City Council over the airport would be a bad idea.
Reznick (Know) JCHAR
Michael Ortlip, Grandbridge Real Estate Capital
Also speaking were Grandbridge Real Estate Capital SVP Michael Ortlip (pictured) and Wells Fargo managing director Mark Vitner, with moderating done by EnRich Commercial president Steve Rich and Jim Rogers  of Flagship Capital Partners. Michael was optimistic, too, noting that insurance companies, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA, conduits, and a wide variety of non-traditional lenders are all active providing debt to the CRE markets. "We expect the market in 2012 to be more robust for financing than 2011, even though 2011 was a fairly solid year." (If you're still looking, we certainly have some debt we'd be more than happy to let you have.)