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No More Sausage Factory

No More Sausage Factory
We know Chicagoans  don't want to think about our beloved brats and Polishes going away, but we don't think they'll be sad to see the "sausage factory" of CMBS (thanks Paul Zeller for that imagery)become more refined. In fact, yesterday  at our Bisnow Chicago Real Estate  Summit, 500 of you heard finance pros promise to focus more on funding only necessary new construction.
National Panel
On the national panel, moderated by Picher Nichols & Meeks' Gene Leone (right), Walton Street Capital's Jeff Quicksilver talked about his firm's sixth fund. The private equity company didn't do any deals in 2009, but this year focused on three marginal office properties in Southern California, emphasizing low leverage. First Industrial's Bruce Duncan is in the midst of de-levering his company's debts, made easier by being public during a recession, he says. GEM Realty's Denise Olsen sees new investors in the marketplace who weren't hurt by the recession. And HFF's John Pelusi  says all the big players are back in the markets at 2007 cap rates for prime buildings in A markets like 300 N. LaSalle, which had multiple life insurance companies vying for its financing.
Chicago Panel
The Chicago panel was less bullish, though not lacking controversy. Zeller Realty Group's Paul Zeller says we probably won't see any new building for two to three years  because tenants won't anchor something new without exploring the 13% of vacant office space. CB Richard Ellis' Todd Lippmann anticipates vacancies going up to 19%. Jones Lang LaSalle's Bruce Miller  says new FASB regs may cause some tenants to rethink their real estate, either by signing shorter-term leases or buying space. Friedman Properties' Albert Friedman  says he's succeeding by working harder  to make sure he can get small- and medium-sized businesses in his buildings in River North. His optimism about Chicago led Todd to prod Albert to run for mayor. The Reznick Group's George Klenovich moderated.
No More Sausage Factory
We were honored that so many execs joined us to hear top local and national experts early in the morning. We're looking forward to seeing you all again in  October.
AMLI's Stephen Ross And Friedman's Albert Friedman
We snapped AMLI Residential's Stephen Ross  with Albert before the panel-the two are partnering on the new AMLI River North, an apartment building with ground-level retail at the corner of Clark and Hubbard. AMLI also sold a $59M  complex in West Dundee  last week and has a development site ready for a new TOD  near the Metra and L stations on Main Street in Evanston.
Shepard Schwartz& Harris' Michael Breier, Reed Construction's Jack Hennessy, Keith Largay,Paul, and Plaza Properties' John Colt Landreth
Shepard Schwartz & Harris' Michael Breier, Reed Construction's Jack Hennessy, Keith Largay, Paul, and Plaza Properties' John Colt Landreth looked like they were about to do a deal yesterday morning. Keith is looking for new opportunities, while John is focusing on a business park that Plaza owns in La Salle County.
Jones Lang LaSalle's Brooke Houghton, Gayle Kantro and Peter Thomas
JLLs Brooke HoughtonGayle Kantro, and Peter Thomas  made the long trek from their offices on the 45th floor of the Aon Center to the MidAmerica Club on the building's 80th floor. Peter worked on the project management for the Microsoft  offices in the Aon Center and is currently managing the build-out of Baker & McKenzie  in Prudential Plaza.