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We were in LA on Thursday for our Industrial Summit there and took this of one of our panels: top reps from private equity funds KTR and LBA, CBRE investment sales, pension fund adviser ING Clarion (about to rename itself Clarion Partners after a self-buyout from ING, and owner of 100M SF of industrial nationally), moderated by bridge lender Lone Oak. There’s a reason they’re all smiling: rental rates (especially as you get closer to the huge LA port) are back up 20% to 40%, concessions and TIs are way down, banks are lending, and tons of capital (some originally amassed for distress that never appeared) are producing 25 to 30 bids for every stabilized Class-A asset that comes on the market. 
With cap rates heading into sub-fives, they’re even increasing theirrisk profile and thinking of moving inland and buying vacant buildings. Wags say their funds have gone from opportunistic to just plain optimistic.
Ritz Carlton Tower
And the LA skyline is also spiking. Your publisher took this from his hotel room at the Wilshire Grand, where we held our conference. That’s Staples Center on the left (home to the Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and WNBA Sparks), now in the shadow of the Gensler-designed 653-foot Ritz Carlton tower (five floors of hotel rooms and 26 of residences, and the rest largely a JW Marriott), in turn part of the $2.5B, 27-acre LA Live entertainment area developed by Anschutz, Wachovia, Azteca, and MacFarlane Partners, and just opened in 2010. Even more amazing: The Wilshire Grand itself is scheduled to be razed next year by owner Korean Airlines and replaced with (at 1,250 feet) the tallest building by far on the West Coast.
Richard Pink
We met up the day before with our panelist Richard Pink who has a storied sideline: he owns (and his wife runs) the famous Pink’s Hot Dogs at LaBrea and Melrose, started by his parents in 1939 and known for huge lines of ravenous fans including frequent celebrities, and now another seven locations strong. (We went to the equally famous Jonathan Club for lunch and had to defer our dream of hot dogs for another day.) By the way, Richard and Gloria Pink are being honored on May 12 at the Beverly Hills Hotel for work they’ve done for the Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children, and the gala is of course a fundraiser for this great cause.