THIS MORNING'S SCHMOOZE!
|Bisnow's first Chicago Breakfast & Schmooze brought together 300 real estate professionals at the Sheraton, eager to hear the state of the market. The good news? We'll see recovery. The bad news? It'll have to wait for job growth.|
The good news about the bad news? We may just have to hire a permanent Chicago event planner—so that's another job. In the distance, Hines' Greg Van Schaack and Equity Office Properties'Kurt Heister, kicking off the morning with discussions of the office market on a local and national level.
Time for their close up. Greg says he hopes developments like Hines' River Point project, which was 65% leased but still could not find a loan, will start coming together, but it's likely to take more trust from lenders. In the meantime he's working on smaller projects that don't require job growth, like mixed-use projects in Lincoln Park and student housing downtown.
Katten's David Bryant moderated CBRE's Todd Lippman, Kensington Realty's Jim Smith, and Holiday Fenoglio Fowler's Matt Lawton. Jim calls multi-family the "tallest midget in the circus," and Matt said he had recently sold a multi-family building on Cityfront Plaza, but at a low price and with a condominium plan. Todd says the one office building sale downtown this year, 303 W. Madison, had 12 offers, all very close to each other, which could bode well for a few more mid-level sales next year—though he's not about to predict anything over $50 million. Of course, they all agree that sales and leasing in all building types is dependent on more jobs.
Our top banana, Mark Bisnow, right, chatted with our sponsor, Leopardo's Ruben Ruban, about the construction company's recent activities from interiors to ground-up construction throughout the city and 'burbs. Earlier this year, the firm celebrated its 30th anniversary and the completion of the LEED-Gold Aurora police station.
Listening in were Levenfeld Pearlstein's Marc Joseph, Paris Development II's Aaron Paris, and Katten's Douglas L. Noren. Like many, Marc and Douglas are working on distressed deals, but Marc's also been working on solar power plant developments in Nevada and California, while Douglas has done land sales of timber farms in the hundreds of thousands of acres. They aren't moving too fast right now, he says, but we suspect he sees the forest for the trees. If we're lucky, that adage applies here, but we're keeping it either way.
On the right, Haworth's Kelly Martincin was celebrating her new job after 20 years in the real estate industry. She started with the furniture company in November, after working at brokerage and development companies doing marketing and biz dev. VOA's Ann Volz and Plante & Moran's Kristy Laterra were up for a little schmooze as well. Ann says she's feeling better than this time last year about getting more work for her company.