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Richard Crow, Moody Younger, Bob Bach
We never heard the Imperial March or saw the emperor, but we did hang out with the Grubb & Ellis folks at the firm's 2011 CRE forecast at the Death Star yesterday. We snapped Myers & Crow’s Richard Crow, Grubb & Ellis executive managing director of Texas Moody Younger, and chief economist Bob Bach in a pre-game pump up. (We hear that Moody considered pouring the wine over Bob’s head in celebration, but opted wisely to drink it.) Moody tells us that 2010ended on a positive note with Dallas' transactions up 69% over the previous year, and Grubb's Dallas Top 10 producers were up 93%. “In 2009, you couldn’t find a deal. In 2010, it was hard to get across the goal line, but the deals were there. In 2011, we hope to see more game in the market,” he says.
Cowboy Stadium construction
With a little more than three weeks until the Super Bowl, the $1.4BCowboys Stadium is undergoing a facelift to rival Jerry Jones’ work. We snapped the construction progress as the normally 80,000-seat stadium—with a 100,000-person capacity for most Cowboys games—adds enough seating for 120,000 ticket-holders. The retractable-dome stadium held a record 108,000 fans for the NBA All-Star game last year and Jerry's seeing dollar signs as he shoots for 120,000 to attend the Super Bowl.
Bob Bach
We like having fun with Bob (as we did in November). Even though he may have his own 10-gallon hat (from his days as a Dallas city planner from '79 to '84), we gave him a virtual one. He says theinvestment market has been the biggest surprise: capital returned in a big way in 2010, with a 90% capital return over the 20% to 30% forecast. The best Class-A properties in constrained markets (like midtown Manhattan and DC) erupted in bidding wars for core properties with Boston and San Francisco following the melee. In2011, he’s optimistic and forecasts a 75% increase, “though problems are still out there like debt and public sector debt.”
Billy Vahrenkamp, Kim Vaughn, Daniel Rudd
Grubb & Ellis’ Billy Vahrenkamp and Daniel Rudd surround Community Hospice of Texas CFO Kim Vaughn on the Cowboys Stadium turf. Both Billy and Daniel are among Grubb & Ellis’ Top 10 producers for 2010. Bob’s forecast for 2011: a lot more optimism, not only in CRE but across the economy. “And, I forecast that the Cowboys will do better next year, too,” he adds.