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Merrifield Patrick Vermillion managing partner  Jim Merrifield admits he may not be the most optimistic person about current market conditions, but he says he is seeing ?some glimmer of improvement? in certain sectors, including office leasing.
Merrifield Patrick Vermillion's Jim Merrifield
In his 30-year CRE career, Jim has directed the commercial development of more than 4,000 acres of land and 3.5M SF of commercial space. Projects have included CrownPoint, NorthCross, and Whitehall. (He has a thing for two syllables.) Though most of his background is in commercial development, he says it's the decline of single-family residential, once a Charlotte lynchpin, that's causing so much depression in other real estate arenas and the overall Charlotte economy. Though apartments are doing well, he says it's only because getting a loan for a condo unit is so difficult. It could take much more than a year for things to improve, he tells us. ?Except for the Ballantyne area, I don't see much happening.? Jim, will be joining the Bisnow panel of experts July 15 at the Charlotte Westin  for our first ever Charlotte State of the Market business forum. (Sign up here. Great schmoozing, too!)
City of Charlotte's Dennis Marstall
The City of Charlotte's Dennis Marstall will be giving an overall economic development perspective at the Bisnow Charlotte State of the Market event July 15 (yet another chance to register). His main thrust will be how the city can make Charlotte more appealing to new businesses and how it can support, not compete against, existing businesses: ?Our intention is to make Charlotte as attractive a business destination as we can.? Dennis, who has logged 12 years with the city, now serves as an economic development program manager for Charlotte's economic development division of the neighborhood and business services department. (That's unlikely to fit on a  name tag, but we'll try.) He will share the findings of the latest Charlotte Business Confidence Index, a survey of area businesses that attempts to measure expectations for the upcoming business quarter. He'll also be talking about what the city has been doing to connect with local businesses and neighborhoods, including promoting more ?face-to-face interaction.?