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THIS MORNING AT ULI; YESTERDAY AT ABO

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THIS MORNING AT ULI; YESTERDAY AT ABO
We braved the flurries this morning for ULI NY's annual economic and real estate outlook—together with an SRO crowd at 101 Park Ave. Packed, of course, because everyone's looking for answers. And guess what? A concrete prediction from Moody's Economy.com chief economist Mark Zandi: Recovery shall begin precisely on.drum roll.September 15. (Perhaps a little too precise, but he seemed to like the poetic symmetry of dating it for the anniversary of the Lehman collapse).
THIS MORNING AT ULI; YESTERDAY AT ABO
And why September? Mark, center, believes in the power of government, saying this is where the fact he's a registered Democrat comes out, even though he was a McCain adviser. He says the difference between having a recession instead of a depression is the fact of aggressive government intervention, eg, bringing key interest rates practically to zero and embracing huge economic stimulus. With Mark above, Real Estate Economics chief economist Sam Chandan and Weitzman Group partner Tom Justin.
THIS MORNING AT ULI; YESTERDAY AT ABO
This was, to say the least, welcome news to the crowd; how else to explain such rapt in attention with no checking of Blackberries? Tom, who moderated, said we're in the longest recession in 25 years, and that 2009 will likely be the worst period for commercial real estate since '91. Sam gave sector specific NY forecasts: apartments will be relatively sound due to little overbuilding; office demand is diminishing and vacancy may go up as much as 450 basis points higher, especially downtown; industrial space demand will ease; and retail will be constrained due to consumer anemia.
THIS MORNING AT ULI; YESTERDAY AT ABO
ING Clarion's Gary Rufrano and Sherwood Equities' Ryan Nelson, who told us his '09 agenda is to find distressed asset opportunities—and any other tips for surviving.