Tuesday, June 30, 2009

on the road

I had dinner last night with two true real estate professionals. One, an owner of retail properties was telling me that he's decided to forego annual rent increases to show his tenants he's really their partner....a truly commendable, and shrewd decision. While we as real estate professionals watch what's happening to retail sales and tenancies (or vacancies as it were) we're also participating in the challenging times that retailers are having as consumers who have slowed down their consuming. Regardless of what the government wants us to think, this recession is no where near over and the jobless figures are somewhat frightening. It seems to me that after a lot of hoopla about solving this and funding that and helping this group or that that the focus is on other things. But we have problems right here in River City and it's not the pool hall opening this time (See "The Music Man"). With the commercial real estate market behaving like it's been the victim of a stun gun attack, it appears that only time will heal this situation. But how much beats me. If anyone thinks they know, I think they don't.

Serendipity again Thursday night. For some mysterious reason I chose to take a different path through Central Park while walking home from work. What I came upon was very special. An unprecedented event featuring the 16-piece Duke Ellington Big Band and 14 grand pianos on the Great Mall. According to Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington II, grandson of the famous composer, "Nothing like this has ever been done in Central Park before." I love when stuff like this happens but then again I don't believe anything happens by chance.

I don't tweet or IM. They're just too slow for me. It's amazing how fast we've become so, well, fast with our communication. The need for virtual instant communication gratification is so much a part of our lives that I can't imagine where it'll be by the third of November or by the time my grandson starts talking. Although, right now, he's the star of screaming video which is just his way of telling his parents what he needs. When cavemen were around (or at least in Mel Brooks mind) they spoke in sounds: Duh, Huh, MMMM, Grrrrr. But it must've worked (although we don't really know how much miscommunication occurred). I mention miscommunication because how many times have you miscommunicated with someone even via the slow and lengtht, soon disappearing medium of email? It happens all the time which is why, thankfully, we haven't totally abandoned the phone (not for texting but for talking to each other). But what I'm waiting for, and I don't think it will be 'long time comin', is one letter communication. The extent of mine is 'k' when I'm replying to something and don't have the time to key-out 'okay' as I may be walking my dog, drinking my coffee, wheeling my baby carriage, putting on my makeup, jogging, etc. Multi-tasking has never had a better friend than the cellphone or PDA (is it still called that or am I really behind the times). But think about how much time we can save by using just one letter to communicate. And, what will the next stage be? I perish to think about it. BBFN.

Still a lot of people movement being announced throughout the industry and around the globe. My friend Simon Mallinson told me he is joining INVESCO as their Head of European Research. Congrats Simon.

On the Road:
Montreal: July 9
Chicago: July 6-8
Texas: July 27-28
Chicago: July 10-14
Dates TBD
America's Heartland

Berlin Cathedral (Courtesy Jon W.)

These are my personal views and not that of my employer

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