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Downtown needs rebuilding 'czar, 'C&W's Mosler says.

Cushman & Wakefield President of U.S. Operations Bruce Mosler said that Downtown Manhattan needs a rebuilding "czar," to oversee mass transit projects and establish concrete time frames for completion. His remarks were made during C&W's 2003 New York Real Estate & Economic Forecast at the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown.

"I think it is absolutely necessary to bifurcate any plan and announce now where the short-term investments in transportation will be made," Mosler said. "The governor and the mayor must name a Downtown rebuilding czar who will make improving transportation the first order of business in New York."

The event featured guest speakers including New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who has been instrumental in leading a push for corporate accountability, and Howard Lutnick, chairman and chief executive officer of Cantor Fitzgerald, the brokerage firm devastated by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Maria Sicola, C&W's senior managing director of Research Services, presented C&W's forecast for 2003.

Sicola outlined prospects for the Midtown and Downtown Manhattan commercial real estate markets. The forecasts were based primarily on job growth expectations, excess space companies have not yet placed on the market and the outlook for commercial construction.

Based on 2% job growth, by year-end 2003, C&W estimates Midtown's Vacancy rate will increase from 11.1 to 13%, and roughly seven million SF will be added to the market. For Downtown, at 2% job growth, the vacancy rate will stay flat and finish the year at 13.1%, with 1.3 million SF of space added to the market. "Shadow space will be the factor to watch" throughout the year, said Sicola, referring to excess space companies may or may not decide to sublease. She anticipates a market recovery to begin by the first quarter of 2004.

Attorney General Spitzer spoke on the latest terrorist threats, his pressing of corporate governance and ethics issues, and other factors affecting the nation and the New York City economy.

Lutnick described the painful events at Cantor Fitzgerald following Sept. 11, and how he and his colleagues managed to rebuild their business, despite losing more than 600 employees in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
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Title Annotation:Mnnhattan needs focus on rebuilding transport
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Feb 26, 2003
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