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Industry offers New Year's wish list.

As we turn the calendar to another page in the nineteen nineties, it's obvious the real estate industry has survived and is thriving, despite lots of worries to the contrary.

In fact, the industry has stayed alive 'til '95 and by golly, gone zooming through the year, cutting lots of deals. While there are many dollars chasing properties and everyone is trying to have an edge, there are still lots of bargains to be had when $100 million buildings are selling for $10 million. But that just means there is plenty of upside left.

The Downtown Plan - a project that was merely a new proposal at this time last year - is now helping to begin the revitalization of empty behemoths and change the area towards a 24-hour community.

Commercial owners are wondering whether a building workers strike will start the new year, or if a fair negotiation with these essential team employees can result in harmony for another three years.

Rental owners are facing the lowest rent control apartment maximum base increase in many years, while rent stabilized apartment owners are still under pressures from ever-increasing water bills and unresolved lead paint problems.

Looking ahead to the new year, REW asked several executives what they wish for the real estate industry in 1996:

Faith Consolo, managing director of Garrick-Aug Store Leasing, said she wishes for healthy Christmas sales for retailers and continued growth in other segments.

"I'd like to see some development issues resolved so we can get back to making deals,. she said, pointing to Rockefeller Center, Olympia & York and the banking merger of Chemical with Chase as holding up leases for those entities' retail properties and clouding the resolution of the retail space.

"Retail space in the prime corridors is tight and it will provide an opportunity for the national tenants to come in," she explained, when those properties come back on the market. "I see all this as opportunity. The retail market is thriving."

While she agrees the apparel industry is being hurt by fewer sales, Consolo said the luxury market has had the best year ever, while computers and other electronics are doing well. The comeback of a strong tourist market has also helped retail sales, as foreign visitors go charging around town.

Alissa J. Gaines, who is an independent real estate advisor, would like to see more deals closing in the coming year. "Many, many people tell me how busy they are, which is a wonderful sign," she said.

Attorney C. Jaye Berger, who represents owners, contractors, and architects, among others, said she wishes for "peace on earth" and clients who allow attorneys to adequately review draft contracts before they sign them.

"I wish they would recognize the importance of spending time to negotiate before they sign as a means of avoiding problems down the road," Berger said. "Whenever we spent a lot of time negotiating the client grumbles, but then thanks me later because later on, when there are problems, they can say, `It's in the contract.' Most of the time," she sighs, "they just want to put the money into bricks."
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Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:real estate industry; 1996
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Dec 27, 1995
Words:518
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