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Insiders forecast a good year ahead.

Grubb & Ellis Company announced the success of its annual New Jersey Real Estate Forecast Event, held at the Pegasus Restaurant at the Meadowlands Racetrack on February 3. A night of horseracing, wining and dining ensued after more than 200 guests listened to an esteemed panel of market experts.

Stephen Jenco, client services manager for Grubb & Ellis' New Jersey offices, kicked off the event with the firm's outlook for commercial real estate in 2005.

"Moderating rental rates in the class A market are expected to continue to create opportunities for companies seeking to relocate their operations from class B to class A product," said Jenco. "New construction is forecasted to be a prevalent theme of the industrial market in 2005, as demand for warehouse space has encouraged developers to unleash the next wave of new construction projects. The retail and investment markets remained on solid ground during the past year and are expected to be strong in the coming year as well."

Panelists were cautiously optimistic for the prospect of growth in Northern New Jersey in 2005. James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, concluded his forecast with the belief that, "the U.S. is firmly back in the job-creation business." He added that while there is momentum entering 2005, "growth might be slower. It's a natural part of the economic cycle."

Mitchell Hersh, president/CEO for Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, agreed, asserting that, "New Jersey is resilient." And while some fear the impact of SBC's acquisition of AT&T, one of the state's largest employers, Hersh said, "I feel it will add jobs to the state ultimately, after an initial shakeout."

From a corporate perspective, Dennis Bone, president of Verizon-New Jersey, said that in the wake of the SBC/AT&T deal, "the industry is in a tremendous convergence. I see a lot more mergers."
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Title Annotation:New Jersey
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 9, 2005
Words:314
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