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New York forecast predicts strength beyond the millennium.

Strong leasing activity is expected to continue in 2000, with a new wave of Manhattan and suburban development that may result in a climb in vacancy rates despite a booming regional economy, according to "Cushman & Wakefield's Forecast 2000," a real estate/economic forecast held on November 9th.

The symposium, held at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan and attended by more than 400 people, featured Frank G. Zarb, chairman and CEO of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD), as keynote speaker. His remarks, entitled "The Coming Global Digital Stock Market," centered around the stock market of the future as it is being shaped by today's information and digital age.

Zarb said that it seemed clear that stock markets of the future will have a redefined purpose and reinvented architecture, all because more and more people have access to more and more information that they want to act on instantly. He added that the stock markets will be even better vehicles than today in helping companies grow, creating jobs, providing fair investment opportunities and in improving economies.

Forecast 2000 featured presentations by leading experts who gave their prognosis for the nation's economy, real estate investment markets, and the New York area's future in 2000 and beyond.

"This annual event is an opportunity for Cushman & Wakefield to demonstrate our commitment to providing our clients with sophisticated, world-class and solutions-oriented service," said Thomas P. Falus, president of Cushman & Wakefield of New York, Inc., who served as the evening's master of ceremonies. "It was an honor to procure this distinguished panel of guest speakers to present an informative, useful forecast on the economy, the stock market and technology's impact on real estate."

Kenneth McCarthy, Chief Economist of the Economic Intelligence Corp., presented a "National and New York City Economic Outlook." He discussed the current state of the U.S. economy and his predictions for 2000 and beyond. "Although the New York and national economies in 1999 will not measure up to the heights of recent years, the current expansion is unlikely to end," he said. "The fundamental forces pushing the economy ahead, including strong investment growth, low inflation and rising incomes, will continue to support growth."

Janice Stanton, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield's Investment Research Department, discussed technology's impact on real estate. "New York City is not only exhibiting healthy office market absorption, it contributes the third largest high-tech real output to the overall U.S. economy," she said.

Stanton's report stated that computer-related industries possess corporate cultures and aesthetic preferences that are diametrically different from the financial giants which have traditionally dominated the New York economy and real estate market. "As a result, notions of locational prestige are being transformed, and both leasing and investment activity in New York's secondary properties and formerly marginal areas are flourishing."

Arthur J. Mirante, II, president and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, introduced Zarb and commended him on his vision for the future of stock trading and NASD's strategy to embrace and facilitate the coming changes. "Frank Zarb's leadership and foresight into a global, electronic stock market will bring benefits to investors, listed companies and the economies of countries. He is truly one of the most significant figures in corporate America today," Mirante said.

In his closing remarks, Falus added "1999 has been a remarkable year for the commercial real estate industry, both nationally and certainly in the New York area market. We expect real estate fundamentals to remain strong beyond 2000."
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Nov 24, 1999
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