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Powell points to good leadership as key to success.

The United States must continue to embrace its history of openness and its role as a global leader in order to continue to bridge international divides and prosper, according to former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who spoke at length about leadership and the importance of personal relationships in business and diplomacy at the Cushman & Wakefield Forum 2005 held in New York May 5.

The event, titled "from New York to the World" and held at the New York Hilton Hotel, was attended by nearly 1,000 of New York City's most influential real estate investors and business leaders.

Joe Harbert, Cushman & Wakefield's Chief Operating Officer for the New York Metro Region, and Ken Krasnow, the firm's Executive Managing Director for its New York City offices, provided an overview of global real estate markets and an analysis and forecast for the New York City office market going forward.

Mr. Harbert, who concentrated his presentation primarily on bringing the New York City market into perspective with the larger national and global office markets, said, "The so-called jobless recovery is officially over."

He added that despite job growth being slower than historical averages, it has been trending positively recently. "Most of the major key global business centers, including midtown and downtown Manhattan, are at some stage of recovery.

"Manhattan and Washington, D.C., are outperforming the nation's major cities and their vacancy rates are all well under the national average of 14.2 percent."

"Isn't it ironic," Mr. Harbert added, "that the two targets of terrorism, Washington, D.C. and New York, are the healthiest of our markets both in leasing and in investment sales."

According to Mr. Krasnow, who addressed the Manhattan market, New York has astonished industry experts with its "dramatic speed of recovery."

He pointed to the return of financial services firms to the leasing market, combined with a meaningful diversity of industries that are actively leasing space. "For the first time in four years the Downtown Manhattan market has experienced positive absorption," Mr. Krasnow said.

He added that the market is clearly in need of job growth to continue to drive the Manhattan office market.

"We also need decisiveness, especially Downtown in the short-term and vision on the West Side in the long-term," Mr. Krasnow said.

"Where will New York push the boundaries?" Mr. Krasnow asked. "Where will we invest in the infrastructure? Where will we create a lifestyle mixing work and pleasure to continue to attract people to our great city? This is the vision for our long-term viability."

Mr. Harbert closed by challenging New York's industry and political leaders to compare the vision, growth and development of New York's international counterparts like London and Shanghai.

"You look at major cities around the world--London with Canary Wharf and Shanghai with The Bund," Mr. Harbert said. "Look at the pace of their growth and development and compare it with the pace of innovation, growth and development here."
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Title Annotation:Colin L. Powell
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 18, 2005
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