The Annual NYAC Dinner of the Industrial and Office Real Estate Brokers Association of the New York Metropolitan Area Inc. (IOREBA) attracted a record crowd of 90 from that organization as well as local chapters of SIOR and CCIM, and they heard a mixed message from David J. Zimmer, President of Zimmer Real Estate Services of Kansas City, MO.

"It was a great collaboration of the New York Metro chapter of CCIM and the New York downstate and New Jersey chapters of SIOR, which provided for an ideal networking setting as well," said Sean Brady, president of IOREBA and Senior Director of Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey, Inc.

"Attitudes are definitely more positive than they have been in the past three years," reflected Zimmer, providing the national economic and real estate outlook to the joint audience in his role as international President of SIOR. "It appears that business is still flowing, just maybe not at the strength that we'd like."

Noting that the recession officially ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Analysis, "business conditions are starting to improve, and we are all looking forward to a sure, yet probably slow but steady recovery as our clients begin to regain confidence," he said. "The year 2010 ended with employers adding a modest one million net jobs, which is a mere fraction of the total job losses between December 2007 and December 2009."

After the U.S. office vacancy rate reached nearly 18% by the second quarter of 2010, "the year ended on a positive note with three consecutive quarters of positive absorption," Zimmer reported. "On the industrial side, the U.S. market bottomed out in the second quarter of 2010 with a vacancy rate of approximately 10.9%. It did not get quite as bad as office because industrial developers were able to shut down the construction pipeline much more quickly than office developers could when demand for space evaporated."

In terms of what's ahead for 2011, "it is all about jobs," Zimmer said. "Most believe that the U.S. economy will begin adding jobs, yet growth will remain sluggish. But as things improve, asking rental rates will rise slowly as landlords continue to compete for tenants. As rates begin to increase, good tenants should be more willing to sign long-term leases in order to lock in most favorable terms.

"As market conditions improve, it only stands to reason that landlords will begin pulling back on concessions, especially in certain built-out submarkets nationally," Zimmer concluded.

"As a long-time, respected real estate professional, David Zimmer is especially well qualified to provide us with this national insight," said Brady. "In addition to his insight, this event with the joint participation of IOREBA and local chapters of SIOR and CCIM provided members of all three organizations with a unique opportunity to exchange ideas."

The next scheduled event for IOREBA is the 25th Annual Office Developers and Investors Night, slated for Monday, March 14 at the Marriott at Glenpointe, Teaneck, N.J. "Each year, IOREBA dedicates a portion of the proceeds of the event to Monmouth University's Kislak Real Estate Institute's scholarship program," Brady said.

With roots dating back to 1927, IOREBA is one of the nation's largest regional commercial real estate groups, growing to more than 300 members conducting business in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. The organization has continually expanded its offerings, designing more useful programs, and teaming with co-hosts for several events to improve the networking environment. To assist members in difficult economic times, IOREBA has also cut costs for events and membership to ensure that members are able to take full advantage of everything the organization has to offer.

Pictured left to right: Sean Brady, president of IOREBA and senior director of Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey, Inc.; David J. Zimmer, president of Zimmer Real Estate Services of Kansas City, MO, and SIOR international president; David Simon, vice president of IOREBA; and Marc Graham, treasurer of IOREBA.

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