Eastern Consolidate's Polsinelli

NEW YORK CITY-According to the results of our latest poll and a slew of forward-thinking  articles here on Globest recently, it seems that readers are positive about business in the coming year. For instance, Carrie Rossenfeld recently reported on Stream Realty’s “bevy” of leasing assignments and its plans for expansion. 

And in Florida, Jen LeClaire covered Related’s ability to sell out its 192-unit condo building, MyBrickell in the space of a few weeks. 

With these and other great deals, it was almost no surprise that the majority of respondents to our latest poll indicated that their companies have been “super busy” so far this year. This group – 45% of participants – agreed that this was a good sign of things to come.

Joseph Fobert, real estate industry practice leader with AIG, spoke to this: “Heading into 2013 there was a large degree of uncertainty around how the real estate property market would respond if we went off the fiscal cliff,” he says. “However, we were mostly optimistic as market fundamentals have been strong with rents increasing, vacancies down, favorable CMBS growth and job growth as well as an increase in construction starts over various sectors and geographies. With all these factors proven to have remained favorable thus far, we have seen favorable results in the real estate sector and expect this trend to continue throughout the rest of the year.”

Additionally, Adelaide Polsinelli, senior director at Eastern Consolidated, expressed how her firm is faring this year so far. And things seem to be great given the fact that over the last nine months, Eastern’s Retail Sales Group, led by Polsinelli, has successfully transacted over 18 retail sales totaling in excess of $150 million in dollar volume, including noteworthy deals such as the $41.5 million sale of “the King of Greene Street” building at 72-76 Greene Street in SoHo and the sale of 210 Bowery for $7.5 million.

She adds: “The velocity of activity is comparable to last quarter. We are firing from all cylinders and have had to work around the clock to keep all of our deals in motion and clients covered.”

The second most popular response was selected by 34% of respondents who indicated that business has been slow, but steady. Considering that the economy and industry in general have been so up and down over the past few years, these individuals also concurred they were “grateful to have the stability,” as the question indicated.

The remaining 21% of respondents were not impressed by the way things had started in 2013. This group selected the final option, that the year had not started out as expected and they had, in fact, thought 2013 would have had a better opening.

Despite being ready for a strong year, some in the industry are still in “wait and see” mode – at least, this is what Al Williams, principal with Excess Space Retail Services suggests. “We trust that government compromise will prevail and an extension of the fiscal cliff be obtained.  Therefore, we believe the US business environment will continue to slowly improve and recover in 2013.  Moreover, we anticipate consumer confidence will improve as home prices rise and unemployment rates decline,” he says.

So, it may be that decisions made in Washington will, once again, guide many a sentiment or business decision this year. In that vein, this week’s poll asks you to indicate which State of the Union topic raised will most impact commercial real estate. Head to the main page, take our poll and feel free to email mlamey@alm.com with your extended views on the topic. We’ll add the most insightful comments to a future article.