Last week's GlobeSt.com Quick Poll asked readers what effectsfinancial services layoffs will have on the office market, with 48%of readers responding that layoffs would destroy it, 28% sayingthey wouldn't have much impact and 23% indicating that they willcreate opportunities for other tenants looking to expand. MichaelF. Beale, senior vice president with Highwoods Properties Inc. inOrlando, spoke with GlobeSt.com about the possible bright side oflayoffs:

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"Depending on the breadth and depth of the layoffs, it couldseriously affect the office market. I think that we have someserious challenges facing us in the banking system that could leadto direct layoffs as they try to save money, but on the other sidethere's a whole industry of services that will grow. There areother industries that will keep the market somewhat stable.

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"There are currently other parts of the economy that aregrowing, which are providing absorption in some respects. We seegrowth in businesses dealing with manufacturing and the supplychain because it appears that we're exporting more now. We're alsoseeing a lot of growth in legal services and companies that provideservices to financial institutions, such as workout firms.

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"The bad news is that we are having trouble in our bankingsystem and financial investment industry. The good news is we areseeing an uptick in these other mainline industries. We havetenants that are involved with logistics for manufacturingcompanies or legal services to the banks; they are now on a growthspurt. While one side of the economy is failing, other parts arestill stable or growing, and as they grow they need places tooccupy.

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"I'm not seeing this as doom and gloom. I see it as a shiftingof emphasis from one industry to the other. I think there will besome disruption as we go through this, but so far the market hasbeen pretty resilient. I've been buoyed by the fact that we stillsee absorption coming from these other industries."

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