The region, though, won't escape unscathed: it's going to geteven slower than it is now. In taking the region's temperature forCRE fundamentals, Gregory Leisch, president and CEO of DeltaAssociates, the research arm of Transwestern Commercial Services,said Dallas/Fort Worth is destined to stay "reasonably healthy ifwe continue to grow jobs." His crystal ball shows North Texas willadd 30,000 jobs per year for the next three years, falling 26,500jobs short of its average annual gain.

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"It's a sufficient rate for a sturdy real estate market if wedon't overproduce product," Leisch told brokers, investors andbankers at last night's TrendLines, the firm's sixth annualforecast event for Dallas/Fort Worth held at Northwood Club inNorth Dallas. He pointed out that the region added 59,800 jobsbetween January and July, starting into the hard times as the USleader for new jobs.

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Transwestern's leaders reassured the crowd that the economicclimate is primed with opportunity. And their marching orders areto perceive the glass as half full and not half empty, accept thereality and be proactive. Larry Heard, Transwestern's president andCEO, said the brokerage firm did just that earlier this year whenit cleared all its corporate debt "to put ourselves into a positionto take advantage of what's ahead."

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Delivering the lay of the land in Dallas/Fort Worth and thenation, Leisch concurred with Transwestern's Heard and Jack Eimer,president of its Central region, that the economic news might betough to take, but it's laden with opportunity. "We've seen thesetimes before and we'll see them again," Leisch said. "We willsurvive this."

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Leisch said it's far from being a Great Depression. The fix torestore consumer confidence lies in restarting the housing market,positive media coverage, stabilizing credit markets, a rising USdollar and less volatile stock markets.

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Leisch's predictions for the next two years for Dallas/FortWorth calls for rent growth of 0.5% to 1% for the office sector; 1%to 2% for the multifamily market; and 0.5% for the industrialsector. And, he believes there will be a rise in cap rates of 35 to75 basis points annually. "Our core industries are holding upwell," he said about the region.

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Each year, Transwestern honors a local company or executive asits TrendSetter. This year's recipient was Granite Properties Inc.and its president and CEO Michael W. Dardick.

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