Jerry Zaro, chief of the Governor's Office of Economic Growth,served as moderator for the panel of speakers, which included MarcBerson, chairman and founder of Fidelco Realty Group; Gus Milano,executive vice president of finance/leasing for Hartz MountainIndustries, Inc.; and John Saraceno, co-founder and managingpartner of Onyx Equities, LLC.

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During the discussion of the urban marketplace, Berson noted,"urban areas are starting to become more desirable places to livecompared to past perceptions. Urban universities, businessenvironments and lifestyle amenities are merging, which has apositive impact on urban growth."

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When asked for a forecast for development of the urbanmarketplace for 2010, Saraceno said it will be a "sideways year."He adds, "Many people feel the worst is behind us, and those whohave survived are ready to make decisions. Private companies willbe the first to bring jobs back and take advantage of the incentiveprograms in place for urban markets."

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When Zaro asked about the biggest challenge for developers inNew Jersey, Milano cited the local government's control overprojects. "Even if developers have approval from the state, localmunicipalities can delay the process," he stated. "It's verydifficult to do business in this state as a developer."

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In describing New Jersey's loss of revenue and businesses,Milano blamed the income tax structure. "In changing the way thestate does business, New Jersey should look at some ofPennsylvania's practices," he noted. "Governor Rendell makeshimself very accessible, even phoning large companies looking torelocate to that state. Businesses are impressed that he ispersonally involved," he concluded, adding that it is essential forNew Jersey to make some adjustments to stay in the game.

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All panelists agreed that urban areas will be the office marketwith the largest amount of the leasing activities over the next 12to 18 months.

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