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BOSTON-The city’s first RealShare Conference drew more than 300 real estate professionals from across New England to the World Trade Center Tuesday for a series of educational seminars designed to enlighten them about the region’s changing commercial real estate market. Event highlights included a keynote address by Eric Sheffels, president and chief investment officer of Leggat McCall Properties, who spoke about Boston’s changing real estate market, and an interview with prominent developer, attorney and politician James Rappaport, conducted by Michael Desiato, editorial director of GlobeSt.com and group managing director of Real Estate Media, which hosted the event.

While most speakers noted that Boston’s real estate market is making a comeback, some, like Rappaport, said the region still faces a number of challenges before it is back full force. “Right now, Massachusetts’ only competitive advantage is its brain power but other areas of the country are catching up,” he warned, noting that the loss of nearly 14,000 residents since 2000 does not bode well for the state’s economic revitalization.

But experts in the field remained optimistic saying the market’s recovery, while slower than expected, is on the upswing. At small group forums, attendees heard about the prospects for the Downtown market from a panel of top investment experts, discussed the dynamics of the area’s housing market with policy experts and developers and learned about the outlook for the region’s suburban submarkets from experts on Boston’s suburbs.

“We’re thrilled with the turnout, the quality of the content, the speakers and the enjoyment attendees seemed to get from the event,” Rich Kelley, director of the RealShare Conference Series for Real Estate Media, told GlobeSt.com. “The Boston attendees welcomed RealShare with open arms.” The half-day event from the publishers of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com, brought together some of the biggest names in New England’s commercial real estate market, including investment and financial specialists along with an array of the region’s top deal closers.

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