Without doubt, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 generated the biggest news stories of the past 50 years, in or out of the industry. And indirectly, Sept. 11-related news still happens on a daily basis, with every report of building-security methodologies and the ongoing race against time that TRIA has become. Every step toward the revitalization of Downtown and the efforts to create the long-sought 24/7 community that Lower Manhattan is to become harkens back to that horrific event.

Certainly, GlobeSt.com responded to the attacks with on-site coverage from Ground Zero as well as follow-ups throughout the day and in the days after as we all struggled to make sense of the attacks.

But Sept. 11 was not the only news of the year. Ironically, just nine weeks before, all of us in the network assumed we had covered the biggest story of ’01 when Larry Silverstein took the keys to the World Trade Center master lease for $3.22 billion. People may even forget that an initial frontrunner in the bid was a JV between Brookfield and Boston Properties.

The year kicked off with John Buck Co. unveiling plans for a 40-story office tower, to become 111 S. Wacker Dr. in Chicago, and with then-governor Gray Davis promising to end California’s “energy nightmare.”

Other nightmares were about to break, nightmares of an economic sort, to be accelerated of course on Sept. 11. But even as far back as January of that year, reports were starting to predict a “subdued” market.

Nevertheless, some major deals rolled out before the market disappeared in 2002, deals such as Chase Manhattan’s 1.3-million-sf lease at 277 Park Ave. (despite its new found, major-ticket love for New Jersey—see our 2000 coverage). Tishman Speyer unveiled its plans for the 415,000-sf One MetroCenter in DC, while in Portland, OR, the Portland Development Commission gave the go-ahead on the $100-million Museum Place (still inching toward completion today).

In Chicago, General Growth made history of sorts with the industry’s largest CMBS deal at $2.6 billion. New York City was an aggressive player itself in 2001, hatching the imaginative and overly optimistic scheme to host the 2012 Olympics. Seniors housing was on the move as well in 2001, with the $223-million sale of 145 properties by Sunrise Assisted Living to Macquarie Capital and to Christohper Place.

Mergers and acquisitions were also a hot topic in 2001, both before and after Sept. 11, when EOP grabbed Spieker Properties and Vornado picked up Charles E. Smith.

Still as storm clouds continued to gather, terms like “correction” and “heading south” made their appearance in an increasing number of GlobeSt.com headlines. Not seeing what lay directly ahead, PricewaterhouseCoopers confidently predicted that in 2002, New York City hotel room rates would rebound.

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