NEW YORK CITY-”What happens here affects the world,” said Joseph R. Harbert, CEO, New York Metro Region, Cushman & Wakefield, during the firm’s breakfast forum. He predicted that the days of the $20-per-sf lease will be over by year’s end and that current development projects will not put “an excess supply” of space into the market. He noted that while “the lack of speculative development has benefited the industry,” estimates show a potential requirement for as much as 28 million sf of office space with only 18 million sf in development.

Harbert added that there are as many as 60 firms searching the waters for space in excess of 100,000 sf and looking to make deals over the next eight to 15 months. “Real estate markets move in concert with the economy.”

While a number of deals have been made in excess of $100 per sf in Midtown, one space traded for as high as $140 per sf. And high-end retail is a hotspot for Manhattan as there have been rents of $1,200 per sf along upper Fifth Avenue.

When it comes to investment activity, “New York is a tale of two states,” said Christopher J. Lowery, CEO of Cushman’s Global Capital Markets & Principal Activities Group. “It’s dragged down by softness Upstate.” On the international front, he said there is investment interest and activity in such emerging markets as Poland, Russia and Bulgaria. “It is driven by a supply of global capital for product.” He also noted that cap rate convergence is happening globally, despite distinct market differences.

Keynote speaker Michael D. Eisner, former chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Co., spoke about global communications. “Mass communications isn’t about the mass anymore,” he said.

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