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(Ian Ritter is national online editor for GlobeSt.com/RETAIL.)

NEW YORK CITY-Only days after the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, real estate professionals pondered the future of Downtown Manhattan at Real Estate Media’s Fifth Annual RealShare New York conference, at the Roosevelt Hotel. Most speakers at the event agreed that things Downtown are changing for the better.

“There is no doubt that our city has made a remarkable rebound since the terrorists ripped the heart out of Lower Manhattan,” said Michael Desiato, group publisher and editorial director of Real Estate Media, which publishes GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum. He points out that the biggest problem executives are currently having is finding more deals to get done.

Downtown Manhattan may not yet have the draw of Midtown, but it is drawing some of that areas tenants because Downtown is becoming more of a 24-hour environment where people are living, said Michael Geoghegan, vice chairman of CB Richard Ellis, speaking during the conference’s Town Hall meeting. “It’s not a landlord’s market,” he said. “But it certainly is a quickly recovering market.”

However, Geoghegan warned that companies shouldn’t rely on dwindling Liberty Bonds and other government assistance to build Downtown. “I think people are going to have to come to reality that this market isn’t going to receive the same subsidies it has,” he said.

Locally based Swig Equities already has a vested interested in Downtown Manhattan, as it is one of the major building owners in the area. President Kent Swig said one thing has both hurt and helped the Downtown’s revitalization–the influence of government. City, state and federal agencies were invaluable in the process because they got it started in the first place but recently those entities have caused it to move at too slow a pace, said Swig, during Inside the Real Estate Mind with Desiato.

One reason that Swig likes the area is because of future transportation possibilities–he said there is more of a concentration of railroad track in Downtown Manhattan than there is in any other one area in the world. He also pointed to the transportation centers being built, like the Fulton Transit Center and World Trade Center Transportation Hub, as key to the area’s revitalization. “It’s going to revolutionize Downtown,” he said.

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