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[IMGCAP(1)]NEW YORK CITY-The constant change and innovation that has encapsulated lower Manhattan is setting the stage for an exciting new decade. Critics who doubted the area’s recovery following 9/11 now watch as it makes rapid progress. Real Estate Media will introduce RealShare Downtown New York, a networking conference designed to explore the changing and evolving office, retail, multifamily and hotel sectors in lower Manhattan, on May 13 at Cipriani Wall Street, where more than 250 attendees are expected.

[IMGCAP(2)]“From the rebuilding at the World Trade Center site to the buzz and activity in the hotel, retail and multifamily sectors, there is no busier market or one that presents greater opportunities today than Downtown, and that is why RealShare is focusing an event solely on all that is going on, and what will continue to happen and transform the market over the next three years, Downtown,” says Richard Kelley, executive director of the RealShare Conference Series.

[IMGCAP(3)]“The combination of the financial services industry pullback and a possible widening of the delta between Midtown and Downtown rental rates makes this conference come at an important time for the Downtown market, and our A-list roster of speakers will not be short on opinions as to where the Downtown market is headed and where there are deals to be made,” he continues.

[IMGCAP(4)]Topics will include: the city’s overall vision and how it will influence new development, leasing and investment sales activities; how will a change in gubernatorial leadership impact downtown; how will developments in multifamily, commercial, retail and hotel sectors pan out in the immediate future, and long run; why is infrastructure important and, what are the ramifications of new projects, such as the Long Island Rail link; how is the drive to meet LEED-certification standards impacting new development; how will the unsettled real estate capital markets impact investment activity, and the overall market; are tenants still considering downtown as the viable alternative and much more.

[IMGCAP(5)]The conference will begin with opening remarks at 8:05 a.m. followed by a town hall panel about the state of the Downtown market, moderated by Lois Weiss, a columnist at the New York Post, with panelists including leading industry experts and key downtown players including: Larry Silverstein, president and CEO of Silverstein Properties Inc.; Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York; Alan Gerson, City Council Member of the 1st District, New York City Council; Dennis Friedrich, president and COO of US Commercial Operations at Brookfield Properties; Robert Freedman, president and CEO of GVA Williams; Avi Schick, downstate COO and president of the Empire State Development Corp. and Lower Manhattan Development Corp. During the session, panelists will tackle questions and will offer analysis and review of recent trends and patterns, including vacancy and cap rate data.

[IMGCAP(6)]A “Fact or Fiction” session will follow, where New York’s commercial real estate heavy hitters will discuss and debate the Downtown redevelopment effort. Moderator Michael Desiato, group publisher, editorial director and VP for Real Estate Media, will present panelists Kent Swig, principal of Swig Equities and Bruce Mosler, president and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield Inc. with a series of statements about the redevelopment effort, and will be encouraged to agree, by stating the statements as “fact,” or disagree, by stating “fiction,” then have time to comment.

[IMGCAP(7)]Other sessions at the half-day conference include: a multifamily, hotel and retail activity overview and analysis with moderator Elizabeth Berger, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, panelist Francis Greenburger, founder, chairman and CEO of Time Equities Inc., and Daniel Lesser, senior managing director of CB Richard Ellis; a look at the continued impact of the credit crunch on the financing and investment sales markets, with moderator Carl Schwartz, partner and chair of the real estate department at Herrick, Feinstein LLP, and panelist Alan Miller, senior director of Eastern Consolidated, Mike Forrest, senior associate of Marcus and Millichap, David Cohen, regional director of the northeast at GE Real Estate, and Joshua Zamir, managing principal of Capstone Equities. The concluding session, moderated by Sheldon Cohen, a senior managing director at CBRE, will focus on the outlook for Downtown leasing. Panelist Todd Koren, SVP of Swig Equities, will discuss how lower Manhattan fares against Midtown, Midtown South, Jersey City, Brooklyn and the boroughs.

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