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ONTARIO, CA-The Inland Empire chalked up some of the nation’s biggest growth numbers before the downturn. Powered by one of the country’s biggest home-building booms, the Inland economy provided a fertile ground for developers to launch scores of retail, office, industrial and multifamily projects. Now that the economy has slowed and the capital markets remain a big question mark, industry leaders and other professionals in the commercial real estate industry are poised to ask and answer a host of questions regarding the near and long-term future of this two-county region east of Los Angeles at the third annual RealShare Inland Empire conference and networking event.

The third annual RealShare Inland Empire is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at the Ontario Convention Center. Jason Young, conference producer for the RealShare Conference Series, tells GlobeSt.com that this year’s conference will focus on “topics that mean the most to folks in the Inland Empire, based on advice from our advisory board” of professionals who are involved in the market. Among the issues to be addressed: How the changes in the economy, the credit markets and commercial real estate have affected the Inland Empire and what industry leaders see for the immediate and long-term future.

“We’re finding that people see networking and talking about the market as possibly even more valuable during times like these,” Young says. He notes that the attendance for RealShare Inland Empire is expected to total 250 or more owners, investors, developers, brokers, lenders, service providers and others connected with the commercial real estate industry. Young says that he and other RealShare conference producers are finding that attendance is holding up remarkably well during this downturn because networking and market knowledge become crucially important during uncertain times like these.

The Aug. 27 conference will kick off with on-site registration beginning at 11 a.m., followed by a networking luncheon at 11:30 a.m. The first presentation of the day will come at 12:20 p.m . from keynote speaker Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, who will address not only how but when the regional and US economies may begin to improve. Following Green, a Town Hall Meeting at 12:50 p.m. will tackle the question, “How Will the Inland Empire Fare in 2009?” The topics covered will range from the impact of high fuel prices, the credit crisis, the housing slump, flat job growth–and how real estate professionals find and capitalize on opportunities in a confused market.

Young tells GlobeSt.com that another highlight of this year’s event will be a corporate perspectives panel, which will include commercial real estate end users and those who represent them talking about the market from their standpoint, why they are in the market, where they are expanding as well as why and where they think the economy is headed.

Another new panel this year will address how to improve return on investment and save money by going green. “We’re finding that this topic is being requested more and more for our events,” Young says. He notes that the panel will feature representatives from the development side, construction management, architecture and consulting–as well as end users. “This panel will go well beyond Green 101,” Young notes.

Aside from the panels named above, RealShare Inland Empire’s panels throughout the day will include sessions on the capital markets and how investors are getting deals done in today’s climate, how the cities and municipalities of the Inland Empire are catering to the diverse needs of its end-users, what it takes and costs to finance deals. Following the final session, the event will conclude with a networking cocktail hour that starts at 4:50 p.m. RealShare Inland Empire and other RealShare events are produced by Real Estate Media, the publisher of GlobeSt.com, Real Estate Forum magazine, Real Estate Southern California magazine and other publications devoted to commercial real estate.

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