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HOUSTON-The energy boom and Port of Houston have provided huge economic benefits, causing the region to thrive during a time when other areas aren’t faring so well. With these drivers as starting points, the third annual RealShare Houston Sept. 3 will tie in both industries’ impacts on commercial real estate, while probing how long the market can thrive in the face of economic uncertainty.

The half-day conference will be held at the Westin Galleria Houston at 5060 W. Alabama St. The keynote speakers are Dan Pickering, co-president of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. and Curtis Spencer, president of IMS Worldwide Inc. Pickering will focus on “how energy and real estate mix” while Spencer will concentrate on “the impact of the port on real estate and business in Houston.”

The Port of Houston has really come into its own in recent years in terms of ongoing expansions like Bayport Container Terminal. Just recently, the authority has been considering a $1-million grant to jump-start a site selection study for yet another container terminal.

“In our research and meetings with people in the Houston area, the port comes up again and again as a current, and even more importantly, huge potential driver of activity,” explains Richard Kelley, executive director of the RealShare Conference Series, a division of UK-based Incisive Media. “It’s not just industrial, but it’s likely to impact all property types.”

Kelley says RealShare was lucky to procure Spencer as a speaker because he is an expert when it comes to linking international trade with its impact on industrial and other real estate. “He’s keynoted our industrial east and west events on more than one occasion,” Kelley says. “He’s a captivating and informative speaker, but though he’s based in Houston, he’s not well-known there. We think that will change after Sept. 3.”

Pickering will focus exactly on how growth in the oil and gas industries has had its own impact on real estate. Kelley tells GlobeSt.com that participants have asked before for someone who could correlate the two. “With Mr. Pickering, I think we’ve found someone who will do that in an interesting and entertaining manner,” he adds.

The RealShare team also has gathered some well-known names in the commercial real estate industry for a “Legends of the Houston Commercial Real Estate Market” panel, which will examine previous real estate cycles in Houston and compare the present one. The panel consists of David Hightower, executive vice president and chief development officer of Wolff Cos.; Stewart Robinson, senior director of Hines; Bill McDade, chairman with McDade, Smith, Gould, Johnston, Mason + Co.; Ed Page, principal of Page Partners; Michael Boyd, principal of Boyd Commercial; and Matt Khourie, president of Trammell Crow Co.’s southeast operations.

Kelley stresses Houston is a thriving market, but professionals have tempered their optimism because the national economy isn’t quite so strong. In addition, he says the upcoming presidential election is stalling things. “Even with the thriving market, the people know things can turn around and Houston could be impacted negatively. We try to include that in our discussions,” Kelley adds, noting the conference will draw upwards of 300 professionals.

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