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LONG BEACH, CA-The Los Angeles and Orange County industrial markets both registered negative net absorption in the third quarter of this year, something that has been virtually unheard of lately in Southern California, where the growth of the logistics industry and other factors in recent years have generated a seemingly endless demand for industrial buildings ranging from million-square-foot warehouses to 1,000-square-foot incubator suites. Questions about where the market is now, where it is going and how the industry’s top leaders are positioning themselves for the future will form the basis for a full slate of presentations and panel sessions when the fourth annual RealShare Industrial West conference and networking event convenes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach.

Some 200 registrants are expected to attend this year’s conference, according to Richard Kelley, executive director of the RealShare Conference Series division of Incisive Media Events. Kelley tells GlobeSt.com that the unusual market conditions created by the economic downturn are generating increased interest this year in Industrial West as well as other RealShare events as industry professionals and those who serve the industry look for answers to the many questions posed by the economic upheaval.

“One of the things we’ve found is that in a market like today’s, information is more important than ever, and people feel a greater need to be informed,” Kelley says. “There is also a greater need to be informed and to network—to not only try to understand what is going on but to talk with other real estate professionals and get everybody’s viewpoint on what’s going on.”

The slate of speakers and panels at this year’s Industrial West is designed to reveal how deals are still getting done in today’s uncertain markets and to examine every facet of the industry from financing to development to leasing and sales and redevelopment. “Industrial real estate, just like everything else in the commercial real estate world, has certainly been impacted by the economic downturn and the financial mess on Wall Street,” Kelley tells GlobeSt.com. “The whole global logistics supply chain is being to be thrown a little bit off-kilter from what people have been accustomed to over the past five or six years. We’re going to try to really explain those ramifications because they are very important to everyone in the industry, whether they be owners, investors, developers, brokers or lenders.”

Following registration that begins at 8 a.m., RealShare Industrial West will kick off with a keynote address by CEO Jon DeCesare of WCL Consulting on how the economy and the credit crisis are affecting industrial real estate. WCL is a management consulting firm providing logistics, supply chain management and warehousing and distribution advisory services to major international corporations, third-party logistics providers, real estate development and brokerage companies and the public sector.

One of the highlights of every RealShare event is its Town Hall Panel, Kelley notes. For this year’s Industrial West Town Hall, EVP Joseph Vargas of Cushman & Wakefield will moderate a panel that will address the challenges and solutions facing industrial real estate in the Western US. Panel members will include president Greg Thurman of Panattoni Development Co., regional president Lang Cottrell of LNR Property Corp. and EVP Tim O’Rourke of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Following the Town Hall, Industrial West will present two more panels on the industrial market before a networking lunch that is scheduled for shortly after noon. The first panel, moderated by EVP Barbara Emmons of CB Richard Ellis, will tackle the topic of “What it takes to buy and finance deals in today’s dysfunctional environment.” Panelists will include SVP Patrick Gallagher of the Alter Group, managing director of acquisitions Rick Putnam of Rreef, managing partner Howard Schwimmer of Rexford Industrial and managing director Peter Smyslowski of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler.

Next up will be a panel on the new realities of the Southern California industrial market, moderated by SVP Jeffrey Morgan of CBRE. Panelists will be vice president Rob Antrobius of AMB Property Corp., executive managing director Bryan Bentrott of Master Development, vice president Brian Gagne of KTR Capital and SVP Erik Hansen of LNR Property Corp. and first vice president Patrick Maloney of ProLogis.

Following the networking lunch, RealShare Industrial West will offer two more panels to close out the day: “From Port to People,” which will examine the reconfiguration of the supply chain and industrial logistics; and “Industrial Crossfire,” in which market leaders will reveal the trends, companies and people to watch in 2009.

The first panel will be moderated by Chuck Belden, executive director at Cushman & Wakefield, with panel members Jon Cross, director of marketing at the Allen Group; Tim Feemster, SVP and director of global logistics for Grubb & Ellis; and Jim MacLellan, director of marketing for the Port of Los Angeles. The second will be led by Al Pontius, SVP and managing director of Marcus & Millichap, with panelists Martin Coyne, SVP and regional manager for AMB Property Corp. and Ed Indvik, chairman of the Lee & Associates Advisory Board.

RealShare Industrial West is one of an annual schedule of RealShare events that are produced by Incisive Media, the parent company of GlobeSt.com, Real Estate Forum magazine, Real Estate Southern California magazine and a host of other online and print sources of information about commercial real estate, legal and financial services, risk management and the marketing industry.

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