[IMGCAP(1)]IRVINE, CA-Those who study and invest in Orange County’s commercial real estate markets have long said that solid fundamentals like a great location, relatively little open land for development and a steadily growing job base ensure the long-term success of the county’s property markets. The experts still say that Orange County is a good long-term bet, but conditions today have deteriorated from those of just a few years ago. Today the county faces questions about how long and how severely it will continue to feel the national economic slowdown, the long-term impact of the capital markets dislocation on day-to-day business, what will be the lasting effects of the subprime fiasco and what sectors will take the longest to recover.

A series of speakers and panel discussions will address those questions on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at the sixth annual RealShare Orange County conference and networking event, scheduled for 7:30 a.m. until noon at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. Some 300 industry executives and other professionals are expected to attend the event, according to Colleen McShane, conference manager for the RealShare Conference Series.

McShane tells GlobeSt.com that the conference organizers have scaled back this year’s RealShare Orange County by eliminating some of the breakout sessions of years past. She explains that the RealShare staff surveyed conference attendees to find out what they most want to talk about and have tailored this year’s event accordingly.

[IMGCAP(2)]“We are going to focus specifically on the issues that people told us they want to talk about,” McShane says. At a Town Hall Meeting, for example, a panel moderated by regional manager Joseph Cesta of Marcus & Millichap will discuss the state of the Orange County Market and the outlook for 2009. Panelists will include senior vice president Stephen Corea of Thompson National Properties, president Guy Johnson of Johnson Capital, senior managing director Tom Sherlock of Buchanan Street Partners, executive managing director Joseph Vargas of Cushman & Wakefield and president Richard Walter of Faris Lee Investments.

Next up will be a panel, moderated by EVP and regional managing director Kurt Strasmann of Grubb & Ellis Co., on the topic, “Will office leasing, investment and development rebound in 2009?” Panelists will include senior managing director Jeff Moore ofCB Richard Ellis, SVP Steve Economos of NAI Capital, managing principal Jeff Manley of Cresa Partners and SVP Peter Johnston of Maguire Properties.

The final panel of the day will address the topic of how long the credit crunch will continue and what its impact will be on real estate financing for Orange County commercial real estate. Managing director Mark Strauss of Cohen Financial will moderate a panel including senior director David Kadin of Wrightwood Capital, SVP and regional director Barbara Dugas-Patterson of Citibank, SVP and managing director William Hughes of Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. and managing director Patrick Crandallof CIBC World Markets.

RealShare Orange County 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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