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NEW YORK CITY-The southern tip of Manhattan Island is in many ways the epicenter of the financial earthquake that has rocked the US economy. After all, Wall Street is an actual place name here, not just a figure of speech. However, Downtown is also the scene of an ongoing transformation into a 24/7 mixed-use community and an enormous rebuilding project at Ground Zero. Reconciling present-day realities with visions for the future is one of the challenges facing proponents of Downtown, and it will be one of the key themes under discussion at Thursday’s RealShare Downtown New York Virtual Conference beginning at 11 a.m.

“It’s going to be a matter of fact, practical discussion of Downtown,” conference producer Brian Klebash tells GlobeSt.com. That discussion will bring market experts together in a virtual setting, and it promises to be a spirited conversation. “You’ll hear clearly contrasting viewpoints about the future of Downtown over the next 12 to 18 months.”

The course of the next 12 to 18 months is anything but predictable, and the biggest question mark–and the conference’s lead-off panel–focuses on whether the Obama administration’s efforts to jump-start the economy will benefit Downtown. Featured speaker Christian Menegatti, managing editor and lead analyst with RGE Monitor, will analyze what the future may hold in store for Lower Manhattan, in terms of the economy’s impact on Downtown’s financial tenant base and the potential of new incentives and targeted resources through TARP and the stimulus program. Government intervention is a particularly meaningful topic in this submarket, because the forms that federal action could take range from relief for financial institutions to funding for some of the large-scale transit projects under construction here.

The Town Hall Meeting that follows will discuss the state of investment, development and leasing Downtown amid a challenging market. Sheldon Cohen, senior managing director with CB Richard Ellis, will moderate a Town Hall panel exploring topics such as: the steps landlords are taking to be creative and receptive to tenants, how landlords are working to attract new tenants and what the silver lining is amid the current economic malaise. He’ll be joined by Karen Bellantoni, EVP of Robert K. Futterman & Associates; Daniel Blanco, principal and COO of Broad Street Development; and Ron Cohen, EVP of Cushman & Wakefield’s capital markets group, with other speakers to be announced.

Discussions of this type will strike a chord of recognition in attendees of RealShare’s live conferences. RealShare Conferences, like GlobeSt.com, is a division of Incisive Media. Helping to differentiate this first-ever RealShare Virtual Conference from an in-person one will be the two chat rooms that conclude Thursday’s event. Online attendees can participate in chats about getting financing for upcoming projects or generating new business in an economic downturn.

There will be more distinguishing features in Thursday’s Virtual Conference, not least of which is the convenience of being able to attend without having to travel. “Anyone with an interest in the New York market can listen in,” Klebash says. Attendees can also interact with the panelists and take advantage of a variety of social networking tools to meet and greet potential clients.

To register for this event click here.

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