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CHICAGO-At RealShare Chicago one common theme overshadowed every presentation and panel discussion – the recession has yet to hit its bleakest point and recovery is still in the far-distant future. The seventh-annual conference was held Tuesday at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Chicago.

”This industry will always be a roller coaster ride,” Michael Desiato, VP and group publisher for Incisive Media, told attendees at the beginning of the day; and speaker after speaker confirmed this fact.

Headlining the event, Bruce Miller, international director for Jones Lang LaSalle, jokingly told attendees the recovery will begin to take shape on October 15, 2009 at 2:22 pm. On a more serious note, he said rising from a trough will not even be a possibility until there is “real sustainable employment growth” in the market and the lending community begins to lend again.

The decline in the market is slowing but most speakers believe we have yet to hit the bottom of the trough yet. In another 3 months it will be easier to predict the market’s status as either already in the trough or approaching it.

For example, panelists on the Industrial Market forecasting panel, gave their best estimate for a recovery. The most optimistic one of the group, Mike Yungerman, VP real estate development for Opus North, pegged the middle of 2010. The more conservative, Lynn Reich, EVP for Colliers B&K, said she doesn’t expect growth until the second quarter of 2011.

And yet through all the doom and gloom most speakers agreed that a number of companies and investors are sitting on ‘dry powder’ just waiting for the right opportunity to invest.

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