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[Editor's Note: Ian Ritter is taking a much deserved vacation over the next week, and GlobeSt.com retail reporter Debra Hazel is filling in for him on Counter Culture. Please be nice.]“When you’re in the middle of the storm, all you can focus on is the rain around you,” Taubman Centers COO William Taubman told CNBC yesterday, referring to the uncertainty around commercial real estate.Some specialty apparel stores stores are showing signs of life, but commercial real estate still has a long way to go, he noted. With some $300 billion to $400 billion of debt to be financed, with no liquidity in sight, he said, the hole is still pretty deep.Working through the mess could take three to four years, according to Taubman. Class A regional malls will continue to hold up - Taubman cited rival Macerich’s sale of 49% of its Queens Center mall to Cadillac Fairview as an example. But until the liquidity crisis is resolved, pricing will be uncertain, he added.Believe it or not, we media types don’t enjoy reporting gloom and doom. Will it really take that long to get to whatever the new normal will be? Can anything kick-start the business?

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