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ONTARIO, CA-Reports of recovery are surfacing throughout the commercial real estate industry, but the optimism they generate is tempered by fears of a double-dip recession and concern that the comeback won’t really gain momentum without new job creation. These were some of the main messages presented Wednesday at a mid-year review and panel discussion presented by the Inland Empire Chapter of Naiop. The event, at the Ontario Convention Center, included a keynote by Roger Staubach, executive chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle.

The panelists generally agreed that conditions have improved in their respective corners of the commercial real estate world, which included development, investing, logistics, a new non-traded REIT and investment advisory services. Case in point: EVP and COO Anthony Chiarello of NYK Logistics Inc.―one of the world’s largest logistics companies―said that NYK is now hiring but was cutting staff by 15% about 18 months ago. President and CEO Stephen Hopkins of Irvine-based Hopkins Real Estate Group observed that the mood at this year’s annual ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) spring convention in Las Vegas was decidedly more upbeat than it was last year. “Things are starting to percolate a little bit more,” Hopkins said.

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