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MINNEAPOLIS-While office vacancy in the Twin Cities hit a 19-year high of 19.9% in the first half of 2010, and retail and industrial sector fundamentals also continued a downward slide, brokers such as NorthMarq are encouraged by flickers of life as owners and tenants approach negotiating tables again. The company, in its 2010 Mid-Year Compass Report, released Thursday, indicates that optimism comes from an expectation that this year will see the bottom of the market for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

As with most Midwest cities, market measurements such as occupancy and rental rates have continued a steady decline in the Twin Cities, but thankfully at a much slower rate than in the past two years, says EVP Mike Ohmes. “We are being candid about the weak fundamentals,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “The fact is that more companies and more owners are engaged in real conversations, which is significant, considering that things have been at such an utter standstill. The spread is getting much more in line with expectations between the landlord and tenant, and buyer and seller.”

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