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Toward the end of the movie version of The Perfect Storm, the ill-fated fishing boat briefly sails through pale sunlight and calm seas before heading abruptly back into hurricane-force winds and mountainous waves. That, fortunately, is not an apt metaphor for commercial real estate’s outlook at midyear. A double-dip recession looms smaller than it did nine months ago. The forecast calls for gradual clearing marked by occasional patches of inclement weather—or, as Cassidy Turley’s Kevin Thorpe puts it, “a slow rise with some painful episodes.”

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