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NEW YORK CITY-Riding high following the downturn, REITs nonetheless need to focus on growth as always, Simon Property Group’s David Simon said Tuesday at REITWorld 2010. The challenge, he said, is achieving that growth amid the current economy, which he characterized as “a slow, slow recovery.”

Added Simon, chairman and CEO of the mall REIT, “I feel great about our spot, but how are we as an industry going to do it?” His comments dovetailed with an observation from fellow panelist Richard Saltzman, who noted that while overbuilding hasn’t been as prevalent this cycle, there’s a shortage of consumer-driven demand for the real estate. “It’s unclear how the demand is going to grow from here,” said Saltzman, CEO of Colony Financial.

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