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Suburban Crawl and the Youth ExodusCommercial office space, one of the laggards in this recovery is finally showing signs of life as many city centers have stopped losing tenants and are beginning to fill-up. In a Wall Street Journal article yesterday statistics were reported that indicate that even forlorn cities such as Detroit, Houston, Miami, Pittsburg and Phoenix have had net increases downtown. So what about the suburban markets? Well, in almost every market the “Burbs” are a disaster and occupancy levels have continued to decline or are as flat as a pancake with high double-digit vacancies. The article went on to indicate that some scholars, urban advocates and developers believe a secular shift is underway in the American workplace. “Young people don’t want to be out on the fringe,” and many corporations and developers are factoring that into their plans. On the real estate front the suburban markets have historically fueled growth and jobs. Forget it for the next couple of years. The suburban weakness is going to continue to dampen a broader recovery of job growth. Bah Humbug!

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