Illinois REALTOR® Magazine talked with five leading commercial brokers and CEOs to get their views on the commercial real estate recovery and what are the best opportunities awaiting commercial brokers today. They talked about the current state of job recovery, the commercial lending environment and what commercial sectors are performing better than others.
Here are some of their quotable quotes:
Chuck Wiercinski, CCIM, Commercial Broker with McLennan Commercial Properties, Inc., in Park Ridge: “The only people in the marketplace who are buying and selling are companies that are users and not investors. There are companies who are upsizing. There are businesses that are better off now than a year ago especially those with an innovative product or niche. Companies that are expanding are being more creative and not looking at doing things the same old way. Illinois has a golden opportunity with the transportation industry to create a lot of jobs.”
John Rutledge, Broker/Owner, Rutledge Company, LLC, Wheaton: “We have an administration in Washington telling banks to get money out and stimulate the economy. Bankers are caught between making loans and being told if you make loans that are damaging we will shut you down. The commercial market is frozen in terms of financing. It is caught in “extend and pretend.” Extend the loan and pretend it is meeting loan convergence.”
Bill Fitzsimmons, CCIM, Mel Foster Commercial, Bettendorf, Iowa: “As far as the state of Illinois is concerned, we still feel that people are burdened with high property taxes and feel the unemployment tax is anti-business. I see people with businesses frequently come from outside the area and will try to avoid Illinois and go into Iowa for employment and tax structure. We are hoping the industries in our area continue to remain stable and growth is around the corner starting in the later part of 2010.”
Daniel Goodwin, CEO Inland Real Estate Group, Oak Brook: “We see the effects of unemployment through the commercial industry. The issue of unemployment is very complicated. It is almost certain the number of jobs lost will not be recovered ever. The economy needs to be stimulated to create jobs and can do that by lending, government incentives, by reducing taxes where people have more money to spend to stimulate the economy by forming new businesses and new areas of growth. One of the best ways to stimulate the economy is putting money into jobs that cannot be exported such as infrastructure, roads, bridges, sewers, water, etc.”
John Cuticelli, CEO, Sheldon Good and Company, Chicago: “Multifamily residential performs the best in the marketplace right now. Second is activity in the office buildings market but the uncertainty of the job market is a critical factor in the office building market. Capital is nowhere in the marketplace today. Government interventions to satisfy this need have not been able to do it. I am not optimistic. I see bank positions only further deteriorating.”