Friday, January 29, 2010

Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous 2010

It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, what with the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays, but I suspect I’m not alone in breathing a sigh of relief that 2009 is past. (Of course, I hope that this time next year, we’re not looking back on 2009 as the “Good Old Days.”)

When people ask how Press, Potter & Dozier fared in 2009, my stock response is “We made a larger profit than GM and Chrysler combined.” Of course, that’s not necessarily saying much.

If you had asked me last October if I thought the commercial real estate market was showing signs of life, based on the sudden spike in first generation lease activity that kept me busy, I would have said “Yes.” But things slowed considerably in November and December and January has been somewhat of a roller coaster.

I’ve seen small spurts of activity, mostly with the renewals of existing leases, but nothing of long-term significance to suggest to me that the end of the downturn is in sight. As long as businesses tread water or, worse, contract, there does not seem to be any reason for the commercial real estate market to show any vibrancy.

And until consumers – which, in reality, are all of us – start to regain confidence and begin spending, there will be little reason for businesses to expand by increasing production or adding employees. In that sense, I suppose Pogo (the classic Walt Kelly comic strip character) was right when he said “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

I invite you all to return here regularly to see what my colleagues and I think is of interest to the real estate, general business and ADR and environmental law communities and, of course, I really, really, really mean it this time when I wish each of you a Happy and Prosperous 2010.

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