Luminaries discuss commercial real estate's prospects, problems

10/1/2010 | · Washington Post, The

Panelists at the second Real Estate Luminary Series -- a group that included Michael Fascitelli of Vornado Realty Trust, Sam Zell of Equity Group Investments, Thomas Flexner of Citigroup, Scot Sellers of Archstone, Robert Steers of Cohen & Steers and Chris Nassetta of Hilton Worldwide -- held a candid discussion on the issues still facing the commercial real estate industry. Zell, for instance, addressed the still-troubling issue of capital sitting on the sidelines. "I don't think there is a shortage of capital to be lent in the real estate space," Zell said. "As a matter of fact, I think there is actually a significant surplus of money that's available. I think the issue is that there is very little loan demand that justifies that capital." The event was organized by NAREIT and Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

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