Rebchook monitoring real estate panel


At 10 a.m. on Thursday, I will be moderating a panel of top real estate journalists for a trade group, SABEW, or Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Panelists, who will discuss the commercial real estate market, include Peter Grant, deputy real estate editor for the Wall Street Journal;  Matt Valley, editor-in-chief of National Real Estate Investor and a National Association of Real Estate Editors board member; and Steve Brown, real estate writer for the Dallas Morning News. They will discuss what they are seeing, how they cover the markets, and will take questions from listeners that are sent by e-mail. (Instructions on how to listen to the panel and send e-mail questions are below.)

Real estate not an economic island

The housing market, of course, was the first real estate shoe to drop. Now, the focus increasingly is on commercial real estate woes. Commercial and residential real estate are both prime indicators of what is happening in the economy and are inextricably linked. For example, if empty offices are filled, that ultimately will mean more white-collar jobs and professionals who can buy homes. Retail booms when it is surrounded by rooftops. Industrial buildings store lumber, electronics and other consumer goods, when home building booms. Alas, the reverse is also true.

On a national basis, big developments are going back to lenders. Others are in default and even if there is demand for a niche product, many developers are shut out of the market for lack of financing. Lease rates have fallen, vacancies are up and building values have tumbled.

I also proposed to a SABEW official that it should sponsor a similar panel on the residential market, and she said that is a great idea. To participate in Thursday’s panel: Call 218-339-2626. (Regular long-distance rates apply). When prompted, enter this access code, followed by the pound (#) sign: 4058935. You’ll be let into the call.

2. During the call, you’ll be asked to submit any questions you have to the panel to Please identify yourself by name. You can also submit questions to my e-mail,

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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