Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Award winners ponder challenges

After receiving their well-earned honors Wednesday, the winners of the University of Michigan Urban Land Institute Real Estate Forum's Excellence Awards were asked to consider the biggest challenges they will be facing in the future. Here are some of the responses.

Jon Rooks of Parkland Properties: The Michigan Business Tax and retaining young talent between the ages of 25 to 35.

Robert Pliska of Sperry Van Ness & Randall Allman of CB Richard Ellis: Securing financing

Marcel Burgler of Prime Development: The MBT, and municipalities are being too aggressive when it comes to property taxes. "If increasing this works, why don't we make it 100 percent," he said.

Duke Suwyn of Grubb & Ellis/Paramount Commerce: Brokers need to help clients understand whether it is better for them to buy or lease, otherwise opportunities will be missed. "Look around, things haven't changed that much. There are a lot of opportunities," he said.

Colin Kraay of Grubb & Ellis/Paramount Commerce: "What we need to do is find the opportunities in this state. Let's put on our smiley faces for a while, let's be courageous, and let's make some deals," he said.

—David Czurak

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