Weekly News & OBP Perspective

June 16, 2011

Jim O'ConnellThis week’s OBP Perspective is provided by Jim O’Connell:

Earlier this week the Wall St. Journal had a story in The Property Report section under the Deal of the Week.  The headline was ‘Sam Zell Turns Selective’ and it caught my eye for a couple of reasons.

  • It revisited some of Mr. Zell’s activity back in the early 90’s when he got his “grave dancer” nick name and made a fortune by buying up distressed assets
  • The article touches on how this time distressed commercial real estate is being handled differently by the lenders and the “recovery” is also a different story
  • There is a question posed as to whether the current recovery has already passed by Mr. Zell and other investors
  • It covers a recent Chicago deal that was done and why it should turn out to be a success for Zell and his partners
  • And it closes with a quote from Zell saying “we’ve chosen this point to re-enter the market because we think the fundamentals are getting better” 

If you didn’t get a chance to read it on Wednesday, click here and take a look.  The take away for me was that if Sam Zell is back in the real estate market making deals, things may be good enough for others to also become more active.  Obviously, opportunities need to be evaluated for their risk/reward ratio but all in all I would say that I agree with the article in that if you’re considering getting back into the market, it’s not too late or too early.


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