CRE N Illinois

Forecast 2020: Timely, relevant and credible

Forecast 2020: Timely, relevant and credible,ph1

With so many programs and conferences in the CRE industry, it has never been more important to be timely, relevant and credible. Not just one or two of those attributes. All three.

Each year for 18 years now, those behind the scenes at REjournals have sought an almost collaborative combination of timeliness, relevance and credibility in developing its annual commercial real estate forecast conference.


When this year’s event kicks off at 7:00 am on Thursday, January 9, many will have just returned from a holiday break, the new year will be barely one week old and the first month of the year will be less than one third complete. Logistically and practically speaking, timeliness is paramount when putting on a conference that features more than 50 speakers and over 80 sponsors.


Conceiving ideas for panel discussions is no easy task. It’s important to strike a balance between a proven commodity—like the State of the Market—and topics that are important, real and challenging in today’s environment.

In a year when investment activity in Chicago is down, it’s important to ask the question and get the perspective from a panel like Chicago: My Kind of Town or Second City? And given the roster of big developments with big ideas and scrutiny from myriad sources, it’s important to look at how developers strike the appropriate balance of appeasing all constituents—investors, financiers, cities and municipalities and the neighborhoods as we will in Chicago: Big Shoulder. Big Deals. Big Plans.

This year’s Forecast event is doing that, with the added bonus of a 35-minute discussion, The Experts’ View, with two developers that are among the most active in Chicago.


There are no second-stringers or Monday morning quarterbacks that will take the stage for the three general sessions, six breakouts and keynote discussion. Not with the likes of Meredith O’Connor, JLL; Andy Gloor, Sterling Bay; Drew Nieman, Riverside Investment & Development; Lori Healey, Clayco—Chicago; Danny Nikitas, Avison Young; Jack George, Akerman; Nooshin Felsenthal, Tishman Speyer; Geoff Kasselman, CRG; Paul Reaumond, CBRE; Shawn Clark, CRG; James Postweiler, Newmark Knight Frank; Elizabeth Gracie, O’Keefe Lyons & Hynes; Tom Boyle, Lee & Associates; Steven Weinstock, Marcus & Millichap; Kevin Farrell, Fifield Companies; Derrick Johnson, Zeller Realty Group; Joseph Parrott, CBRE; and the list most definitely goes on!

We live in a world today where there are great debates seeking to rank the “best ever”—whether that be a restaurant, sports team, athlete, singer or actor.

With 17 forecasts under our belt, and an 18th less than a week away, is there a best forecast? Hard to gauge. It’s hard to beat the buzz that ran through the event the year that the recovery was really getting heated and Sam Zell was interviewed by Deb Cafaro. And it was pretty interesting to one year get Chris Kennedy in the pre-Wolf Point days … as well as Governor Bruce Rauner.

We’d like to think the best is yet to come—as soon as this Thursday. We certainly believe that if the main ingredients are timeliness, relevance and credibility, the REjournals 2020 Forecast event at the Hyatt Regency Chicago stacks up as well as any.

Come join us and be the judge.