Real Estate News

Grubb & Ellis Principal Jeff Sweeney Bucks the Doom-and-Gloomers by Predicting Upturn in Commercial Market by End of 2009

(ORLANDO, FL) - Jeffrey S. Sweeney, a Central Florida commercial real estate professional for 25 years, is sticking his brokerage neck out and predicting the state's plunging office, industrial and retail markets will be bouncing back by the end of 2009.

Jeff Sweeney.jpg

Jeffrey S. Sweeney

"Next year, Florida's commercial real estate market will look much like it did this year - only in reverse," says Sweeney, a principal and managing partner of Grubb & Ellis|Commercial Florida. "We expect the market to start out stagnant (in 2009) and end with a pulse."

He says "the good news is the recovery should span all sectors.  We think we're going to see a broad-based return of the office, industrial and retail markets in Florida.  Currently we have a broad-based downturn in all of those markets."

Sweeney agrees with most market analysts who are predicting job growth - a leading indicator in the commercial real estate markets - "is likely to be anemic in the first half (of 2009)" but "will improve in the second half."

He says, "In an aggregate comparison, job growth in 2009 will be similar to 2008.  It was slow and getting worse this year.  Next year,  it will (also) be slow but getting better."

He adds, "I expect to see a lot more optimism in 12 months."

Sweeney has been with Grubb & Ellis|Commercial Florida  since 2004. From 2000 to 2003, he was executive vice president and managing director of Grubb & Ellis Co.

The Florida A&M University graduate was regional vice president of Equity Office from 1997 to 2000.  Prior to that stint, he was managing partner and president of Commercial First Properties in Orlando. Sweeney also spent 10 years at Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. from 1983 to 1993.

In his career to date, he has won numerous citations, including being named NAIOP Office Broker of the Year in Orlando; Deal Maker of the year by Heitman Properties; and Top Overall Producer and Top Office Broker at Cushman & Wakefield.

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