NEW YORK-The Fordham Real Estate Society, part of the Schools of Business, and FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation, launched  the first of a series of symposia with a panel discussion on how globalism is affecting the New York City real estate market. “Looking Towards 2005 and Beyond—New York in the Global Economy,” held July 29 in the 12th Floor Lounge on the Lincoln Center campus, drew a crowd of more than 130 real estate professionals and students.

“Tonight’s event focuses on two pillars of what we’re all about at Fordham,” said Sharon P. Smith, Ph.D., dean of the Schools of Business. “We’re here to talk about New York, and Fordham is in and of New York. And we’re here to talk about globalism, and Fordham is committed to providing our students a full understanding of globalism and how they might respond.”

Panelist David Arena (FCO, 1983), chief strategy officer at the New York-based real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle, laid out the opportunities and threats present in the New York market. First the good news.

“There is a flight to quality,” said Arena. “If you have a nice building, you will attract tenants.” And there has been a spate of corporate expansions by companies including Bank of America and Wachovia.

Countering those expansions, though, is suburban flight: city-based companies moving to outlying areas such as Hoboken and Westchester. In addition, there are continuing security concerns in the city, said Arena, and the market will continue to feel the pinch of jobs moving off shore.

Overall, Arena is bullish on the local real estate market, citing broad growth in the spring and an up-tick in gross leasing activity in the city from 10 million square feet in 2002 to 27 million already this year.

Other panelists at the event included Linda Goldberg, Ph.D., vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who discussed how international monetary trends influence the New York real estate market; and Leslie Norton, Asian editor for Barron’s, who talked about how closely tied Asian investors are to the U.S. stock market.

The New York Council of FIABCI and Fordham will present seminars in January, March and May focusing on New York and a range of international topics.