Felix Salmon reports on the real estate panel at the Milken Institute's Global Conference, highlighting this interchange between Sam Zell Chairman and CEO of the Tribune Company and Bobby Turner of Canyon Capital Advisors.
Turner, channeling the likes of Ryan Avent and Richard Florida, said that consumer prefences are going to move away from the suburban lifestyle as transportation costs soar. Zell agreed, pointing to enormous growth of housing in what he called "24/7 cities", putting a lot of that growth down to the societal deferral of marriage. But as cities become ever more expensive and the suburbs become ever cheaper, he was asked, won't corporations move out to the suburbs? No. Motorola rented 200,000 square feet of office space in downtown Chicago last year, he said, even as they have over half a million vacant square feet not far away in McHenry county. If the employees are moving to the cities, then the companies are going to have to follow suit.
Yep, they sure are.