Hundreds turned out to hear from industry panels and in-the know experts at today's NJBIZ Real Estate Symposium, featuring guest speakers Michele Brown, CEO of the Economic Development Authority, and Dr. Robert Barchi, president of Rutgers University, as well as a lively panel discussion on the post-Sandy development discussion.
In her remarks, Brown said the view of the Shore after Hurricane Sandy blew through called to mind "a post-apocalyptic movie," but despite all the damage, few business owners have applied for loans. She said a major focus for the state remains convincing tourists to come back to the Shore.
But businesses have reason to be optimistic, said Belmar Mayor Matt Dougherty, who said in a panel discussion that beach tag sales are overwhelmingly up from last year, and that companies remain interested in investing in the Shore.
That panel discussion also included words of warning from New Jersey Future. Its executive director, Peter Kasabach, said development should be done with an eye to future disasters, given the intensity of hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and the October 2012 ice storm.
In another address, Barchi talked about opportunities for the state's largest university to work with businesses, and discussed opportunities for the school once the higher education mergers are settled.
Continue reading to see a recap of the live coverage of the 2013 Real Estate Symposium.