I just heard the news from a friend – Perkins’ Restaurants closed 3 of their Colorado Springs stores last night leading to lay-offs and a generally dismal start to the news day. Then I read Tolstoy’s Gazette, who said we should expect the unemployment rate to remain relatively higher than normal, adjusting to the “new normal”. That is a siren song I’ve been singing for at least 2 years. The fact is, we’re living in unprecedented times where the future is even fuzzier than it has been recently, where we cannot count on the Greater Fool to rescue us from what had previously looked brilliant, but what are now realized as mediocre business decisions, especially as they relate to real estate.

Last week I said the value of commercial real estate is only determined by one thing – the amount of milk it produces. And what I said last week is still true. Consider the lowly cow; likely a brown cow, or a Guernsey, covered with dirt and dust and certainly swatting flies with its tail; very likely old and in terrible need of brushing. You feedin’ it grain, at least? Look, if you’re not keeping your tenants happy, you’re not keeping your tenants. For the challenged – if you’re keeping your tenants happy, you’re keeping your tenants. Oh, and by the way – good tenants are more valuable than gold. And here’s some new normal – expect to spend more and earn less. And expect to become more patient.

New normal is constant change. Consider that I just left a press conference held by our new normal mayor, Steve Bach. Mr. Bach rolled-out Steve Cox as the new normal Chief of Staff and Stephanie Finley as the new normal director of transition. Bach is smart and very forward looking and to be very frank, I was so inspired by his address that I wanted to run-out and re-cast another vote for him. Can you do that here, or is that only normal in Chicago?