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[Commercial Grade] Just Another Day In Manhattan

Commercial Grade is a weekly post by John Cicero, MAI who provides commentary on issues affecting real estate appraisers, with specific focus on commercial valuation. John looks forward to the day when appraisers are not seen as a nuisance, and its sooner than you think.

Disclosure: John is a partner of mine in our commercial real estate valuation concern Miller Cicero, LLC [1] and he is, on Thursdays on Mondays, one of the smartest guys I know. …Jonathan Miller


Our offices closed at 10 am Monday morning. I came out of Grand Central Station after my morning commute and immediately smelled gas. The smell stayed with me during the four block walk to the office and up the elevator. Some of the appraisers in the office smelled it and some did notbut the longer we smelled it the more concerned we got. A few of us started to get dizzy, others started to get nauseous.

Maybe it was psycho-somatic (I was a psychology major, after all!) but when 1010 Wins (the local news radio station) described it as a “mysterious gas-like odor” and officials had not yet identified the source [2] there was a brief tinge of panic.

I was in midtown the morning of 9-11 five years ago and watched the towers burn from the corner of 40th and 5thhow could you not think the worst when there are reports of mysterious gasses enveloping Manhattan, extending to Jersey and Brooklyn? For a moment, however brief, I thought …bio-terrorism.

So, my employees and I each worked from home that day and by noon it was clear that perhaps I had been a bit of an alarmist. But then againI’d probably do the same thing tomorrow.