By Tony Wilbert
AUSTIN, Texas (June 2, 2010) - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's national search for a new commercial real estate reporter has ended where it started, its own newsroom - at least for the time being.
The paper that used to cover Dixie like the dew named residential real estate reporter Michelle Shaw interim commercial real estate reporter effective June 1. Shaw diligently has covered the impact of the mortgage crisis and resulting residential meltdown. Now she'll get to dive into the world of CMBS, cap rates and $100 TI allowances while also continuing to cover residential.
The move comes the same week as the National Association of Real Estate Editors holds its 44th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference in Austin. While residential real estate has dominated this conference in the past, commercial real estate has emerged as the hot topic because of the anticipated meltdown this year. The Wall Street Journal's Lingling Wei reports today that the "worst is yet to come" on the CMBS front.
So, Shaw will be extremely busy during this vital year for the CRE industry. She replaces Gertha Coffee, who left the beat this week to join the AJC's expanded education team. Coffee will be a general assignment education reporter.
AJC editors say Shaw will cover CRE on an interim basis. As a former AJC reporter, I know interim can last awhile. So, let's welcome Michelle and wish her success and scoops.