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Real estate exec predicts focus will shift to discreet locations, offers tips for disaster recovery

NEW YORK — According to Michael Silver, office space priorities are going to change in the wake of the World Trade Center (WTC) terrorist attack. Silver, president of Chicago-based Equis Corp., an international commercial real estate firm focusing on the business space user, said the tremendous loss of people and property during the Sept. 11 attack has left companies wondering whether high-visibility trophy properties are worth the security risk.

Silver said businesses may make discreet locations a top choice as they regroup in the months following the national tragedy. They must now redefine how to take care of their most important assets: the people who work for them. Equis represents such companies as Xerox Document Corp., which occupied space in the basement of 2 World Trade Center, DaimlerChrysler and Ameritech.

Silver also advocates that real estate directors implement four key disaster recovery tactics:

• Identify a "swat team." Form a disaster recovery team, in advance, with experts in technology, personnel and law for each office around the country.

• Create, then translate, the recovery process into a checklist. Itemize what must be done over the period of recovery. For example, the personnel expert must deal with insurance and disability.

• Determine and prioritize your objectives. What must be done first and in the shortest amount of time?

• Set timing and scheduling. How much time will it take for the entire recovery process? Each expert should coordinate his or her schedule with the others on his or her team.

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