Like markets across the board, the commercial property arena is filled with mixed signals about the future of the U.S. economy. Credit deterioration, poor corporate performance, and the sundry ramifications of the telecom debacle have sent many market players to the bulkheads, holding fast to what they know and simply staying the course. But smart players are making headway, and more and more often are turning to the credit tenant lease structure for their bearings.

"Precisely because we appear to be in an economic slowdown in certain sectors of the market and in certain industries, the corporations within those industries need to find alternative methods for raising capital," said Kyle Gore, managing director of Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc.'s real estate capital markets group. "Sale lease-backeds, financed with credit tenant loans, represent an effective off-balance-sheet strategy for raising capital away from the traditional debt and equity markets."

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