Noted analyst Kenneth Laub told Bloomberg that the current downturn will overshadow recent commercial real estate downturns.

It won't be a typical part of a cycle where we're down for two or three years and things recover, says Laub, whose New York firm, Kenneth D. Laub & Co., has managed more than $40 billion worth of transactions since 1969. It will be longer than we've gone through before.

The difference today, Laub says, is the volume of debt financing that pushed up prices dramatically and left property owners struggling to make mortgage payments.

It's not a supply-demand thing; it's an overleveraged condition, Laub says.

He predicts years of restructuring. What you're going to see is a tremendously long workout period unprecedented in commercial real estate in this country, Laub says. That's where we're going, and it's just beginning.