Tag Archives: urban land institute

ULI Arizona Shark Tank Flyer art

ULI seeking real estate proposals for ‘Shark Tank’ event

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona District Council is seeking proposals from local real estate entrepreneurs to showcase and pitch their projects at the popular ULI Shark Tank event.  Real money and expert deal making advice is at stake for successful candidates with real estate development experience, an active and interesting deal to discuss, and the ability to make a concise and captivating presentation.

 

All proposals will be evaluated by a panel of ‘sharks’ including Steven J. Hilton, Meritage Homes Corporation; F. Francis Najafi, Pivotal Group; and Robert Sarver, Western Alliance Bancorporation.  C. Joseph Blackbourn, Everest Holdings, will be the moderator.

 

The top proposals will be selected as the feature presentations at the November 5 event held at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale.  Presenters will gain exposure to over 200 industry professionals, including a wide array of lenders, private investors, developers, architects, and others, providing both capital and expertise to help bring their project to fruition.

 

Deadline for Submittal:            September 30, 5 p.m.

 

Submit Proposals to:                 Carrie.Martin@ULI.org

 

Requirements:   - Biography and CV of the proposed presenter

- Summary-level outline of the investment request with project description, maps, etc.

- Cover letter expressing interest in participation in Shark Tank

- Finalists will participate in two to three planning conference calls with                                                         ULI staff and the Shark Tank event moderator

 

Benefits to Presenters:   - Constructive feedback from actual real estate icons

- A thorough vetting of all high-level project plans/assumptions

- Presentation experience and practice pitching your deal

- Immediate access to the knowledgeable ULI industry leaders

- Exposure to potential capital investors in the audience

 

More Information:              www.arizona.uli.org

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ULI Seeking Proposals for Inaugural Shark Tank Event

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona is seeking proposals from local real estate entrepreneurs to showcase and pitch their projects at the first annual Shark Tank event. Successful candidates will have real estate development experience, an active and interesting deal to discuss and the ability to make a concise and captivating presentation.

All proposals will be evaluated by a panel of ‘sharks’ including; Daryl Burton, Presson Corporation, I. Michael Kasser, Holualoa Companies and Craig Krumwiede, Harvard Investments and moderated by C. Joeseph Blackbourn, Everest Holdings.

The top proposals will be selected as the feature presentations at the November 20th event held at the Montelucia Resort in Paradise Valley. Presenters will gain exposure to over 200 industry professionals, including a wide array of lenders, private investors, developers, architects, and others, providing both capital and expertise to help bring their project to fruition.

 

Deadline for Submittal: October 25, 2013, 5:00 pm

 

Submit Proposals to: Carrie.Martin@ULI.org

 

Requirements: – Biography and CV of the proposed presenter

- Summary-level outline of the investment request with project description, maps, etc.

- Cover letter expressing interest in participation in Shark Tank

- Finalists will participate in 2 – 3 planning conference calls with ULI staff and the Shark Tank event moderator

 

Benefits to Presenters:Constructive feedback from actual real estate icons

– A thorough vetting of all high-level project plans/assumptions

– Presentation experience and practice pitching your deal

– Immediate access to the knowledgeable ULI industry leaders

- Exposure to potential capital investors in the audience

 

More Information: www.arizona.uli.org

Healthcare & Senior Housing

Healthcare And Senior Living Development & Investment Strategies

Urban Land Institute Arizona – Executive Roundtable

June 20

2:30 p.m. Registration
3:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Program
5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception

Westin Kierland Resort, Herberger Ballroom
6902 East Greenway Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Self-Parking available

Join us for an intimate conversation with industry leaders regarding the signs of continued activity in healthcare as industry executives work diligently to advance strategic plans in the post-healthcare reform/post-election era. The much anticipated surge in demand for Senior Housing has begun, creating a myriad of opportunities for developers and operators. ULI Arizona has brought together top healthcare executives and real estate professionals to provide cutting edge information to help you leverage the momentum in these growing sectors.

  • Sourcing Capital for New Developments
  • Hospital’s investment in ambulatory care and other outpatient facilities
  • Investment Strategies in Healthcare Real Estate and Senior Housing
  • Repurposing, adaptive reuse, other types of buildings
  • Partnerships with hospitals, health systems, physician groups and senior housing operators
  • Demographic trends driving demand

PANELS AND CONFIRMED SPEAKERS:

Healthcare Panel:

  • Keynote: Phil Dalton - President and Chief Executive Officer, MDS Consulting
  • Moderator: Craig Jensen – System Director, New Site Development, Banner Health
  • Jason Anzalone – Vice President Development, Irgens
  • Mark Engstrom – Executive Vice President Acquisitions, Healthcare Trust of America
  • Mark Patterson – Principal, SmithGroupJJR
  • Susan Price – Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Kidney Disease & Hypertension Centers

Senior Housing Panel:

  • Keynote Speaker & Moderator: Jerry Walker – Founder & Executive Managing Director, Healthcare Mergers & Acquisitions, Ltd.
  • Tom Becker – Chief Executive Officer, North American Senior Living
  • David M. Boitano – Senior Investment Officer, Ventas, Inc.
  • Casey Moore – Principal, Prudential
  • Greg Roderick – President, Frontier Management

REGISTRATION:

  • Member: Private $70 / Public $50 / Young Leader $45 / Student $35
  • Non-Member: Private $90 / Public $60 / Young Leader $55 / Student $45
  • Not a member? Join & Attend FREE: Private $420 / Public $225 / Young Leader $265 / Student $90
  • Registration Increases $10 after June 17.

REGISTER HERE

David Dellana

First Fidelity Bank names vice president

Lee R. Symcox, president and CEO of First Fidelity Bank, a full-service community bank, has announced the addition of David Dellana as vice president, commercial relationship manager in the bank’s Biltmore location in Phoenix. Dellana brings more than 20 years in lending experience to his new role and will serve both the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas.

As commercial relationship manager, Dellana will be responsible for building and maintaining current and future commercial client relationships and business development activities.

Prior to his new position, Dellana held a number of senior lending roles in the region. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Duquesne University and is an active member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, the Pinal Partnership, the Urban Land Institute and Valley Partnership, among other organizations.

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ULI's UrbanPlan Program Teaches High School Students Importance of Community Building

Leaders from RED Development and ULI Arizona hosted nearly 25 Desert Vista High School students for an afternoon of hands-on learning with the Valley’s real estate best.

The students represented the winning teams of ULI Arizona’s UrbanPlan program, a realistic, engaging, and academically demanding classroom-based curriculum in which students learn about the fundamental forces that affect land use and real estate development.

“These students are tomorrow’s voters, neighbors, leaders, colleagues and public officials,” said Jim Belfiore, UrbanPlan Chair and president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting. “Urban Plan teaches the critical tools they need to understand the importance of community building.”

As a part of the curriculum, the students explored the thriving urban community of CityScape and its development path. The project case study allowed students to experience the challenging issues, private and public sector roles, complex trade-offs, and fundamental economics that arise in real estate development.

“The tour of CityScape provided students the opportunity to hear details of the process through the perspective of the very people who planned and constructed CityScape,” said Brett Heron, Vice President of Finance for RED Development. “One-on-one time with the city’s experts in development gives them the hands-on experience that will benefit them far into the future.”

UrbanPlan is developed for high school juniors and seniors in economics and government classes.  Student development teams respond to an RFP to redevelop a 5 1/2-block site from a mythical city.

Since its inception, ULI’s UrbanPlan program has reached more than 20,000 high schools and universities across the country since 2003 and in October of 2010, The George Lucas Educational Foundation selected UrbanPlan as one of only 20 programs in the U.S. for grades K-12 in its “What Works in Education Series.”

RED Development, a commercial real estate company and the developer of CityScape,  hosted the event for the winners and was the primary UrbanPlan program sponsor this year.

 

Bernards & Construction

Bernards Names Mike Rock To Lead Phoenix Office

Mike Rock - Bernards

Mike Rock

Bernards, a nationally recognized general contractor serving the U.S. Southwest, has appointed Mike Rock as vice president in the company’s Phoenix office, founder, CEO and president of the company, Doug Bernards, announced.

Rock takes over Bernards’ Phoenix office, which was established just a few years ago by Director of Operations Carl McFarland and Director of Client Development Tom Harrison.

The new VP was primarily responsible for capturing the group’s latest project, the first phase of a potential multi-year land development, infrastructure, construction management and general construction of Eastmark, a master-planned, single family home community on 2,500 acres in Mesa, being developed by DMB.

Rock is the former president of Kitchell Contractors, and has overseen large-scale projects in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Mexico and Hawaii.

“We are delighted to welcome such an industry star and a national leader to Bernards’ executive team,” Bernards said. “Mike will be a key player in our company’s leadership continuity plan, and a powerful catalyst for Bernards’ expansion in the Arizona regional market.”

McFarland and Harrison have been responsible for the Phoenix office’s projects in several states in the Midwest and Southwest. The team has built momentum fast, culminating in its current project of providing construction management services for the $75M renovation and expansion of the downtown Convention Complex in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, including a 267-room Hilton Hotel.

Rock will spearhead the company’s focus on expanding its client roster for building and managing construction of high profile, sustainable projects in the region, with a focus on Bernards’ core business areas, including sports and entertainment, educational, developer-driven projects and healthcare facilities.

“I look forward to working to bring creative innovation and a program of diverse projects and clients as we grow this dynamic region,” Rock said.

A LEED AP since 2004, Rock is a graduate of the University of Colorado and has completed executive business courses with Stanford Executive Leadership, FMI Leadership Institute and AGC Leadership Development Forum.

He is a board member of the Arizona Contractors Association, a board member of the Arizona Science Center and the Urban Land Institute and was a past executive leader of the John C. Lincoln Hospital annual food drive.

For more information on Bernards, visit their website at www.bernards.com.

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Commercial Real Estate Market Taking Off In Phoenix

As I flew into Phoenix last week, seeing the city from the air and the approach to the airport reminded me that the Valley’s commercial real estate market still has a lot of runway for growth.

More than 1,200 top executives of Jones Lang LaSalle met in Scottsdale last week for our annual leadership meeting. It’s an important event, given that our collaborative culture enables our firm to deliver value to commercial and corporate real estate clients in ways that other service firms can’t, or don’t. So most of the people here were thinking about ways to connect with, and learn from, each other.

But as Jones Lang LaSalle’s Southwest Market Director, my thoughts were on the opportunity for growth in Phoenix. I work with our brokers, property managers, project managers and other real estate professionals in Phoenix and across the region. Our business grows when real estate investors and corporate occupiers grow. And Phoenix is frequently high on the list of U.S. cities for business growth.

It may not be obvious at a time when house prices are about half what they were a few years ago, and unemployment remains maddeningly high. But between 2001 and 2011, Phoenix added more than 80,000 jobs, making it the country’s fourth-largest gainer when the boom and bust are both taken into account.

Moreover, the job market appears to be on the upswing again — a little or a lot, depending on which study you look at. Recently, the Urban Land Institute reported that Phoenix added more than 34,000 jobs since mid-2009 in private education and health services sectors.

Most important, corporate leaders continue to think of Phoenix when they’re considering a business expansion or relocation. That’s good for the city’s long-term growth prospects.

And it’s good for the Phoenix economy overall – including our brokers, construction managers and property management teams.

Peter Belisle - Commercial Real Estate MarketPeter Belisle is the Southwest Market Director for Jones Lang LaSalle, charged with overseeing the firm’s business across the region, which includes Phoenix, Las Vegas, the Los Angeles area, Orange County and San Diego. Business lines under Peter’s direction include tenant and landlord representation, project management and a property and facilities management portfolio of 62 MSF.

ULI Greenprint Foundation

ULI Joins Forces With Greenprint Foundation To Promote Green Development

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is enhancing its commitment to environmentally conscious development with the transfer of the activities and assets of the Greenprint Foundation into the newly formed ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance. With this action, ULI is continuing the operation of a unique industry-to-industry initiative through which leading real estate professionals exchange information and measure individual building and portfolio performance on the basis of energy use and carbon emissions.

The announcement of the transfer of the Greenprint Foundation’s activities and assets to the institute was made Friday at ULI’s headquarters office in Washington, D.C. The ULI Greenprint Center will be incorporated into ULI’s broader Climate, Land Use and Energy (CLUE) initiative. The center will carry on the Greenprint Foundation’s mission, which is to lead the global real estate community in the use of greenhouse gas reduction strategies that support the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) goals for global greenhouse gas stabilization by 2030. The ULI Greenprint Center will continue to advance the Greenprint Foundation’s goal of a 50-percent reduction in building emissions by that date. Currently, the energy used in buildings represents one-third of all global energy consumption.

ULI, with nearly 30,000 members worldwide — including 850 in Arizona — is a 75-year-old research and education institute dedicated to leadership in the responsible use of land and building sustainable, thriving communities. The Greenprint Foundation, currently based in New York City, was founded in 2009 by longtime ULI member Ronald P. Weidner as a worldwide alliance of real estate owners, investors, financial institutions and other industry stakeholders committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the global property industry. To date, the Greenprint Foundation’s member organizations are: Aetos Capital; AvalonBay; Beacon Capital Partners; Blackstone Group; DEXUS Property Group; Douglas Emmett; Equity Office Properties; GE Capital Real Estate; GLL Real Estate Partners; Hines; Jones Lang LaSalle; LaSalle Investment Management; Paramount Group; PATRIZIA Immobilien; Prologis; Prudential Real Estate Investors; RREEF, a member of the Deutsche Bank Group; Sonae Sierra; and TIAA-CREF.

“With the support and resources of ULI, the ULI Greenprint Center will lead the global property markets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a meaningful and measurable way. More importantly, it can help change the behavior of the population at large,” said Weidner, the founder of the Greenprint Foundation.

The flagship product of the Greenprint Foundation is its Greenprint Performance Report™, which includes the Greenprint Carbon Index (GCX), a tool used by Greenprint Foundation members to gauge relative progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time. The first volume of the report, issued in 2010, contained results obtained from performance during 2009 as a baseline measurement. The second volume, issued in 2011, had results for 2010 that included 1,623 properties in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and which covered a total of 31 million square meters of commercial space. It showed a 0.6 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the previous year on the like-for-like portfolio of submitted properties.

The international scope and size of the report, including the GCX, make it one of the real estate industry’s largest, most verifiable, transparent and comprehensive energy benchmarking tools. It is unique in that it provides an open standard for measuring, benchmarking and tracking energy usage and resulting emissions on a building or portfolio basis.

Carbon-equivalent emissions are measured in kilograms per square meter of space per year, and the analysis is conducted for each building or group of buildings, and then reported in the aggregate for each property asset type: office, industrial, retail, multifamily and hotels.

“The voluntary information exchange between Greenprint Foundation members that informs the report reflects ULI’s time-tested tradition of sharing knowledge for the benefit of the industry. We look forward to building on the collaborative spirit and effort that has formed the basis for the Greenprint Foundation and its Carbon Index,” said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “Through the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance, we are aiming to fill a void of information on the value of investments in energy conservation and greenhouse gas reductions. We are extremely excited about the ability of this new center to demonstrate that environmentally sound building practices make economic sense.”

The ULI Greenprint Center is an extension of ULI’s long involvement in environmental issues. Since its establishment in 1936, ULI has played a decisive role in the formation of industry best practices regarding land use, green buildings, sustainable communities, smart growth, transit-oriented development, land conservation and green infrastructure. The ULI Greenprint Center will assume the Greenprint Foundation’s existing research program and ongoing engagement with owners of real estate toward value-enhancing carbon reduction strategies. ULI Trustee Charles B. Leitner III, formerly the president and chief executive officer of the Greenprint Foundation, will be the chairman of the ULI Greenprint Center and will serve as co-chairman of the advisory board for ULI’s CLUE initiative.

“The creation of the center will enable both organizations to jointly leverage their resources to keep the Greenprint Foundation’s momentum going,” Leitner said. “I see the ULI Greenprint Center’s work as becoming the global real estate industry’s diary of its efforts to dramatically lower the impact of buildings on the environment. We will continue to promote increased awareness of innovative technologies and best operating practices to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Through this center, ULI can help position the land use and real estate industry as part of the solution to climate change.”

The ULI Greenprint Center will join ULI’s existing dedicated centers of research and programs, which include the ULI J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing, the ULI Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use, and the ULI Center for Capital Markets in Real Estate. Together, these centers of research and program excellence form dedicated components of ULI’s broader research and education activities.

The ULI Greenprint Center’s work will be guided by an advisory board, to be chaired by Leitner, which will include key industry leaders from Greenprint’s founding member companies. Among other members, the advisory board will include Weidner; ULI Trustee and first Greenprint President Kenneth W. Hubbard, executive vice president of Hines U.S. in New York City; Fred A. Seigel, president and chief operating officer, Beacon Capital Partners, LLC, Boston; Colin Dyer, president and chief executive officer, Jones Lang LaSalle, Chicago; Gerd Kremer, managing director, GLL Real Estate Partners, Munich; and Ron Herbst, global head of energy management and sustainability, Deutsche Bank AG London in London. Patrick and ULI Senior Vice President for Initiatives Uwe Brandes will also serve on the advisory board. The ULI Greenprint Center Advisory Board will work with the center’s staff to build on recent accomplishments and further develop the center in accordance with its mission.

For more information about the Urban Land Institiute, visit uli.org.

People to Know 2011 Reception & Awards Ceremony

People To Know 2011 Industry Leaders And Photos

AZRE Magazine’s People to Know 2011 reception and awards ceremony was held on November 10, 2011 at the Scottsdale Waterfront. In attendance was Arizona’s largest local and national real estate audience, including the following People to Know recipients: attorneys, accountants, city planners, property managers, economic developers and brokers.

Throughout the night, we also announced the top 11 industry leaders. Congratulations to our finalists and winners!

People to Know 2011 Industry Leaders

Architects & Engineers

Michael Medici, AIA
President

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersSmithGroup
455 N. 3rd St., #250, Phoenix
www.smithgroup.com · (602) 265-2200

Responsibilities: Managing director and member of the firm’s board of directors, architectural management and design
Years at Company: 30
Years in CRE: 32
Accomplishments: Medici has been with SmithGroup since 1980 and has remained active in managing several of its key projects including TGen, Arizona Biomedical Collaborative, Freeport McMoRan Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Energy Systems Integration Facility, and the POW/MIA Forensic Laboratory at Hickam AFB in Honolulu. He is active in the the community and has served as event chairman of the Annual Cystic Fibrosis Stair Climb & Firefighter Challenge; as a member of St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation Board; and as past president of ASU Council for Design Excellence. His leadership enables SmithGroup’s Phoenix office to achieve success in the Valley, Arizona and the Southwest.


Attorneys

Michael E. Tiffany
Managing Attorney

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersTiffany & Bosco PA
2525 E. Camelback Rd., 3rd Floor, Phoenix
www.tblaw.com · (602) 255-6000

Responsibilities: Managing attorney and head of the real estate practice group
Years at Company: 40+
Years in CRE:
30+
Accomplishments: In addition to his duties as managing attorney, Tiffany concentrates in the area of commercial transactions, primarily in strategic planning, business solutions, real estate and finance. His accomplishments include closing HUD insured loans for more than 170 multi-family housing projects on behalf of borrowers, for an aggregate loan amount in excess of $2.2M; and preparing a development agreement between a landowner and the Town of Buckeye as a form for future development agreements. He is a member of the State Bar of Arizona and Maricopa County Bar Association. He is active in with the Thunderbirds and the Sheriff’s Mounted Posse of Maricopa County.

Don J. Miner
Director

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersFennemore Craig PC
3003 N. Central Ave., #2600, Phoenix
www.fclaw.com · (602) 916-5000

Responsibilities: Focuses on various aspects of commercial real estate
Years at Company: 14
Years in CRE: 32
Accomplishments: Miner was the buyer’s counsel in sale of a portfolio of $101M of loans secured by residential real estate mortgages, and the seller’s counsel in the sale of an 832-acre farm for development of a master-planned community. He was the landlord’s counsel in negotiation and documentation of a 115,000 SF office lease, and tenant’s counsel in negotiation of a 130,000 SF office lease. He represented the ground lessee and developer in the negotiation and drafting of a 65-year ground lease covering 37.5 acres of Native American reservation land for purposes of the development of a commercial sea water aquarium, a butterfly pavilion and related entertainment and restaurant uses. Miner is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2003-2011.


Brokers

Anthony J. Lydon
Managing Director – Industrial/Supply Chain Logistics Solution

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersJones Lang LaSalle
3131 E. Camelback Rd., # 400, Phoenix
www.us.joneslanglasalle.com · (602) 282-6300

Responsibilities: Manages and directs the industrial supply chain marketing for institutional property owner clients and serves as an advocate for corporate occupiers of space
Years at Company: 1
Years in CRE: 30
Accomplishments: Lydon has spent his 30-year career focused on the industrial commercial real estate sector. In that time, he has become one of Phoenix’s most accomplished industrial brokers. In the last 18 months alone, Lydon has directed some of Phoenix’s top industrial transactions, bringing jobs and capital to the market via deals like the 1.4 MSF Amazon.com lease and the long-term, 153,000 SF Schoeller Arca Systems lease. Lydon has been recognized as a Top Industrial Broker by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), named a CoStar “Power Broker” and a NAIOP Industrial Broker of the Year. He is a 25-year SIOR Designee, as well as a member of the Jones Lang LaSalle Global Supply Chain Group. On a personal note, Lydon is part owner of a Michigan-based Class A minor league baseball team.


Developers

Kurt Rosene
Senior VP

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersAlter Group
7500 N. Dobson Rd., #151, Scottsdale
www.altergroup.com · (480) 302-6600

Responsibilities: Manage development, leasing and acquisitions for the Western Region
Years at Company: 20
Years in CRE: 24
Accomplishments: Rosene has led The Alter Group to accomplish remarkable things in Phoenix during the past 10 years. After opening the office a decade ago, he has helped solidify the company as one of the premier developers in the Valley. Nationally, Rosene has been able to develop more than $1B worth of real estate in 24 states. His expertise and level of customer service have led to numerous repeat clients. He’s earned the respect of the entire industry and made friendships throughout the country. Recently The Alter Group and John F. Long Properties of Phoenix announced a joint development of three major business parks in the West Valley totaling in excess of 1,500 acres. It is expected to create an estimated 65,000 jobs.


Economic Developers

Christine Mackay
Economic Development Director

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersCity of Chandler
P.O. Box 4008, Chandler
www.chandleraz.gov/ed · (480) 782-3030

Responsibilities: Directs economic development division, implementing programs to increase and diversify City’s economic base
Years at Company: 14
Years in CRE: 19
Accomplishments: Mackay has been with the City of Chandler for 14 years. During the past five years, she has helped locate or expand more than 145 companies in Chandler, and brought more than $8.9B in capital investment into the community. She was instrumental in helping land the $5B Intel Fab 42 chip manufacturing facility. In 2007, she was named the Economic Developer of the Year, Large Community, for the State of Arizona by the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED). In 2010, Mackay was named Leader of the Year in Economic Development-Public Policy by the Arizona Capital Times. She has spent most of her career in commercial real estate. Before coming to Chandler, she was in private sector commercial real estate where she was the research director for a commercial brokerage firm.


Financiers & Accountants

William L. Spart
Senior Vice President

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersWells Fargo Bank – Real Estate
8601 N. Scottsdale Rd., #200, Phoenix
www.wellsfargo.com · (480) 348-5333

Responsibilities: Business development for Wells Fargo
Years at Company: 21
Years in CRE: 30
Accomplishments: Spart, a 30-year veteran of commercial real estate finance, has witnessed the ups and downs of the industry firsthand. Perhaps that’s why he has taken a leadership role. During his tenure at Wells Fargo, Spart has been active with NAIOP (as a board member), Valley Partnership, Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers (as a member). Spart is a regular speaker at public forums around the Valley and was a member of the 2010 NAIOP roundtable in AZRE Magazine. In his position at Wells Fargo, he manages a diverse portfolio of commercial real estate loans and lenders.


General Contractors

Hamilton Espinosa
National Healthcare Leader

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersDPR Construction
222 N. 44th St., Phoenix
www.dpr.com · (602) 808-0500

Responsibilities: Developing DPR’s strategic healthcare vision
Years at Company: 13
Years in CRE: 21
Accomplishments: Espinosa, LEED AP, brings more than 20 years of construction industry experience to DPR. Based in Arizona, Espinosa is key to building the company’s healthcare experience locally and nationally. Instrumental in building more then $3B in healthcare projects, including the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, his reputation of producing results and developing long-term working partnerships is acknowledged throughout the industry. DPR is one the country’s top technical builders and has been ranked among the Top 50 general contractors in the U.S. for the past 10 years. Espinosa serves as vice chair of the St. Joseph’s Foundation board and is a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation board.


Property Managers

Mark Stromgren, RPA
Vice President, General Manager of Real Estate Services

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersNorthMarq
1110 W. Washington St., #110, Phoenix
www.northmarq.com · (602) 254-5790

Responsibilities: Oversees 600,000 SF of Class A office space, including three buildings which are 100% occupied
Years at Company: 4
Years in CRE: 25
Accomplishments: Stromgren joined NorthMarq when the organization acquired his previous employer, Opus Property Services, a move that doubled its portfolio to 60 MSF. For nearly 10 years, Stromgren served as a senior property manager with Opus West Management. Prior to that, he was a general manager with LaSalle Partners. He is an active member of BOMA and NAIOP. He was recently elected to serve as president of BOMA Greater Phoenix for the 2011-2012 board year. He is also a past president of the chapter and has served on the board of directors for 13 years. In addition, he has earned the organization’s RPA designation. He is aso a LEED AP and holds real estate brokerage licenses in Arizona and Colorado. He earned a BS degree from UCLA.


Subcontractors

Daniel Puente
Founder & President

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersD.P. Electric Inc.
6002 S. Ash Ave., Tempe
www.dpelectric.com · (480) 858-9070

Responsibilities: Provides the necessary planning, organization, direction, coordination and control to meet company growth
Years at Company: 20
Years in CRE: 30
Accomplishments: Big events lit up the offices at D.P. Electric. Puente, founder and president, was awarded the W.P. Carey Spirit of Enterprise Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award, and the company celebrated its 20th Anniversary — growing from a firm with four electricians in a garage to a multi-million dollar local success story. Puente is a strong supporter of education and training aimed at fostering personal and professional growth within his organization. He acts as a mentor to educate small minority-owned businesses within the community. He oversees all aspects of the company, including profitability, staffing, marketing efforts, and customer and vendor relations.


Up and Comers

Kimberly Mickelson
Marketing Associate

People to Know 2011 Industry Leaders

Small Giants
4531 N 16th St #124, Phoenix
www.smallgiantsonline.com · (602) 314-5549

Responsibilities: Social media, proposal development and website management for clients
Years at Company: 2
Years in CRE: 8
Accomplishments: Not only is Mickelson one of just three Certified Social Marketing Specialists in the Arizona, she is also heavily involved in the commercial real estate industry. With SMPS Arizona, she is an active member, programs committee member, publicity committee member and social media chair. She is also moderator for the SMPS Twitter account and is in charge of blog submissions for the Building Arizona blog. She is an active affiliate member of AIA Arizona, and an active young leaders group member of ULI. She has coached and trained many organizations and individuals on valuable emerging marketing practices. She recently received the 2010 SMPS Arizona Chapter Rising Star Award. Her desire to make an impact goes beyond personal accomplishments or within her work with Small Giants.


View the People to Know 2011 photos on our Facebook!

Did YOU take photos in the photo booth? Check them out!

People to Know 2011 Photo Booth

Click on the photo above.

 

Arizona Real Estate Trends Conference

ULI Arizona Real Estate Trends Conference

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is hosting its seventh annual Arizona Real Estate Trends Conference on Thursday, January 26, 2012, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix. This year’s theme is “Entrepreneurial Innovation 2012 and Beyond.”

The Urban Land Institute’s mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. It doesn’t lobby or act as an advocate for any single industry. Instead, ULI examines land use issues, impartially reports findings and convenes forums to find solutions to complex land use problems, collaborating with industry and stakeholder groups worldwide.

For the seventh Arizona Real Estate Trends Conference, ULI Arizona will feature Frederick H. Waddell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Northern Trust Corporation, as the keynote speaker, and he’ll provide an overview of entrepreneurialism, innovation and economic stability for 2012 and beyond. Given the heightened interest in national and global financial institutions, Waddell will provide an insider’s perspective on the contemporary economic environment from the perspective of the banking industry.

Why else should you attend? The ULI Arizona Real Estate Trends Conference also features more than 30 of the industry’s top leaders discussing compelling issues affecting Arizona’s real estate development, jobs and the economy. At this conference, you’ll hear about current trends and critical issues in real estate development for the coming year. You can also network with national and regional real estate leaders, decision-makers and visionaries at Arizona’s pre-eminent forum for trends and relevant information.

Where:

Sheraton Downtown Phoenix

340 N. 3rd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

When:

Thursday, January 26, 2012
7:15 a.m. registration
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. conference with networking lunch break
4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. networking reception

Session topics:

  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Innovation
  • Economic Stability
  • Capital Markets
  • Commercial and Residential Property Markets
  • Government Impacts on Development

 Register today!

For more information on ULI Arizona or the Arizona Real Estate Trends Conference, visit ULI Arizona’s website.

 

Dennis Desmond

Dennis Desmond, Jones Lang LaSalle, Phoenix Market Observations

Dennis Desmond, Senior Managing Director – Phoenix of Jones Lang LaSalle, shares observations about the Phoenix market that came out of ULI’s 2011 Real Estate Summit at the Spring Council Forum, held May 18-20 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown


Though the past year-and-a-half have been eerily quiet on the Phoenix commercial real estate investment front, 2011 is reflecting a clear uptick in buyer interest that has most industry experts confident about our return to the capital markets playing field.

This sense of re-emergence was echoed at last week’s Urban Land Institute (ULI) Real Estate Summit– an event that brought together top decision makers and industry experts to discuss the future of real estate and how companies can best operate within that future. Forums highlighted the opportunities that are emerging through Phoenix’s market recovery, efforts to diversify the Phoenix economy and the drivers of that diversification. A strong turnout of investors from across the country attended Jones Lang LaSalle’s client events, with a generally upbeat attitude about the future of our CRE marketplace.

Different investor groups are showing varying degrees of interest. Institutions are looking at Phoenix’s numbers but are holding back. They are focusing on the biggest cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco until Phoenix can provide similarly competitive returns.

Conversely, investors who have “been here, done that” are returning to Phoenix to look and often buy,
An example from earlier this month is the Scottsdale Center, a 164,000-square-foot, Class B building in a Class A location on Scottsdale Road. Within days of a teaser announcement from JLL for this asset, more than 130 confidentiality agreements were signed. The bids on that property underscore the general belief that Phoenix will recover in earnest over the next two to three years.Dennis Desmond

Most investors participating in offerings like this one are located in nearby markets like Colorado, Texas or Southern California. They have owned Phoenix assets before, are aware of our market swings and instead focus on the strong fundamentals for future potential. Investors understand that the highest returns may go to those who acquire properties now, while we’re bouncing on the bottom, in anticipation of the approaching recovery.

Desmond DennisDennis Desmond is Senior Managing Director for the Phoenix office of Jones Lang LaSalle. He is responsible for directing the firm’s office and industrial landlord representation, research and capital markets teams, as well as pursuing local and national investment opportunities as head of the company’s Phoenix Capital Markets Group.

To reach Dennis Desmond, call (602) 282-6300 or email him at dennis.desmond@am.jll.com.

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Brokerage Team Of The Year For Sales 2011

CB Richard Ellis

Tyler Anderson, CB Richard Ellis

The Team:

Tyler Anderson, Vice Chairman

Sean Cunningham, Vice Chairman

Sales Details:

19 sale transactions in Arizona

$442M in value in Arizona

Sean Cunningham, CB Richard Ellis

Tyler Anderson and Sean Cunningham lead a dynamic, 9-person multi-family team in CBRE’s Phoenix office. Anderson and Cunningham have more than 57 years combined experience. Their team also consists of a sales associate, a senior financial analyst, three research analysts and two client service specialists. Their largest single transaction closed in 2010 was The Canyons, a 629-unit (475,524 SF) multi-family community in Phoenix. The property sold for $45.5M. Anderson and Cunningham are also involved in a number of industry groups and community organizations including the National Multi-Housing Council, Urban Land Institute, Phoenix Thunderbirds and Childhelp USA. Both are vice chairmen at CBRE.

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Arizona Sunset - Future of West Valley

Valley Leaders Join Forces To Envision The Future West Valley

Leadership West LogoOver 100 Valley leaders convened on November 31, 2010 to develop a future vision for the West Valley in an exercise led by Leadership West.  Leadership West is a volunteer-led, non-profit organization that convenes, educates and activates proven leaders in business, non-profits and government to leverage their time, talents and treasures to enhance the quality of life in the West Valley.

Moving AZOne LogoThe “West Valley Reality Check” was free for its participants, thanks to the collaborative effort and partnership between Leadership West and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The program’s goal was to bring together leaders in government, business, non-profits, environmentalists, educators, neighborhood activists, interfaith groups, tribal and elected officials to focus on a regional approach to shaping our built environment. The event was a continuation of Leadership West’s annual West Valley Summit which was held in March.

By 2050, the Central Arizona region will have an additional 6 million people and 3 million new jobs, many of which will be in the West Valley. This exercise presented the opportunity for Valley stakeholders to influence how the region plans land-use, transportation and infrastructure while sustaining our economy and quality of life.

Leadership West Executive Director, Kathy Knecht kicked off the event by describing the organization as a catalyst for long-term planning in the West Valley.  The Reality Check model was designed by ULI, but this event was the first time where such an exercise was conducted with West Valley stakeholders.  What emerged from the exercise was an overarching theme of municipal and regional cooperation that looks beyond the current economic cycle in preparation for the next wave.

Deb Sydenham introduced the Reality Check model as a great opportunity to work collaboratively and cooperatively to help regions with visioning at least 20 years into the future. Don Keuth presented Valley growth trends and how this exercise will help establish the framework for future growth. Interestingly enough, only about 10 cities across the country have performed this activity but Phoenix is the only city that has done it twice. ULI Arizona’s efforts over the past 3 years have resulted in the “Connected Centers” strategy that promotes growth and prosperity.  These exercises represent a forward-thinking approach to identify a sustainable regional growth scenario and by doing so determine housing types, responsible land uses and a transportation framework.

MapJay Hicks presented the ground rules for the placemaking exercise in which participants use Legos© that represent various levels of housing and employment density and strands of yarn that represent major transportation corridors to identify the region’s growth patterns.  Participants used these tools in their groups to establish a 40-year vision with the understanding of the West Valley’s opportunities and challenges, including jobs, transportation, Luke AFB, higher education and the environment.

By keeping an open mind, being bold and creative and working together to find solutions, the participant groups completed their visioning exercise while maintaining AZOne Reality Check’s guiding principles of preserving open space, supporting current infrastructure by growing along existing corridors, connecting employment and housing with multi-modal transportation, creating new urban centers and infilling currently developed areas, and locating housing near jobs.

The collective group discussed barriers and challenges that might hinder the implementation of these future scenarios as well as policy changes that would be necessary to making the scenarios possible. However, the group clearly identified a need for the West Valley to stay relevant in conversations about regional issues by working collaboratively and speaking as one voice.  Leadership West did not intend this exercise to be the end, but rather the next step in moving this initiative forward by carrying the message back to each respective organization.  The Reality Check exercise provided a forum for West Valley representatives to use regional visioning and planning and discuss how we can promote economic development, plan comprehensive infrastructure, preserve natural resources, create a sense of place in the community, and engage the community and create political will to implement these visions.  Our common goal…leadership.

Tim Lawless, AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

Q&A with NAIOP-AZ President Tim Lawless

Q&A with NAIOP-AZ President Tim Lawless

Q: A year ago you cited several factors that needed to occur for the regional economy to get going again. Have those changes occurred and what impact have they made, if any, in regard to the outlook of local commercial real estate?

Last year, I said that four things needed to occur before we could get on our feet again as an industry. They were:

1) credit markets need to act more normally;

2) job losses need to stabilize;

3) the glut of housing inventory needs to be absorbed so folks can sell their homes in the Midwest and California and continue to migrate here; and

4) we need a more competitive state tax code and to enact policies that diversify the economy in order to attract the flight of capital and brainpower, especially from California.

The credit market is not yet normal. People are still hoarding cash and there is an expectation that hundreds of banks nationwide will still fail when they take further haircuts on distressed properties that have yet to move into the barber’s chair.

We have stabilized job losses, but the rebound is much slower than hoped and few think we will replace all the jobs lost even after 5 years in our state. Nationally, many of these jobs will never come back. They are in India and other countries.

Regarding the glut of homes available, we are seeing some activity that gives hope, but I wouldn’t “bet the house” on it recovering just yet.

And finally, we have done little to nothing regarding the tax code besides talk about privatizing a Department of Commerce and enacting a solar tax credit that only helps on the far periphery. If anything, we have gone backwards as business has had to absorb two major tax increases with the prospect of more coming.

Of the four things, the job losses and housing are the most improved, while we are still waiting for the brunt of commercial property foreclosures to move through the system. Once the foreclosure “pig” is digested in the “python,” the credit markets will be more normal. This digestion, however, is soon upon us, which becomes necessary for recovery.

The factor that holds the least optimism is the prospect of changing our uncompetitive business tax code, especially as it relates to high commercial property taxes. Perhaps this can only be accomplished in tandem with yet another tax increase as the political courage to further cut spending has waned.

The silver lining about all of this is that properties are fast becoming a bargain and a lot of cash on the sidelines may soon come in.

Using a baseball analogy, we are in the late innings regarding a residential property recovery, and perhaps only in the mid-innings regarding a commercial property recovery. What we all hope to avoid is the prospect of extra innings through a double dip.

Q: What are some of the new challenges you see facing the industry in 2011?

While it was anticipated that at least one major tax increase would occur (two in fact occurred, the reinstitution of the $250M per year state equalization property tax and the $1B per year sales tax increase) the prospect of multiple tax increases at either the federal, state or local levels is the new challenge.

The feds seem intent on taxing commercial partnerships more like ordinary income rather than the lower capital gains tax treatment, while the state’s structural budget deficit will be more than a billion dollars beyond 2014. The locals will also be eying ways to raise revenue, most likely via the property tax rates.

Multiple tax increases on small businesses that are tenants in our buildings and at financial risk will only result in more potential vacancies if not more rent concessions. Further tax burden increases will also harm our ability to attract more firms to our state.

Q: How do you envision NAIOP-AZ helping to address those challenges?

NAIOP-AZ will continue to advocate at the state Capitol for a more competitive tax code that creates more high-paying jobs for our economy. Besides advocating for property tax reform, we also are now advocating a corporate income tax rate reduction and a deal-closing fund for the governor in order to attract more firms and allow existing firms to expand.

Q: What are some opportunities you foresee in the industry in 2011?

As the foreclosures and the sale of distressed properties mount, this creates the opportunity for more out-of-state entrants to become active in our community. In other words, the companies that were well known before will be replaced by new firms that may re-charge our communities and have the potential to provide new perspectives.

This is the essence of the rising Phoenix myth and the image of Arizona that most Americans have — that it is an egalitarian state where one rises and falls on their merits and where even a desert can be remade into an oasis.

Q: What are some NAIOP-AZ initiatives for the coming year?

During an economic downturn, the key is to do more with less. Our trade association is not immune, as many of our members have lost their job or taken new jobs for less pay in the last year. As a result, we are trying to offer more networking and educational opportunities.

A key example is the institution of a Market Leaders Sunrise Series. We invite our membership to hear from industry panels that are experts in certain fields such as lending, economic development, brokerage or “green” initiatives.

We also have attempted to pursue strategic alliances with other trade associations, where we can co-leverage resources toward more bang for the membership buck. An example is we plan to co-sponsor ULI’s Trends Day in January, where our members may get a reduced fee for attending. We also have partnered with BOMA-AZ in offering multiple continuing education courses.

Internally, we are looking at pursuing a mentoring program, where individual board members would partner with commercial real estate professionals 35 years of age and under from our Developing Leaders Committee.

In closing, we would be remiss in not thanking our corporate sponsors and members who have made our trade association a relevant force in public policy advocacy and in providing a platform for education, networking and philanthropic involvement.

For more information about NAIOP-AZ and Tim Lawless, visit naiop-az.org.

AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

Adaptive Reuse - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010

Waste Not Want Not – Successful, Sustainable Adaptive Reuse

Adaptive Reuse

In this economy, it isn’t surprising that everyone is looking to get more for less. Whether you are an owner, representative or a member of the commercial real estate industry, the importance of delivering value has never been greater. Naturally, clients are looking to reduce cost per square foot, but they are also searching for more value in that square footage by making their spaces more efficient and reducing energy costs. Adaptive reuse of an existing building can be a viable marriage of these philosophies, for companies and brokers alike.

According to the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2010 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, projects of the future are trending toward “infill, urbanizing suburbs and transit-oriented development.” The populace is looking for convenience, shorter commutes and reduced energy expenses — at home, in their vehicles and in their businesses.

Applications

Tina Burger, a principal at Excel Commercial in Scottsdale, agrees with the report and points to the Scottsdale Airpark area as a good example of these trends, and how they can affect redevelopment and reuse. Burger is on the Scottsdale Airpark Advocacy Subcommittee, and assists both the Chamber and the City of Scottsdale with their General Plan on redevelopment. In the Scottsdale Airpark area, she says there is a vast amount of vacant, functionally obsolete space that could be sustainably adapted to accommodate a variety of tenants. The Advocacy Subcommittee is working toward a plan for the Airpark area that provides a roadmap for development.

Using an existing structure, as opposed to building new, is a sustainable solution. From an environmental vantage, there is an opportunity to reduce waste in construction and be more efficient with the space. This efficiency can be realized by utilizing sustainable design philosophies and innovative products.

Finding the Right Space

When exploring adaptive reuse, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Appropriate space selection is vital to achieving success.
  • Warehouses and big box retail spaces can provide valuable flexibility, and accommodate a variety of functions and amenities.
  • Look for types of facilities that provide ample ceiling height and large floor plates.

From a design perspective, high ceilings allow for ease of installing and maintaining building systems by providing several feet of space above the ceiling. This extra space enables the mechanical ducts, plumbing lines and light systems to be stacked, instead of being packed into a more typical space of only about 18 to 20 inches. This allows for less expensive maintenance and increases the space’s flexibility.

Conversely, ceiling height may be an acoustical challenge for open work spaces, private offices or conference rooms in which noise will be a distraction. However, several design techniques are available to mitigate these issues. Interior designers and space planners work with individuals and firms to position heavily trafficked areas away from conference rooms and private offices. Individual work spaces can allay these issues by installing clouds, or lower hanging acoustical tiles, to reduce noise and increase privacy without compromising the collaboration that open-office plans seek to nurture.

Buildings that lend themselves to reuse:

  • Warehouses
  • Theaters
  • Cafeterias
  • Large retail centers

Property types with larger floor plates allow for greater flexibility, and the potential for a larger benefit from expert space planning. Work stations can be planned in the most beneficial and efficient layout for the client. Critical relationships between staff can be placed together in a neighborhood, while communal areas such as copy rooms, break rooms and restrooms can be centralized. These layouts reduce waste through unnecessary duplication of services, and allow for future office reconfigurations that do not require demolition.

Designing Spaces

When choosing to adapt a large space, it is important to create appropriate degrees of scale for the comfort of users. By designing and planning effective lighting, ceiling treatments, furnishings and color finish palette, these adapted spaces can provide creative, inviting, comfortable meeting and work spaces on an appropriate scale for large and/or small groups.

Lack of natural daylighting is an obstacle to overcome when adapting an existing space. Those concerned with energy efficiency and productivity understand the importance of natural daylight. To increase daylighting, additional windows, skylights or solar tubes can be installed. Solar tubes increase the amount of daylight that can be introduced deep into a structure’s interior. New technologies may also be incorporated into existing windows, to reflect light deeper into a space while avoiding glare. This technique’s effectiveness may be increased by incorporating a white ceiling during the conversion.

On the other hand, should the desired end result of adapting a structure be a computer training classroom, a worship center or a theater — the lack of natural daylighting available in a warehouse or large retail center may be a positive, money-saving advantage.

Another added benefit of big box retail and warehouse adaptation is the increased floor load capacity. This can provide for further flexibility, particularly for computer-intensive businesses, or the incorporation of amenities such as a fitness center or rock-climbing wall.

Green Spaces

Although some adaptive reuse spaces provide adequate electrical loads and HVAC capacity, it is not unusual to have to add additional capacity. This upgrade process is an ideal time to install equipment that will improve indoor air quality, increase electrical efficiency or add photovoltaic collectors. These steps can decrease energy expenses and, according to a response included in ULI’s report, will “’fetch a bigger price than comparable space without green features” when owners choose to sell. Choosing to have an adapted space certified by the U.S. Green Building Council is objective verification that the space stands apart, offering energy efficiency and heightened productivity.

Burger agrees, adding, “The biggest reason for an owner to upgrade their property is to preserve the asset’s value today and in the future.” Many energy-efficient upgrades have reasonable payback periods.

An organization’s culture also is a significant factor in choosing to adapt an existing building. A site might be chosen for its historical significance, location or prestige. Other institutions appreciate the anonymity that an adapted building can offer, while other owners may need a larger space and chose to reuse rather than rebuild.

There are many reasons to choose adaptive reuse and, if done wisely in partnership with a design professional, such a choice can be cost-effective, sustainable and successful.

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Article written for AZRE by H. Joshua Gould, AIA, LEED AP,  who is the chairman and CEO of RNL; and Carl Price, AIA, LEED AP, who is a principal at RNL. www.rnldesign.com

www.pwc.com
www.scottsdaleaz.gov
www.uli.org

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AZRE Magazine July/August 2010

Urban Land Institute

Earth Day 2010: A Pivot Point for Land Use and Community Building

By Patrick L. Phillips
Chief Executive Officer, Urban Land Institute

The fortieth annual recognition of Earth Day finds the world of land use in the midst of change, much as it was in 1970. However, in terms of community building, where we’ve been over the past four decades is not where we are headed for the next 40 years. What we’ve learned is that we can build in a way that both accommodates growth and protects — even enhances — the environment.

When the recognition of Earth Day began, people were moving to suburbia by the hundreds of thousands, returning to downtowns primarily to work or shop in department stores. Suburban malls were still innovative; the average home cost about $23,400 and covered 1,400 square feet; the average car cost $3,900 (plus $39 for an eight-track stereo); and a gallon of gas cost about 36 cents.

Triggered by relatively cheap housing, cars and gas, our urban regions were continuing the postwar form: growing outward in two general patterns – rings, based primarily around major highway construction that circled around cities; or linear growth tracking a spine of major highways. The result was the familiar “hub and spoke” metropolitan pattern. Our cities were growing in spite of the environment, not in harmony with it.

Even as urban sprawl was advancing, the Urban Land Institute warned of the potential for dire consequences. A 1970 article in Urban Land magazine cautioned, “We have carried the concept of conquest and dominion over nature to a point where large areas of our living environment have become not only unsightly but downright unhealthy.” It implored the land use community to be aware of development’s toll on air and water quality, and to appreciate “the interplay between the natural earth forces and land development activities.”

It was a fortuitous message then, and one with even more relevance now: How we use land matters. Land use has an enormous impact, not just on the natural environment, but on the long term economic and social viability of our cities. Vast demographic, financial, and environmental shifts are necessitating a major overhaul in what and where we build, and will continue to do over the next 40 years leading to Earth Day 2050.
Among the forces of change now in place:

  • The U.S. population has grown by more than 100 million people since 1970, with an additional 150 million expected over the next 40 years;
  • The first wave of baby boomers are hitting 65 — most will shun retirement and stay in the workforce, and many, if healthy now, could still be alive in 40 years;
  • The children of baby boomers, Generation Y (the most technologically connected generation in history) has started to enter the housing market and workforce;
  • Household size is shrinking, due to more people living alone, delaying marriage and childbirth, and having fewer children;
  • The U.S. is now the largest importer of oil, rather than the largest exporter, leading to stepped up efforts to develop alternate sources of energy;
  • The U.S. transportation infrastructure system, once a world leader due to the new interstate highway system, is now falling far behind Asia and Europe in terms of transportation investments;
  • Concerns over climate change have resulted in an increasing number of government mandates aimed at limiting carbon emissions from vehicles and buildings; and
  • The worst economic downturn since the Great Depression has 1) thrown credit markets into prolonged turmoil; and 2) left many markets with unprecedented housing foreclosures, causing a decline in the homeownership rate and a long-term change in the perception of homeownership as the American Dream.

All these changes are taking place as the U.S. is becoming an increasingly urban nation, and as our urban regions are evolving into different nodes of employment, housing and recreation spanning 40 or 50 more miles. It is difficult to predict exactly what the city in 2050 will look like. However, what is clear is that piece-meal, haphazard and poorly connected development is a thing of the past. It’s also clear that the majority of the growth will occur not in downtowns, but in the suburbs. And in these areas, less land will have to be used to accommodate more people. This change in how suburban areas grow will have a major influence on the environmental and economic sustainability of entire metropolitan regions.

Going forward, this is what we can expect: building more densely to conserve energy, water and land, and to reduce the need to drive. Better coordination of land use planning and transportation planning, so that more development is oriented toward transit options. And, reusing and adapting obsolete space in a way that reflects the changing needs and desires of a much more mobile society – a society in which many are likely to rent longer and change jobs much more frequently.

At 40 years, Earth Day 2010 marks a pivot point for land use and community building. Looking forward to Earth Day 2050, it’s important to consider how the impact of urban design and development meets residents’ expectations for livability, amenities, flexibility and choice. Ultimately, cities are about what’s best for people, not buildings, and not cars. The places that get this right will be the winners in the decades ahead.

www.uli.org