If dinner party conversation turns to commercial real estate trends, there is one person you definitely want at the table: Kathleen Carey, president and CEO of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Foundation. With nearly 40,000 members worldwide, ULI is dedicated to creating a flow of ideas, information and experiences among real estate and development experts.
In the latest Knowledge Leader magazine cover story, Carey reveals six issues that are hot topics of discussion at ULI. Check out these sound bites from Carey:
- The impact of “jobs following people”
“When I graduated from college, I moved because I had a job in a new location. Nowadays, college grads decide that they want to live in Austin, Raleigh/Durham, Charlotte or Seattle, and they move there without a job, but they find work because employers are following the people.”
- Increasing urbanization in the suburbs
“Suburban areas, like Bethesda, Maryland, are urbanizing. They have the amenities that the millennial generation and Gen Xers have come to enjoy. The suburbs that are going to be the most successful are the ones that are able to create an urban experience for them.”
- Understanding millennials and turning a focus to “generation i”
“ULI members are not building for 10 or 20 years; they’re building 50, 75 years and beyond. We should not only be looking at the needs of millennials, but at the generation following the millennials to try to assess their preferences, even though they are still very young.”
- The next wave of repurposing: office space
“Close to 80 percent of existing office buildings in the U.S. were built before 2000. Can those buildings be repurposed for something else? Not all of those offices built in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s are great examples of functional architecture and design. So, are they going to be able to be used for something else? If they are, it is going to require a creative and an imaginative approach.”
- Developers are taking on water control
“Where we are seeing water scarcity, developers are starting to factor in the short- and long-term costs of water into their development plans.”
- Preparing for the “driverless car”
“People are starting to talk—not in a visionary way, but in a practical way—about what the implications might be of having fewer cars and different types of vehicles on the road. How will streetscapes change? Will we need parking for all of these driverless cars, and will it look the same as the parking we have now? If not, what are we going to do with the parking that we already have? Is this an opportunity to build more housing or logistics facilities? Will we have to have parking on the outskirts of town or will we be able to adapt what we have?”
As Carey points out, many ULI members are not just pondering these issues—they are finding concrete ways to anticipate change and develop accordingly.
To learn more about the key trends ULI is tracking, download the Fall 2016 Knowledge Leader magazine.