When the latest Emerging Trends in Real Estate® report for the United States and Canada was unveiled at the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas, the panel discussion quickly turned to how to convert the research into action. The report points to an industry in transition, one that is trying to find ways to maximize investments in a time of low interest rates and global uncertainty.
With no end in sight to the boom in urban and close-in suburban multifamily housing construction, developers are eager for ways to save money on ever-increasing land and construction costs. Experts speaking at the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting said that reducing parking requirements and increasing use wood-frame construction for buildings up to five stories could help keep costs in check.
By using 3-D printers to build lightweight but strong plastic frameworks for conventional building materials such as concrete, builders may soon be able to create complex structures with unorthodox shapes and contours that would be difficult or even impossible with today’s construction methods, said a speaker at the ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas. And better yet, they will be able to fashion intricate, customized interiors and exteriors at no additional cost.
The NLC and ULI announced that mayors from four U.S. cities—Anchorage, Alaska; Grand Rapids, Michigan; San Jose, California; and Washington, D.C.—have been selected as the 2017 class of Daniel Rose fellows by the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use.
While demand is strong in the Asia Pacific real estate industry, the supply of core product is thinner than ever, according to Emerging Trends in Real Estate® Asia Pacific 2017, a real estate forecast jointly published by ULI and PwC.
Aging shopping malls—many burdened with high vacancy rates or even abandoned—are being transformed into vibrant, mixed-use destinations that are connected to their surrounding communities. At the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting, “the mall of the future” was explored by a panel of design, development, and placemaking experts.
While it is generally known that good schools enhance property values, it is not always clear how to improve an existing school system in a way that would benefit a community. Speakers at the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting described their approaches to adding value with stronger schools in both distressed urban neighborhoods and affluent greenfield developments.
Why are food and agriculture becoming more important parts of real estate development projects? Attendees at a session at the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas learned that growing, processing, and selling food in development projects can pay big dividends for savvy developers as well as for consumers, communities, and the environment.
Global finance experts speaking at the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting in late October said that institutional investors were preparing for an extended period of low interest rates and global volatility. But U.S. election results soon added another layer of complexity.
Perhaps it is a sign of uncertain times when top-level economists start talking about feelings. The current U.S. economy is “not quite as bad as it feels,” said JLL Americas managing director Ben Breslau, during a 2016 ULI Fall Meeting panel discussion. “Not that there’s no risk, but it’s not quite as bad as it feels.”