Author: Brett Widness
Brett Widness is the online editor for Urban Land. He has previously worked in online editorial at WashingtonPost.com and AOL Real Estate.
Articles by Brett Widness
- Darwin’s Retail: Survival of the Fittest
Published on November 18, 2013 in Retail/Entertainment
Shopping centers, having survived the worst contraction in 50 years, are often turning to restaurants and specialty retailers to replace department stores as anchor tenants.
- Next Evolution in Micro-Housing: Smarter, Shared, and Modular
Published on November 18, 2013 in Residential
During a panel at the ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago, Chris Bledsoe, chief executive officer of Stage 3 Properties, illustrated the ongoing crisis in affordable housing in places like New York City by showing a craigslist post for a “room” with three-foot (1 m) ceilings.
- Building Gigabit Internet into More Developments
Published on November 18, 2013 in Residential
As Americans spend more and more time online using multiple devices, higher-speed internet connections are shifting from a luxury to a necessity, panelists said at the ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago.
- Education, Immigration Reform Are Keys to a Brighter Future
Published on November 13, 2013 in Market Trends
Prior to beginning his career in politics, Jeb Bush worked in commercial real estate in south Florida. Immigration and education are two areas he sees needing reform.
- Space, Place, and the Future of Higher Education
Published on November 06, 2013 in Development
Higher education is in many ways as vulnerable to disruption by new technologies as retail was a decade ago, said panelists at the ULI Fall Meeting.
- The Future Is Not What It Used to Be
Published on November 06, 2013 in Planning & Design
By 2050, 70 percent of the world's population will live in just 200 cities. While some gateway cities will prosper, how will the others stay competitive?
- Urban Land Coming to Mobile Devices
Published on October 21, 2013 in News
This fall, Urban Land will be available for the first time as an app for tablets and smartphones on either Apple’s iOS operating system or Google’s Android. As a preview, the Urban Land magazine app will offer our September/October issue free of charge to anyone wishing to download it. Starting with the November/December issue, an authentication feature that restricts access to ULI members will be added.
- ULI Forecast Sees CMBS Issuance Rising to $100 Billion in 2015
Published on October 21, 2013 in Capital Markets
A new U.S. forecast from the Urban Land Institute and EY projects continued improvement for real estate capital markets and commercial real estate fundamentals. The latest findings reveal high expectations for growth in the housing sector, as well as improved confidence about commercial mortgage–backed securities (CMBS) issuance, existing single-family housing prices, and industrial-sector fundamentals when compared to responses from just six months ago.
- City in Focus: Chicago
Published on October 21, 2013 in Fall Meeting
Leading up to this year's ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago, Urban Land will highlight projects and topics of interest from the Chicagoland area. Chicago Coverage
- Suburban Revitalization: Adjusting to the New Normal
Published on September 27, 2013 in Planning & Design
In her book The End of the Suburbs, Leigh Gallagher argues that while the suburbs suffered the worst during the housing bust, the recession is a catalyst for a much larger trend, driven by high fuel prices, the decline of the nuclear family, and the resurgence of cities. But she also says, "Not all suburbs are going to vanish."
- “Rate Risk” Tops Real Estate Issues for 2013
Published on June 17, 2013 in Capital Markets
Interest and capitalization rate risk, shifting demand for health care, and the resurgence of capital markets are the top three risks to real estate for 2013, according to the Chicago-based Counselors of Real Estate (CRE).
- Innovation Fuels Cities
Published on May 31, 2013 in Market Trends
While innovation is often associated with Silicon Valley’s high-tech industry or New York City’s financial giants, programs like Google Fiber and incubators are bringing growth to cities like Portland and Kansas City, according to panelists at the 2013 ULI Spring Meeting in San Diego.
- Online Models for Community Engagement Emerge
Published on May 22, 2013 in Market Trends
While public hearings aren’t going away, two companies talked about how they are helping developers and civic leaders get input from community members at the 2013 ULI Spring Meeting.
- Hutchison Calls for Energy Independence, More Businesspeople in Congress
Published on May 21, 2013 in Market Trends
The former Texas senator says she is optimistic about American energy independence by the end of this decade, but wishes more business people would run for office, as their perspective is needed on issues like Dodd-Frank, the fiscal cliff, and the Affordable Care Act.
- Four Growth Strategies for Uncertain Times
Published on May 16, 2013 in Market Trends
Whether it comes in the form of the federal sequestration budget cuts or a new startup disrupting an entire industry, Geoff Colvin, author and senior editor of Fortune, says companies and individuals are increasingly have to do work around higher levels of uncertainty.
- ULI Spring Meeting: May 15–17 in San Diego
Published on May 03, 2013 in Market Trends
Registration is underway for the 2013 ULI Spring Meeting, taking place May 15 to 17 in San Diego.
- Cities Leading the Way on Sustainability
Published on May 03, 2013 in Sustainability
At the second New York Times Energy for Tomorrow conference, titled “Building Sustainable Cities,” panels covering topics ranging from self-driving cars to clean-tech investing in China were hosted by Times columnists, including Thomas Friedman, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Joe Nocera, and Bill Keller.
- Colvin Sees Rapid Obsolescence As a Challenge for Builders
Published on March 22, 2013 in Capital Markets
Geoff Colvin, longtime editor and columnist for Fortune, spoke with Urban Land in anticipation of his keynote in May at the 2013 ULI Spring Meeting in San Diego. One of the issues he sees for the built environment is adaptability to ever-changing business models.
- How Singapore Builds Smarter Density
Published on February 01, 2013 in Planning & Design
A new report draws upon Singapore’s successful urbanization experience. Despite its population density, the city-state has consistently ranked favorably in various surveys measuring the livability and sustainability of cities around the globe.
- Hines Competition Focused on New Land Uses for Area Near Proposed Stadium
Published on January 14, 2013 in Planning & Design
With the Super Bowl just a few weeks away, this year’s ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition looks at how stadiums can spur redevelopment. A Minneapolis site, adjacent to the proposed location for a new NFL stadium in Downtown East, has been selected as this year’s focus. The ideas competition, open to graduate-level students will provide multidisciplinary teams the opportunity to propose a long-term development plan that creates value for property owners, city residents, and the greater Twin Cities region.
- India May Outpace China by 2032
Published on January 07, 2013 in Market Trends
Although the World Bank projects the Chinese economy will grow by more than 8 percent in 2013, developers may find better bets in India and some other Asian countries over the next 20 years, according to a report from Hong Kong-based Global Demographics.
- University Library ‘Goes Green’ For Finals
Published on December 06, 2012 in Planning & Design
Cornell University students looking for a break from the winter weather and the pressure of finals can still get a hint of warmer weather, thanks to a temporary grass installation in several buildings on campus.
- Seven Communities Honored with EPA Award for Smart Growth
Published on December 06, 2012 in Sustainability
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized seven communities with its 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. Honorees included projects in Portsmouth, Va., Brattleboro, Vt., and Lancaster, Calif.
- Tending to Ireland’s Green Shoots
Published on December 03, 2012 in Capital Markets
After five long years of fiscal crisis, there appears to be some stabilization in commercial real estate, according to a CBRE report issued in November. CBRE analysts cite four consecutive quarters of positive returns in Ireland’s commercial real estate sector.
- Approaching the Fiscal Cliff
Published on November 30, 2012 in Market Trends
In the past few months, unemployment has fallen, the housing market has strengthened, gas prices have fallen, and consumer confidence is at a five-year high. Would those positive indicators be negated by the economic shock of falling off the fiscal cliff, and plunge the U.S. back into recession?
- London Gets the Gold in Mori’s Global Power Index
Published on November 26, 2012 in Market Trends
For the first time since the Mori Memorial Foundation began compiling its Global Power City Index in 2008, New York City fell from the top spot. Mostly due to the activities surrounding this year’s Olympics, the Japanese-based researcher found that London ranked the highest in terms of "magnetism."
- Storm’s Aftermath Casts New Light on Familiar Topics
Published on November 06, 2012 in Market Trends
Whatever form natural disasters take, cities need to incorporate resilience and sustainability into their existing infrastructure and in their plans for growth.
- ULI-Greenprint Center Report Suggests Improvements in Carbon, Energy Emissions
Published on October 17, 2012 in Fall Meeting
A new report being released today by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Greenprint Center for Building Performance showed a 4.4 percent reduction in year-over year energy consumption in a portfolio of properties from 46 countries.