Author: Leslie Braunstein
Leslie A. Braunstein, APR, is principal of LHB Communications, Inc., a boutique public relations firm located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. LHB combines the flexibility, creativity, and cost-effectiveness of a small PR firm with the solid experience and outstanding results of a large PR agency. The mission of LHB Communications is to help clients meet their business goals by building their brands and enhancing awareness of their accomplishments among key stakeholders and audiences. Leslie is a seasoned award-winning PR professional with over 25 years of experience working with real estate industry clients and others in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, throughout North America, and abroad. Leslie holds professional accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism. On behalf of clients and under her own byline, Leslie has published millions of words in a variety of prestigious media including The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, numerous trade publications, and many other well-known publications and online media. Earlier in her career, Leslie served as served as a public information officer with the U.S. Department of Energy and as a communications manager with Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc. For more information, see www.lhbcommunications.com.
Articles by Leslie Braunstein
- Confident Consumers Drive Record Vacation-Home Sales
Published on November 02, 2015 in Market Trends
Newly confident and deep-pocketed consumers are driving vacation-home sales to levels that have not been seen in a decade, said panelists at the ULI Fall Meeting. But prices have not yet reached previous peaks, and buyers are increasingly cautious and cost-conscious.
- Surviving and Thriving during the Retail Revolution
Published on October 26, 2015 in Market Trends
In a 2015 ULI Fall Meeting session as fast-paced as the retail industry itself, moderator Julie Taylor posed questions to a panel comprising Krista Di Iaconi of EDENS, Julien Perl of Gap Inc., and architect Alex Shapleigh of Calison, whose clients include iconic retailer Nordstrom.
- “Maker” Movement Bringing Life Back to Warehouse Districts
Published on October 26, 2015 in Market Trends
From craft breweries to artisanal food producers to bespoke jewelry crafters, modern small-scale manufacturing is breathing new life into long-abandoned warehouses and factories said panelists speaking at the ULI Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
- Rice Remains Optimistic on U.S.’s Place in Changing World Order
Published on October 19, 2015 in Market Trends
Those attending the ULI Fall Meeting in San Francisco last week heard Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state, deliver a resounding call for the United States to do nothing less than create a new world order.
- Transforming Cities through Art and Culture
Published on October 19, 2015 in Planning & Design
Art and other expressions of culture can no longer be considered pricey or optional additions to major real estate projects, said panelists at the ULI Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
- Mayors Tackling the Bay Area’s Regional Housing, Transportation Challenges
Published on October 19, 2015 in Sustainability
The San Francisco Bay area is envied worldwide not only for its spectacular scenery and diversity, but also for its low unemployment rate. In the wake of spectacular economic growth, however, the region has developed a number of problems that threaten future success, including a housing supply/affordability crisis and an overburdened, underfunded transportation system.
- Planning for the Next Generation of Leadership in Real Estate
Published on October 12, 2015 in Market Trends
A 2015 ULI Fall Meeting session organized by the ULI Next initiative explored the meaning of leadership in mature companies, where success is not just about transactions but about building the business platform amid generational, cultural, and technological changes.
- Modern Workplaces Evolving Away From Industrial Roots
Published on May 22, 2015 in Market Trends
At ULI’s Spring Meeting in Houston, AECOM global practice lead Andrew Laing traced the evolution of white-collar work spaces over more than a century in patterns driven primarily by technology.
- Place Making Can Keep Suburban Office Competitive
Published on May 22, 2015 in Market Trends
Downtown urban office and mixed-use markets are “hot,” but so are some suburban markets—including the iconic Silicon Valley. At the ULI Spring Meeting in Houston, a panel moderated by AECOM senior vice president Stephen Engblom explored regional responses to market demands outside traditional downtown markets.
- ULI’s Three-Year Forecast Bodes Well for U.S. Real Estate
Published on May 22, 2015 in Capital Markets
The U.S. real estate industry is on a steady course to sustain growth through 2017, according to ULI’s latest three-year forecast. At the ULI Spring Meeting in Houston, the consensus forecast was discussed in a session moderated by William J. Maher, director of North American strategy for LaSalle investment Management.
- E-Commerce Giants Battling for the “Last Mile” of Delivery
Published on May 21, 2015 in Market Trends
The explosion in e-commerce continues to disrupt the real estate industry, with no end in sight. E-commerce may affect demand for retail space, said panelists at the ULI Spring Meeting, and it is already increasing demand for warehouse space.
- From Eyesore to Eye Candy: Successful Makeovers for Aging Infrastructure
Published on May 21, 2015 in Infrastructure
What can cities do with aging, obsolete infrastructure that becomes not only useless but also dangerous? At the annual Washington Real Estate Trends conference sponsored by ULI’s Washington, D.C., district council, panelists presented inspiring examples of several successful projects in the nation’s capital and beyond.
- The Evolving Preferences of Millennials
Published on May 18, 2015 in Market Trends
Generation Y’s needs, preferences, and desires will have a huge impact on almost every facet of the American economy, said panelists at the ULI Spring Meeting.
- E-Commerce vs. Brick-and-Mortar Stores: Who’s Really Winning?
Published on November 07, 2014 in Market Trends
On the day that Target announced free shipping for all online orders placed during the 2014 holiday season, a 2014 ULI Fall Meeting panel discussed who is “really winning” market share in retail: brick-and-mortar or online stores? According to research presented by the panelists, the current situation is a win-win for both camps.
- New Hospitality Concepts Target Millennials
Published on November 03, 2014 in Hotels
The “fear of missing out” is a major motivator for today’s most affluent millennials who want every travel moment to be memorable—and tweetable.
- Next Wave of Resorts Are More Connected, More Urban
Published on October 30, 2014 in Fall Meeting
Resorts and vacation homes—always the last real estate sector to recover from an economic downturn—are seeing increased activity, but developers are looking toward the future.
- Breathing New Life Into Three Outdated Shopping Centers
Published on October 29, 2014 in Retail/Entertainment
Developers and architects discussed how they are breathing new life into three very different obsolete retail venues, all developed originally by the Rouse Company of Columbia, Maryland.
- Leadership Lessons at the ULI Fall Meeting
Published on October 24, 2014 in Market Trends
It isn’t every day that emerging leaders in the global real estate industry get to mingle with a baker’s dozen of established leaders—including ULI trustees, governors, and other senior members—and maybe even find a lifelong mentor.
- Product Segmentation Driving Sales for Homebuilders
Published on April 28, 2014 in Development
Product segmentation is becoming increasingly sophisticated as real estate developers gain access to new technology and tools, said panelists at the ULI Spring Meeting.
- Finding the Right “Fit” for Retrofitted Health Science Spaces
Published on April 28, 2014 in Sustainability
Building for the burgeoning health care sector is a growing focus for North American developers. But new facilities don’t have to grow from the ground up.
- Micro-Units Fill an Affordability Niche for Young and Older Residents
Published on April 26, 2014 in Development
Developers who are primarily targeting the demographic “barbells” of baby boomers and millennials shared on-the-ground experience at a ULI Spring Meeting session moderated by ULI Senior Fellow Maureen McAvey.
- Resorts Incorporating Newer Concepts
Published on April 18, 2014 in Resorts/Second Homes
At a 2014 ULI Spring Meeting panel in Vancouver, three successful resort developers discussed how they are achieving success by focusing on health, wellness, and activities that bring together family members across all generations—even ex-spouses.
- Changing How Homebuyers Search With Data
Published on April 18, 2014 in Residential
Data-driven technology companies like Zillow, Walk Score, and Redfin are changing the way that buyers view properties.
- It’s a Disaster: The Business Case for Building More Resilient Cities
Published on April 10, 2014 in Sustainability
In recent years, natural disasters have been striking North America with increasing frequency and intensity. Hurricane Sandy has served as a wake-up call for the building, real estate investment, and insurance industries, as well as for government at all levels and ULI.
- Will Rising Interest Rates Pummel Your Portfolio?
Published on December 30, 2013 in Capital Markets
Interest rates have nowhere to go but up—but when that happens, capitalization rates can follow.
- Supporting Culture-Based Place Making with NEA Grants
Published on November 25, 2013 in Planning & Design
Cities need look no further than Chicago’s “Bean,” Anish Kapoor’s iconic Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park, to realize how investment in the arts can pay off.
- New Life and Value for Old Buildings
Published on November 13, 2013 in Fall Meeting
Tear down and rebuild or renovate and reposition? That was the question posed at a ULI Fall Meeting panel moderated by Richard T. Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress.
- Parking Yields to the Sharing Economy
Published on November 13, 2013 in Fall Meeting
Just as rapidly urbanizing U.S. neighborhoods grapple with the challenges of auto-oriented land use patterns from the past, millennials and entrepreneurs have come up with a solution: the sharing economy.
- Manufacturing, Tech Helping to Revitalize Detroit
Published on November 12, 2013 in Industrial
Who would have thought that the revitalization of Detroit would include high-end watch manufacturing and the revival of a century-old shoe polish brand?
- Solutions for Suburban Strip Malls
Published on November 08, 2013 in Mixed-Use
It seemed like a good idea at the time: building low-density, single-use retail space along heavily traveled corridors and arterials, surrounded by massive parking lots. Panelists at the ULI fall meeting talked about how these automobile-driven corridors are repositioning themselves as more walkable destinations.
- Resort Development’s Comeback
Published on May 31, 2013 in Resorts/Second Homes
Far from the gloomy tone of last year’s discussion on the same topic, lifestyle resort developers at ULI’s 2013 Spring Meeting in San Diego were saying: “Viva Mexico!” and touting the success of developments from Virginia to Montana to Hawaii.
- How Changing Healthcare Delivery Will Affect Land Use
Published on May 22, 2013 in Market Trends
As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, both the healthcare industry and the real estate owners and developers who provide space for the delivery of healthcare services remain uncertain about the future. 30 million Americans will be newly insured and the aging population will increase demand for medical services.
- Developers, Health Officials Incorporating Wellness Into Planning
Published on May 21, 2013 in Planning & Design
Many trends have converged to create today’s epidemic of obesity and lack of physical fitness, agreed speakers at ULI’s Spring Meeting in San Diego. Real estate developers have the opportunity to contribute to a reversal of at least some of these trends by creating more healthy communities.
- Tech-Savvy Gen Y Wants a Shopping Experience
Published on May 17, 2013 in Retail/Entertainment
America’s 80-million-strong generation Y, the most tech-savvy generation yet, has not forsaken shopping in stores for online purchasing, says a new ULI report released at the Spring Meeting in San Diego.
- Making the Pitch for Greener Building
Published on March 29, 2013 in Sustainability
Efforts to increase buildings’ energy efficiency have moved beyond the "low-hanging fruit" stage, said industry leaders at the 2013 Building Energy Summit held on March 26 in Washington, D.C. While progress has been made on many fronts, advocates still face challenges in convincing building owners and developers to invest in sustainability.
- Which Cities Are the World’s Most Innovative?
Published on March 01, 2013 in Market Trends
The Wall Street Journal and Citi have announced that Medellín, Colombia, is the winner of the “City of the Year” competition, a global program developed in partnership with the Urban Land Institute to recognize the most innovative urban centers.
- Many Shades of Gray: Baby Boomers And Their Disparate Needs
Published on December 13, 2012 in Development
The over-65 population is shunning institutional settings in favor of walkable, amenity-rich communities in cities or close-in suburbs. And conflict is coming as seniors compete with younger residents for scarce government resources.
- Urban Opportunities Arise Among Others for High-End Resorts
Published on October 19, 2012 in Fall Meeting
Resort developers and operators took a hit during the recession, but are making a cautious comeback, according to a panel at ULI’s Fall Meeting.
- How Retailers are Adapting to Increased Online Sales
Published on October 18, 2012 in Fall Meeting
Today’s retail industry is feeling pressure from every direction. Changing consumer behavior, the still-stagnant macroeconomic environment, heightened competition, and price transparency are creating a huge cloud of uncertainty for the industry.
- Macroeconomics: Going Beyond the Numbers
Published on October 18, 2012 in Fall Meeting
Conventional macroeconomics failed to predict the most recent financial crisis and will fail to predict other major economic developments over the next five years.
- Government Building Design Must Be Mindful of Urban Vitality and Public Use
Published on June 08, 2012 in Planning & Design
Though the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture still ring true after a half century, innovation is the key to the future success of public building design, say speakers at a recent GSA symposium.
- Restructuring Retail in an Online World
Published on May 17, 2012 in
Retailers face a multitude of challenges including online commerce with its 24/7 access. Panelists at the 2012 ULI Spring Meeting looked at significant steps major retailers have already taken to reshape the shopping experience for their customers, while integrating their physical stores with online sales.
- When Europe Gets the Flu
Published on May 17, 2012 in Capital Markets
The European debt crisis has an upside: lending and investment opportunities exist in prime markets, but not for the faint of heart. Both Scott Malkin of Value Retail and Van Stults of Orion Capital Managers agree that the ever-worsening conditions will create substantial opportunities for savvy international investors.
- Bank of America Legend Hugh McColl Charts Charlotte’s Future
Published on May 17, 2012 in Spring Meeting
Private and public sector leaders of Charlotte, North Carolina, have transformed Charlotte’s downtown from a struggling, nine-to-five office center into the gleaming, modern mixed-use destination that it is today. Former Bank of America chairman Hugh McColl described this remarkable half-century journey to ULI Spring Meeting attendees, and presented his vision for the future.
- Clean Energy is Key to America’s Success
Published on May 15, 2012 in Sustainability
Former EPA Administrator Carol Browner in the opening session of the ULI Spring Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, told the audience that whoever leads the world in development of clean energy technology will lead the global economy. She noted that American private sector energy innovators are receiving lukewarm support from the Federal government.
- Craig Thomas: Viewing Real Estate Through “The Econosphere”
Published on April 27, 2012 in Market Trends
You cannot improve the market, but you can improve the information you rely upon, says The Econosphere author Craig Thomas.
- Federal Government Shrinks Space Requirements
Published on April 27, 2012 in Market Trends
Federal agencies are under continuing pressure to reduce their demand for leased and build-to-suit space. They intend to reduce square footage used per employee, increase teleworking—and make better use of existing government buildings, administrators told a ULI WashingtonTrends conference audience.
- Private Money for Public Spaces
Published on April 26, 2012 in Public Spaces
Public/private partnerships can be used to create and restore public spaces, adding value to surrounding real estate. Bryant Park in Manhattan serves as a successful model of this. In Washington, D.C., a public/private partnership has been established to bring that improvement model to the National Mall.
- Former Governor Eliot Spitzer: Intellectual Capital Drives the Economy
Published on April 25, 2012 in Market Trends
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will have little effect on U.S. real estate markets, says former governor Eliot Spitzer, because it is being “whittled away piece by piece.” Spitzer says it repeatedly has been demonstrated that self-regulation does not work and that it is the job of government.
- Cutting Building Energy Use by the Numbers
Published on April 11, 2012 in Sustainability
When it comes to decreasing energy use in privately owned buildings, is it more effective to use a carrot or a stick? Experts from around the country, Laurie Kerr, senior policy adviser for New York City's Mayor's Office; Jayson Antonoff, energy and climate policy adviser for Seattle; Barry Hooper, private sector green building specialist for SF Environment, San Francisco's environment department; and Charles Leitner, chair of ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance, discuss efforts and obstacles to getting owners to measure and publicly report energy use.
- Cutting Building Energy Use with Carrots, Sticks, and Numbers
Published on March 05, 2012 in Sustainability
In order to lower energy use in privately owned buildings, is it more effective to use a carrot or a stick?
- Lessons from the European Green Capital
Published on February 27, 2012 in Sustainability
The industrial city of Hamburg, Germany, has an ambitious goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020.
- Lessons from the European Green Capital—Hamburg?
Published on December 12, 2011 in Sustainability
While the grass may not always be “greener on the other side,” cities may be considerably greener on the other side of the Atlantic—such as Hamburg, Germany, the 2011 European Green Capital.
- ULI Asks the Honorable Robert M. Gates: What’s Next for America?
Published on November 04, 2011 in Fall Meeting
During his address at the closing session of the ULI 2011 Fall Meeting in Los Angeles, the Honorable Robert M. Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, said that the strength of the U.S. real estate market depends on a strong economy, which in turn depends on the nation’s security. Read more to learn what he said about the factors that may lead to a permanent shift in international geopolitics.
- Beyond HOPE 6: HUD Offers New Initiatives for Low-Income Housing, Neighborhood Revitalization
Published on October 31, 2011 in Fall Meeting
At a ULI 2011 Fall Meeting session titled “HUD Catalysts for Repositioning Neighborhood Markets,” a yet-unauthorized new HUD program called Rental Assistance Demonstration was described that would allow Section 9 public housing and several other HUD housing programs to convert to Section 8. Read more to learn how this program is just one part of HUD’s larger strategy to preserve rental housing.
- Does Retail Have a Pulse?
Published on October 31, 2011 in Default Category
How are retailers doing in the wake of the ongoing economic downturn? According to a panel of national large-format retailers convened during ULI’s 2011 Fall Meeting in Los Angeles, they’re doing better than some might expect—thanks to smaller and more efficient footprints, growing use of social media to reach their clientele, sophisticated branding, and a focus on customer service.
- Entrepreneurs Beat the Recession with Niche Infill Developments
Published on October 26, 2011 in Fall Meeting
Despite the deepest economic recession since the 1930s, small-scale entrepreneurs are finding creative ways to develop and finance both commercial and residential real estate projects—and occasionally even make money. Find out what two such entrepreneurs told the audience at a recent ULI 2011 Fall Meeting session titled “Small-Scale Development: Entrepreneurship in the Post–Credit Crunch World.”
- Cisneros and Others Honored at ULI Terwilliger Center Workforce Housing Awards Gala
Published on September 29, 2011 in Market Trends
At the 2011 ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing Awards Gala, held September 21, 2011, in Washington, D.C., a ceremony honoring former HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros as a “transformational leader” also included the presentation of two prestigious awards: the Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Awards and the Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Award.
- Tsunami of Rental Housing Demand is on the Way
Published on September 26, 2011 in Residential
The United States faces a tidal wave of rental housing demand—a fact that Congress does not understand, said J. Ronald Terwilliger at the ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing Policy Symposium, held on September 21, 2011, at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Collingwood Group, the sponsor. But demand is just part of the problem; affordability, he said, is another issue.
- “The Mortgage Interest Deduction Can Go”
Published on September 26, 2011 in Residential
The federal government subsidizes housing to the tune of over $200 billion per year, with the mortgage interest deduction alone accounting for much of that, said panelists at the ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing’s Policy Symposium, held September 21, 2011, at the Washington, D.C., office of the Collingwood Group. This, they agreed, is on the deficit reduction chopping block.
- “We Are in a Transit Moment,” Says Brookings
Published on June 01, 2011 in Infrastructure
In a new study, the Brookings Institution found that while 70 percent of Americans—and nearly 90 percent of lower-income Americans—have access to public transit, most cannot use it to get to their jobs. Nonetheless, the percentage of Americans who commute to work using public transit grew during the 2000s. Read how rising gas prices and changing demographics may land America in “a transit moment.”
- Winning the Future? Not without Infrastructure
Published on May 20, 2011 in Spring Meeting
“In the U.S., we are spending only half the amount that needs to be spent on infrastructure,” says Maureen McAvey, executive vice president of ULI, echoing the conclusion of a new study by ULI and Ernst & Young titled "Infrastructure 2011: A Strategic Priority." Read why the United States is falling far behind emerging markets when it comes to fulfilling infrastructure agendas.
- Rules and Regs Affect Real Estate
Published on May 10, 2011 in Office
Laws and regulations affect all types of real estate in all markets, but perhaps nowhere more profoundly than in the nation’s capital. For this reason, federal rules and regulations for leased facilities are watched closely by private sector owners and developers of office space. Read what a panel of industry insiders at the recent ULI Washington Real Estate Trends Conference had to say about this topic.
- Multifamily Market: “There Are No Bad Strategies”
Published on May 10, 2011 in Residential
According to multifamily industry leaders who spoke at the recent ULI Washington Real Estate Trends Conference, the multifamily housing market in Washington, D.C., and other top markets is so rich with investment opportunity that “there are no bad strategies right now.” Read what types of multifamily communities and developments the panel said are achieving market acceptance at present.
- “Eds and Meds”: A Healthy Prognosis
Published on May 04, 2011 in Market Trends
Everyone knows the role the federal government plays in the D.C. area’s enduring economic strength, but fewer people realize that educational and medical facilities are playing an increasingly dominant role in the regional and national economy. Read what participants in the “Eds and Meds” panel at ULI Washington's Real Estate Trends Conference said in regard to developing property for this sector.
- Capital Markets Love the Nation’s Capital
Published on April 27, 2011 in Market Trends
Washington, D.C., is not only the capital of the United States, but also the darling of the capital markets, with real estate that is “close to fully priced,” said Greg Vorwaller, head of global capital markets for Cushman & Wakefield, at ULI Washington's annual Real Estate Trends Conference. But how long will the good times roll?
- CMBS: They’re Back!
Published on March 29, 2011 in Market Trends
Commercial mortgage–backed securities (CMBS)—pools of real estate loans bundled and sold to investors—are back, say attendees at the CRE Finance Council’s recent conference in Washington, D.C. Read what they said about “CMBS 2.0,” the more “prudent lending environment” driven both by new regulatory scrutiny and by the market, and what the revival of CMBS means for the real estate industry.
- What Do Private Equity Providers Want?
Published on January 26, 2011 in Market Trends
Though U.S. commercial real estate markets are recovering from the Great Recession, debt financing has become more difficult to find. A recent ULI workshop held in Washington, D.C., helped participants gain an understanding of private equity, which has assumed a more prominent position in the capital stack. Find out what equity providers are now targeting and what advice they gave attendees.
- Is Workforce Housing Doable in the New Tysons Corner and Elsewhere?
Published on December 08, 2010 in Development
National and regional housing policy leaders gathered recently in the nation’s quintessential “edge city,” Tysons Corner, Virginia, to discuss why it’s so important to include workforce housing in a planned transformation of a sprawling suburban office park to a walkable, green urban center. Read what ULI members and other experts say about the need for, and ability to, include workforce housing in this particular project and nationally.
- Key Sectors and Markets Offer Opportunity, Say ULI Fall Meeting Panelists
Published on November 04, 2010 in Market Trends
ULI’s Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., provided actionable information and a slightly upbeat note compared to the mood seen during the depths of the 2008–2009 recession. In addition to the usual high-level panels and research presented at ULI’s annual fall meetings, the 2010 edition, held in Washington, D.C., offered top-ranking current and former government officials, many of whom broke away from their day jobs to come to the convention center and make presentations. Read what FDIC chair Sheila Bair considers the biggest concern regarding the economy.
- The U.S. Economy: A Long Slow Climb
Published on October 18, 2010 in Market Trends
The U.S. economy is in for “a long, slow climb out of a deep hole,” said former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Dr. Donald Kohn. Kohn, who stepped down from the Fed only five weeks ago after a 40-year career, identified a variety of factors that will make this the slowest economic recovery since The Great Depression, rather than a “garden-variety” recession that can be addressed by monetary policy.
- Where the Jobs Are
Published on October 16, 2010 in Market Trends
At a ULI Fall Meeting 2010 panel on “Regional Economic Drivers,” moderated by Heitman Managing Director Mary K. Ludgin, Richard McLemore of MetLife Real Estate and Craig Thomas of AvalonBay Communities, Inc., attempted to answer the question “where and when will the jobs show up?”