Author: Patricia Kirk
Patricia Kirk is a freelance writer based in Southern California.
Articles by Patricia Kirk
- How San Diego’s Smart City Tech Is Reducing Traffic, Saving Energy
Published on February 27, 2017 in Sustainability
Leaders in transforming San Diego into a smarter city came together in February at a ULI San Diego/Tijuana breakfast program to discuss strides the city has made, what is coming next, and the need to get public buy-in for deploying technologies needed to advance the city’s Climate Action Plan goals, improve quality of life all residents, and accommodate future growth.
- Reversing the Decline in California’s Workforce Housing
Published on February 10, 2017 in Development
The housing affordability gap in San Diego is among the highest in California, with the average household shelling out 35 percent of their income for housing, and one-quarter of the population spending half of their income on rent. Recently, ULI San Diego/Tijuana brought together multifamily housing experts with local government and community leaders to discuss creative ways to increase the workforce-housing stock.
- Trading Up in Los Angeles: Replacing an Aging Racetrack with a New NFL Stadium
Published on April 15, 2016 in Development
National Football League team owners in January gave their blessing to plans to return the Rams to Los Angeles after a 20-year hiatus in St. Louis. The City of Champions Revitalization Initiative, as it's being called, is replacing Inglewood’s dated Hollywood Park racetrack with a sports-oriented, mixed-use development expected to create an immediate financial boon for the area.
- Net-Zero-Energy Buildings Setting High Bar for Sustainability
Published on November 13, 2015 in Sustainability
Net-zero-energy (NZE) buildings were the focus at a recent conference in California, a state that has mandated that all new commercial buildings must be net-zero energy by 2030, and 50 percent of the existing commercial structures must be retrofitted.
- Oakland Rising
Published on October 02, 2015 in Development
Across San Francisco Bay, Oakland is undergoing a building surge as rising rents in San Francisco drive workers and small businesses to seek affordability.
- Not Just Retail—It’s a Whole New Bloc
Published on July 27, 2015 in Market Trends
An unloved, enclosed downtown shopping mall is being opened up to create a “Rockefeller Center” for Los Angeles. The centerpiece of the project is an upscale 400,000-square-foot (37,000 sq m) outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment district.
- Modernizing San Francisco’s Century-Old City Hall
Published on June 08, 2015 in Sustainability
Soon to celebrate its centennial, San Francisco’s historic City Hall was recently awarded LEED Platinum certification for Existing Buildings: Operation & Maintenance (EBOM), the oldest building in the United States to achieve the USGBC’s highest rating.
- Making Sports-Oriented Mixed Use Work
Published on April 29, 2015 in Mixed-Use
The successful development of the Arena District in Columbus, Ohio, set into motion a nationwide flurry of development of urban sports-oriented entertainment districts, as municipal officials across the country reimagined their city centers as places where people live, work, and play.
- Green Innovations Adding Market Value
Published on February 27, 2015 in Sustainability
Clean, renewable energy technologies are already powering homes, commercial buildings, and cars, but will soon be taking on heavier assignments, including moving trains, trucks, and even jets, experts said at a shared conference day of FutureBuild 2015 and the Green Marketmaker’s Conference, held in Los Angeles in late January through a partnership between ULI Los Angeles and VerdeXchange.
- Addressing Rising Sea Levels in South Florida and the California Coast
Published on September 26, 2014 in Sustainability
State and municipal governments are taking steps to ensure the safety of their coastal communities by implementing more stringent design and building standards for new construction and redevelopments. They also are beginning to replace old infrastructure.
- A Flexible Design Showcase: CBRE’s World Headquarters in Los Angeles
Published on June 09, 2014 in Planning & Design
Inside the brokerage giant's new WELL-certified commercial office space.
- Designing Healthier Places with Value in Mind
Published on April 02, 2014 in Sustainability
At the ULI Building Healthy Places Conference, developers talked about incorporating healthier features into their projects at low cost while adding value for the occupants.
- Building Healthier Master-Planned Communities
Published on April 02, 2014 in Development
Four developers of master-planned communities discussed the health-related aspects of their projects during the “Legacy of Building Healthy Places” session at ULI’s Building Healthy Places conference, held in February in Los Angeles.
- Solar Decathlon: Creating a Cutting-Edge Village in Orange County
Published on December 16, 2013 in Sustainability
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon was held October 3 to 13 at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, attracting nearly 64,000 visitors.
- Checking In: Chicago’s Hotel Resurgence
Published on October 10, 2013 in Hotels/Resorts
Chicago is experiencing a surge of hotel development—and seeing the repurposing of classic historic structures in the process.
- Next Step for Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail: A Broader Identity
Published on August 02, 2013 in Public Spaces
What for a decade had been referred to either as the “Bloomingdale Trail” or simply “the Bloomingdale” will be referred to going forward as “the 606,” it was announced in June by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit organization that conserves land for public open space. The number denotes the zip-code prefix shared by all Chicagoans and alludes to the trail’s origin as a rail line.
- Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail Takes Rail-to-Trail Concept to Next Level
Published on June 19, 2013 in Infrastructure
Work will begin this summer to transform an abandoned 2.7-mile (4.4 km) stretch of elevated railway in Chicago into the Bloomingdale Trail, the city’s only pedestrian greenway and bike path running east to west, which ultimately will connect pedestrians and cyclists to trails that stretch all the way to the Indiana state line.
- Civita: San Diego’s New City within the City
Published on April 19, 2013 in Planning & Design
The Civita mixed-use development is a model for San Diego’s “City of Villages” planning strategy. But the development’s progressive ideas blazed new territory, and nearly a decade passed before the developer obtained approvals to begin construction.
- Tracking Capital in a Post-Recession Market
Published on October 24, 2012 in Capital Markets
In search of better returns, investors are finding their way back to real estate.
- Making Mixed-Income Housing Work
Published on June 19, 2012 in Residential/Multifamily
Over the past decade, mixed-income housing has been rising in popularity across the country, with progressive cities providing housing for lower-income residents alongside more affluent ones. "[Traditional] lenders have not yet bought into the concept," says private developer John Huskey, president of Los Angeles–based Meta Housing Inc., but he hopes traditional lenders will accept this concept, much as they did mixed-use development a decade ago. "We’re demonstrating that you can get market rents alongside affordable housing," he says.
- Restoring Value to Faded Hollywood Apartments
Published on March 14, 2012 in Planning & Design
Known as the Duke of Art Deco, Dave Goldstein has made a profitable business out of his hobby of restoring vintage apartment buildings. They now draw above-market rents, which is helping stabilize values in neighborhoods where film stars and future presidents once dwelled.
- Shoring Up Water Supply
Published on December 28, 2011 in Sustainability
Cities across the United States anticipate significant water challenges caused by climate change and are updating their water management plans to address areas of vulnerability and prepare for the worst.
- Hotel Recovery
Published on September 27, 2011 in Hotels/Resorts
The U.S. hotel sector, now rebounding from the Great Recession, is on more solid footing thanks to a return to core real estate principles and conservative lending practices, creating the stability required to respond to changing customer values. Read about the trends in hotel development, possible changes driven by technology, and where the boutique hotels are leading the brand hospitality firms.
- Economics Give Power of Film New Meaning
Published on August 03, 2011 in Market Trends
Competition for high-paying jobs has the film industry playing an ever-larger role in economic development in places other than California and New York. Forty U.S. states and most Canadian provinces now offer some type of tax credit for in-state production. And local governments are sweetening the pot with offers of free money, land, public financing, and other incentives.
- Redefining Creative Space
Published on July 27, 2011 in Office
Digital technology revolutionized the way entertainment professionals work, bringing about a convergence of media, entertainment, and technology that allows creative companies to downsize their workspace and locate wherever they please. Read about districts that are attracting entertainment firms with their interesting, edgy architecture and attractive lifestyle amenities and services.
- Developers Give Gen Y What They Want
Published on June 01, 2011 in Residential/Multifamily
Most economists agree that home sales will remain in a slump for at least the next few years, but demand for apartments is accelerating. This trend is expected to continue over the next decade, due largely to the echo boom generation's (Echo Boomers) coming of age and entering the rental market.
- Sustainable Momentum Building Next-Generation Cities
Published on April 07, 2011 in Sustainability
Increasing concern about the impact of growth on climate change has prompted governments worldwide to implement policies and initiatives aimed at growing communities in climate-positive ways. Read how some local and state governments have taken on the heavy lifting involved in meeting this challenge.
- Doing It Nature’s Way
Published on February 09, 2011 in Sustainability
To shift sustainable development to a new level, design professionals are turning to biomimicry, a way to understand and apply a particular location’s “genius of place” to designing buildings and communities. Find out how architectural-engineering firm HOK and the Montana-based Biomimicry Guild are using bio-inspired design adaptations in two new communities in a deciduous forest in India.
- Zero-Energy Homes for the Masses
Published on February 03, 2011 in Sustainability
Growing consumer awareness of green building benefits is increasing demand for sustainable features—a trend that got a boost when California set zero-energy guidelines for new residential and commercial development of 2020 and 2030, respectively. Read how builders are offering new homes that produce as much energy as they use, at price points comparable to those for traditionally built homes.
- Silk Purse or Sow’s Ear: Navigating the Busted Deal Landscape
Published on November 04, 2010 in Market Trends
The real estate bust left the nation’s urban landscape littered with deteriorating, unfinished projects. After sitting untouched, some failed projects are finally getting a second chance as banks begin offering them to investors at steep discounts to clear their books and replenish capital reserves. Read about important considerations for undertaking these projects and about some of the success stories.