ULI will hold its 2017 Spring Meeting May 2–4 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. A major focus for the 2017 gathering will be innovative development resulting from the influence of the technology industry, which is transforming cities across the United States. The Seattle urban region, which is the headquarters for Microsoft, Amazon, and a host of other major technology-related companies, is a prime example of this urban evolution.
“At the 2017 Spring Meeting in Seattle, our members can look forward to excellent networking and abundant knowledge sharing in one of America’s most dynamic, forward-looking cities,” said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “There is much to be learned from the lessons of Seattle about creative community building that adapts to changing economic drivers and places a high priority on livability for all residents.”
Open only to ULI full members and ULI Northwest members, the Spring Meeting routinely draws nearly 3,000 attendees, including renowned industry experts from around the world sharing insights on all aspects of real estate.
Seattle is ranked the fourth-best city in the United States for investment and development prospects in 2017 by Emerging Trends in Real Estate®, the annual industry forecast published by ULI and PwC. The report points to the city’s economic diversification, with cuts in aerospace production being offset by rapid growth in information technology firms. The combination of strong job growth and rising incomes is projected to push up household formation in 2017, increasing demand for multifamily and single-family housing, the report notes. “The fundamentals for the success of the Seattle market appear well established for another year,” Emerging Trends predicts.
The meeting’s host committee, which is charged with maximizing the visibility of the Seattle metropolitan-area real estate market to meeting attendees, is being cochaired by ULI trustee and ULI Foundation governor Patrick Callahan, founder and chief executive officer of Urban Renaissance Group LLC in Seattle; and ULI trustee and ULI Foundation governor Gregory Johnson, president of Wright Runstad & Company in Seattle. Callahan and Johnson are actively involved in ULI Northwest and served on its Quality Growth Alliance, which made recommendations on improving growth patterns for neighborhoods throughout the Seattle area.
Callahan pointed to the city’s explosive growth, noting that “there are far more cranes in the air” in Seattle than in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. “Transformative development is happening everywhere in the Greater Seattle region, with creative, innovative projects that are changing the way we think about the possibilities for our built environment,” he said. “The ULI 2017 Spring Meeting presents a unique opportunity to showcase these exciting changes to our members in the Americas region and around the globe.”
Johnson noted the presence of eight Fortune 500 companies, including Amazon, in the downtown area, each within walking distance of the convention center. “Our goal is to deliver a successful, content-rich experience to our members, while highlighting the culture of innovation and creativity as well as cutting-edge projects occurring in Seattle and throughout our region,” he said.
The 2017 Spring Meeting is made possible with generous support from Amazon and the Holland Partner Group, both Icon sponsors; and Vulcan Real Estate, a principal sponsor. A highlight of the meeting will be an all-attendee reception hosted by Amazon at Doppler, its new corporate headquarters in downtown Seattle.
ULI has a history of engagement with public officials, business and civic leaders, and other stakeholders in Seattle and surrounding communities on major urban development issues and community outreach initiatives. Earlier this year, a panel of ULI members assembled through the Institute’s Advisory Services panel made recommendations to the city of Bellevue on strategies for redevelopment and placemaking in the Wilburton commercial area. In 2015, an Advisory Services panel advised the city of Seattle on improving the resilience of the Georgetown and South Park neighborhoods to flooding and rising sea levels. In 2014, a panel offered recommendations on transit-oriented development related to extensions of the Link light-rail system and a satellite facility for Sound Transit, the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority.
Seattle is among several U.S. cities chosen over the past several years to participate in the Daniel Rose Fellowship, the signature program of the Rose Center for Public Leadership, which is jointly operated by ULI and the National League of Cities. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and members of his staff served as Rose Center fellows during 2014 and 2015, and worked with the Rose Center on strategies for revitalizing Rainier Beach, which is a set of Seattle neighborhoods.