Browse Tag: urban land institute

Urban Land Institute: Six CRE Trends For Rest Of 2016

English: The official logo image of ULI.

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) wrote today about six ongoing trends that will continue to mark the national commercial real estate market in 2016 and maybe beyond. We know the basics and broad strokes of today’s national market already – very low inflation hand-in-hand with very low prime lending rates, improving employment numbers, and predictable demographic migrations as baby boomers and millennials find their new group positions for living and working.

Add to this a rising political uncertainty at all levels from local to national, aggravated by the heightened visibility of the genuine tax and civics postures of localities on social media. When every pothole in every community gets its own social media post, it heightens political acrimony while at the same time affects real estate investment and move-in decisions, perhaps unfairly.

ULI highlighted six enduring trends in a recent Urban Land Magazine piece by Peter Burley and David Lynn. The six of course touch on all the above and more.  The top three are:

Global economic uncertainties: “The International Monetary Fund has downgraded global growth twice since January as uncertainties blur the outlook. For U.S. markets—real estate in particular—the impact is likely to be largely positive as U.S. assets become more attractive and valuable to global investors. We can probably expect enhanced inbound foreign investment in U.S. real estate markets as the United States becomes even more of a safe haven for investors worldwide.”

Steady interest rate environment: “We still believe that the Fed is more than likely to weigh the effects of each move it makes before adding any additional friction to current (if unspectacular) economic growth trends.”

Foreign investment in the US: “And, while slowing growth in China and much of Europe may dampen currencies and incomes over there, there is still abundant non-U.S. capital looking for placement and very strong demand for U.S. assets, as 2015 proved with record inflows.”

To read the entire piece with all six factors expected to affect national CRE markets, follow the link to the ULI piece.


Urban Land Institute Report: Active Transportation And Real Estate

The most recent report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) does a great job exploring the dependencies and interconnections between the growth of real estate value and the provision of active transportation options, e.g. walking and bicycling.  A collection of case studies, the 61-page report details built environment projects that significantly affect local economic development by way of integrating walking and bicycling into the economic patterns of the area.

Projects Highlighted

Projects include the following office and multifamily developments:

  • Bici Flats: Des Moines, Iowa (link)
  • Circa: Indianapolis, Indiana (link)
  • Flats at Bethesda Avenue: Bethesda, Maryland (link)
  • Gotham West: New York, New York (link)
  • Hassalo on Eighth: Portland, Oregon (link)
  • MoZaic: Minneapolis, Minnesota (link)
  • Ponce City Market: Atlanta, Georgia (link)
  • Silver Moon Lodge: Albuquerque, New Mexico (link)
  • 250 City Road: London, United Kingdom (link)
  • Westwood Residences: Singapore (link)

Download The Report

Download the entire ULI Report “Active Transportation And Real Estate: The Next Frontier” here.

Building Environmental Performance Improving, Says Urban Land Institute


Strategic partners, owners and investors of real estate worldwide make up the Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint Center, a project committed to improving the relationship between all real estate and the environment. The Center is an intersection of modern building management and industry muscle drawn from CRE and finance that focuses on reducing the carbon footprint of existing buildings, which currently represent one-third of global carbon emissions, and works to achieve its carbon reduction goals through education and action.

What’s A Carbon Footprint?

A building’s carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds it emits due to the consumption of fossil fuels by tenants or general building operation. Emissions from buildings make up a third of the carbon emissions across the world, and despite what daytime talk radio entertainers keep repeating, the scientific consensus is overwhelming that “greenhouse gases” and the heat exhaust from properties do add up globally to a whole host of negative environmental effects including radical weather patterns.


In business terms, addressing a building’s environmental  performance is just another problem of efficiency, of finding areas where efficiency is lacking and applying sound management practices to get the numbers moving in the right direction.  In short, this is the ULI Greenprint Center’s entire mission.

The Center’s latest report (full PDF available here) suggests that management is getting the job done.  Cost of energy fell by 3.2% as real estate owners and managers in the Center’s portfolio also booked significant performance gains in carbon emissions reduction and energy consumption.  The recycling rate picked up over eight percentage points to sit at 21.4%.

Other categories were less dramatic – the Center moved the needle on occupancy/density to the tune of a 1% increase, while water usage rose by half a point.

Getting Serious, Getting A Handle

Since our most productive economic engines are housed in commercial buildings, it falls to property owners and managers to act as stewards for that economic activity, to steer the ships and watch out for threats on the horizon.  That activity is a great power and it comes with a great responsibility to do everything we can to manage the byproducts of that activity.  Photos and video from cities in mainland China, choked with smog, are a stark reminder of what badly managed economic growth results in. Moments of doubt concerning carbon emissions are maybe understandable when the carbon’s invisible.  But when the carbon is thick enough to where you can’t see in front of your face, it’s long past time to get serious and recognize the deepest threats to property ownership and sustained economic power come not from scientists and environmentalists, but from bad management.