Real Estate Management News - 02/03/2016

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February 3, 2016
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Ethics for the Real Estate Manager - ETH800
2/08/2016 – Milwaukee, WI

Managing Residential Properties – RES201
2/9/2016 – Milwaukee, WI

Ethics for the Real Estate Manager - ETH800
2/11/2016 - Albuquerque, NM

Constructing a Leader Development System
2/11/2016 - Webinar

Leadership and Human Resource Essentials - HRS402
2/15/2016 - Raleigh, NC

Getting the Most for Your Retrofit Dollar
2/16/2016 - Webinar

Ethics for the Real Estate Manager - ETH800
2/17/2016 - Atlantic City, NJ

Leadership and Human Resource Essentials - HRS402
2/17/2016 - Minneapolis, MN

Marketing and Leasing: Multifamily Properties - MKL406
2/17/2016 - Kirkland, WA

Using the IREM Financial Analysis Spreadsheet
2/23/2016 - Webinar

Industry Partners

Creating a Leader Development System

Financing Energy Efficiency Projects
Income/Expense Report Contributors Rewards with Free Benchmarking Report
Five Reasons You Should Submit to the REME Awards
Take Action at the 2016 IREM Leadership & Legislative Summit
Save the Date: IREM Fall Conference Returns

Modern Office Design Must Focus on 'Sense of Purpose' Ideal
Urban Core Continues to Drive Apartment Designs and Construction
How to Make Extra Cash on Land Holdings
Aston Properties Consolidates 17 Shopping Centers Under New Entity
Medical Office Demand Soars Thanks to Obamacare and Population Health
Apartment Market to Continue Expansion According to Multifamily Investment Forecast Report
Concrete That Melts the Snow
Laundromat Business Provides Advantage for Developer
Kansas City's Downtown Revives Empty Office Towers With 'Adaptive Reuse'
Top States for LEED-Certified Space in 2015
Crescent Communities Looks to 'Redefine Urban Living' in Uptown Charlotte
Old Buildings Are U.S. Cities’ Biggest Sustainability Challenge


Leadership Spotlight

Creating a Leader Development System

In the words of Christopher Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer of CEL & Associates, Inc., “A real estate firm without effective leaders might as well pack up and try something else. Leadership is the key to sustainability, productivity, profitability, and growth.”

But the need for leadership talent is not limited to the real estate industry. The need for “leaders at all levels” is one of the 12 critical issues identified in the Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey published by Deloitte University Press. According to the survey, leadership remains the number one talent issue facing all organizations, with 86% of respondents rating it “urgent” or “important”. Only 14% of companies feel their leadership pipeline is "ready." And, the fact that only 13% say they do an excellent job of developing leaders at all levels means that this area has the largest “readiness gap” in the survey.

Even when a company knows it has a talent gap, it usually hasn’t done enough to define what it really needs to fill that gap. Before implementing a leader development system, some basic questions need to be answered:
  1. What is the purpose or goals served by leader development? Is it performance improvement? Is it to implement a succession plan? Is it to effect organizational change per a strategic plan? Or any combination of those purposes?
  2. Who needs development? What positions (current or future) have critical needs? What individuals need to improve their current performance or prepare themselves for advancement?
  3. What are the specific leadership competencies that are critical for company and individual success? (Not every company or individual will have the same development needs.)
  4. How will a company measure if its leader development system is working?
  5. What methods or resources are needed for the required development?
  6. Does the company have a climate that will support and facilitate leader development?
In its newest leadership development white paper, Creating a Leader Development System, IREM provides an organizational assessment tool that a company can use to help define its leader needs, and gives guidance in creating an effective leader development system.

Everyone attending IREM’s Creating a Leader Development System Webinar on February 11 will receive a copy of the white paper with the assessment.
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IREM Headlines

Financing Energy Efficiency Projects

Energy efficiency can reduce operating expenses and add value to a property. But how should you finance your projects? A number of impediments in conventional financing methods prevent real estate managers from suggesting energy efficiency projects to owners. For example, tenants may realize most of the benefits from upgrades, so the owner has little incentive to make an investment without some way to pass project costs through to tenants. Or, despite lower operating costs, the payback period for the project still exceeds the owner’s holding period for the asset, and there is no way to pass the debt along to the next owner.

For these reasons, the gap between the money currently invested in building energy efficiency, and the investment needed to finance value-enhancing energy efficiency in commercial real estate, is quite substantial. According to Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors and The Rockefeller Group, $1.5 billion is currently invested, while $72 billion is required to achieve efficiency.

Because of the returns involved, and the overall push for energy efficiency in the face of climate change, investors are interested in putting money into energy efficiency projects—but need projects to finance. Governments motivated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency are very aware of these impediments as well.

The building energy efficiency industry, along with the public sector, have developed innovative financing schemes to overcome barriers to investing in projects and fill the gap between current and potential investments. These include:

• Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs)
• Managed Energy Service Agreements (MESAs)
• Metered Energy Efficiency Transaction Structure (MEETS)
• On-Bill Repayment (OBR) and Financing (OBF)
• Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing

Each of these methods involves different levels of involvement from energy efficiency contractors, private investors, and the public sector. There are advantages and disadvantages to each scheme, especially depending on specific market and property factors when evaluating an energy efficiency project. They all intend to overcome the barriers to potentially lucrative and environmentally friendly energy efficiency.

IREM has an online course, “Financing Energy Efficiency Projects,” that explains these and other financing methods in detail. Visit to register your teams.

You can also move forward on broader sustainability with the IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification. Visit to learn more.
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Income/Expense Report Contributors Rewards with Free Benchmarking Report

For over 60 years, IREM has been developing the most trusted and valuable resource for the real estate industry, the Income/Expense Analysis Reports. Comprised of data collected from contributors across the country, the Income/Expense Analysis Reports give real estate professionals access to the most current real estate market data for accurate benchmarking and forecasting.

Now’s your chance to leave your mark. Submit your data and join us to be a part of the most precise benchmarking report in the industry. And, if you submit by April 1, you’ll receive a free Income/Expense Report ebook and a free individual building report.

Submitting your data is simple. Just visit and experience our easy to use submission site.

Now accepting data for:

• Conventional Apartments
• Office Buildings
• Shopping Centers
• Federally Assisted Apartments
• Condominiums, Cooperatives, & PUDs

We need your help to continue crafting the most accurate portrait of the real estate industry. Submit your data today.
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Five Reasons You Should Submit to the REME Awards

Submit to the 2016 REME Awards!
  1. Standout from competitors – The REME Award brings prestige and will distinguish yourself and your business as leaders of the real estate management industry. A REME Award will set you apart from your peers and other companies and recognize you for your outstanding work.
  2. Attract new business and top talent – a REME Award signifies those individuals and companies that have achieved a high-level, have demonstrated innovation, and have shown brilliant leadership. Winning a REME Award enhances your brand and reputation, which will attract new business and top talent, while inspiring clients and owners – and the people who live, work, or shop in the properties you manage.
  3. Create buzz for your business – by showcasing your innovations, solutions, and brilliant leadership and business practices though media and marketing. A REME Award demonstrates that you are at the highest level of the real estate management profession. Customers and clients love being associated with an award-winning business. You can market your success as a REME Award winner through press releases, e-mail marketing, website marketing and advertising, social media platforms and displaying the award at your property.
  4. Be Recognized through Multiple IREM Channels:
    • Journal of Property Management, our bi-weekly standard-setting publication
    • Press releases and promotion in key industry media
    • Real Estate Management News, our weekly compendium of industry news
    • IREM blogs
    • IREM website page and social media
  5. Be a Champion of the Real Estate Management Industry – Being selected as a REME Award finalist or winner showcases your commitment and dedication to the industry to your peers. Show the world your pride in your career and your business.
Learn more about the 2016 REME Awards!
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Take Action at the 2016 IREM Leadership & Legislative Summit

Looking to get inspired? Then pack your bags and head to Washington, D.C. on April 9-13 – IREM’s Leadership and Legislative Summit is back. This year’s agenda is action packed. Get registered and guarantee that you’ll hear from passionate, inspirational leaders, including keynote speaker Ann Compton. After serving 41 years at ABC News, Compton has learned a thing or two. Hear what she discovered from decades of experience covering the White House and her thoughts on the current political landscape and 2016 election.

And catch industry leader John Santora, CPM, COO and Chief Integration Officer of the recently merged Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ. Be there in person as Santora discusses the new trend of mega mergers and what it means for competition.

So get ready to get motivated and take action. Come along this April and join us as we shape the future of IREM, our industry, and your business.

Leadership and Legislative Summit
Featuring Capitol Hill Visit Day
April 9-13, 2016
Omni Shoreham Hotel – Washington, DC
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Save the Date: IREM Fall Conference Returns

Mark your calendars for the 2016 IREM Fall Leadership Conference. This year’s conference will take you to sunny San Diego, October 18-22. You won’t want to miss the only industry event designed to meet the needs of both multifamily and commercial real estate managers. Featuring dynamic education sessions, endless networking opportunities, and thought provoking speakers – there’s no place better to be this October.

Are you a thought leader? An expert in your industry? Bolster your reputation and get involved as an IREM Conference speaker. Complete a Call for Presentation by July 1 and be considered for this exciting opportunity.

If you’ve never attended an IREM conference, get a glimpse of what you’ve missed and keep a look out – registration for this year’s conference is coming soon.
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Industry Headlines

Modern Office Design Must Focus on 'Sense of Purpose' Ideal
National Real Estate Investor (01/31/16) Carr, Robert

For office space design in 2016, "sense of purpose" is the new catchphrase that office-using businesses are using to attract and retain employees. Leading up to the Great Recession, many employers were already looking to shave off excess square footage, and the downturn forced further downsizing and space efficiency. This resulted in smaller desk areas per worker than in decades past. The years following the recession have seen the rise of the Millennial employee, versed in technology and able to work from anywhere. Such workers prefer flexibility. JLL recently released the results of its "Fully Engaged" study, which claims that disengagement -- an employee who has no sense of purpose in the workplace -- causes up to $500 billion in lost revenue in the United States annually. Conversely, firms that embrace employee engagement and spread brand awareness throughout the enterprise can be about 500 percent more profitable, according to the research.

Some older managers are finding it hard to comprehend that this new generation of workers desires a sense of purpose more than financial or “office real estate” recognition. Initial attempts at making offices more adaptable to technology and new worker demands, most notably massive cubicle farms, were really more attempts at cost-cutting than modernization. The "Best Company to Work for" firms have embraced the flexibility desired by Generation Y by offering different workstations and multi-sized conference rooms that deliver both social work environments and solitary areas for head-down study. While many thought telecommuting would have a great impact, Millennials as a group do desire physical connection to their careers. One of the newest methods of office flexibility involves co-working, according to a recent CBRE report. Co-working is a hybrid of a tech-type business incubator and the "rent-an-office" spaces offered by companies like Regus Group Cos. Instead signing a multi-year lease agreement for a set amount of space, a company looking to open a satellite office signs up for co-working space on a per-seat basis, with the workstations and access to a shared receptionist, conference room, and other typical office amenities.
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Urban Core Continues to Drive Apartment Designs and Construction
Property Management Insider (01/29/16) Blackwell, Tim

Changing demographics have altered the approach of one of the nation's top apartment housing architects. Humphreys & Partners Architects LP is devoting more and more resources to building walkable communities in downtown areas. The Dallas-based firm confirms that it has seen significant growth in recent years in the number of proposals sent for its e-Urban and High-Rise high-density products, which aim to meet the live-work-play downtowners. The increase marks movement away from the traditional four- and five-story wrap-style structures that have been popular for years. Humphreys & Partners CEO Mark Humphreys says aging Baby Boomers and on-the-go Millennials who desire living closer to the action of major cities are driving the changes, adding that development and construction in the urban core is a game changer in apartment architecture.

The number of proposals the company sent out in 2015 for high-rise projects ranked as the firm's second most to e-Urban and increased 20 percent to 25 percent over 2014. High-rise proposals grew for the second year in a row. "Never in the history of the U.S. have we had the two largest populations very interested in the urban core, Humphreys observed. "It wasn't interesting [to live in urban core] ever. But now it's a cool place." All of the 60-plus U.S. markets that Humphreys & Partners track are currently undergoing urban revitalization downtown. These include everywhere from Kansas City to New York City.
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How to Make Extra Cash on Land Holdings
Wall Street Journal (01/26/16) Pleven, Liam

Capitol Hill lawmakers made it less appealing for companies to spin off property holdings into REITs, a move that had become popular among activist investors who hoped that separating valuable real estate from main businesses would allow the market to value the property more highly. Despite a tax-extenders bill that eliminated the tax advantages of REIT spinoffs for the parent company, there are other ways to make money from land holdings. A firm can enter into joint ventures with outside investors who want to share in the revenue; sell and lease back buildings; or spin off real estate into a REIT, if willing to pay taxes on the transaction. Companies that own valuable property in highly desirable locations therefore may still be able to strike profitable deals.

However, struggling retailers and other companies under pressure from activist investors to spin off their real estate might not get much of a break from the new rules. Starboard Value LP, for example, recently proposed that Macy's form a real estate joint venture for some of its highest-profile downtown locations. MGM Resorts International is pursuing another type of deal for some of its real estate, saying it expects to form a new REIT subsidiary; but since the deal does not involve spinning off the REIT, it would not go against the new rules.
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Aston Properties Consolidates 17 Shopping Centers Under New Entity
Charlotte Business Journal (01/26/16) Boye, Will

Aston Properties last week consolidated a portfolio of 17 shopping centers in thre states -- North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia -- under a new company called Aston Realty Investment Company. In doing so, the Charlotte-based company secured a five-year, $80 million unsecured credit facility with Wells Fargo & Co. The new company ranks as one of the largest owners and operators of retail properties in the Carolinas. Together, the centers have an occupancy rate of more than 92 percent and are mainly anchored by supermarkets. The portfolio indeed includes three Harris Teeter-anchored centers and one Publix-anchored center. The new Aston-managed platform is expected to provide more capital to do three things: one, expand the portfolio; two, increase the efficiency of the acquisition process; and, three, simplify the governance of the 17 properties. Aston Properties President George Dewey comments, "This is a new chapter for Aston and, with the enhanced ownership structure, we are well-positioned to grow for the next 10 to 15 years."
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Medical Office Demand Soars Thanks to Obamacare and Population Health
Forbes (01/26/16) Japsen, Bruce

Demand for medical office buildings and space for ambulatory care is the highest it has been in almost a decade as traditional healthcare systems open more consumer-friendly outpatient services, according to a new analysis by Colliers International. Researchers say an already low vacancy rate of under 10 percent will continue through this year and beyond as "healthcare industry employment growth and demographic trends all line up favorably." The vacancy rate was 9.5 percent as of Sept. 30 -- the lowest rate for medical office buildings since 2007 when it was 9.1 percent, Colliers data shows. "There is a national trend pushing care to where the patient is located," observes Mary Beth Kuzmanovich, national director of healthcare services for Colliers International. "Patients who might have gone into the ER will stop into the urgent care center, particularly as they have insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act."

Millions of newly insured Americans with the ability to afford medical care are able to seek treatment in a physician's office, retail clinic, urgent care center, or other outpatient site instead of going to the hospital emergency room because of the Affordable Care Act. By some estimates, there are an additional 17 million or more Americans covered. Meanwhile, insurance firms are pushing more patients to ambulatory care settings as health insurers pay for value and shift reimbursement from fee-for-service medicine. Retail clinics and urgent care centers continue to open at a solid pace, notes a new January report from Merchant Medicine. Aside from retail clinic openings by CVS Health and Walgreens, UnitedHealth reports that its Optum unit is buying up urgent care centers and doctor practices, opening even more of these sites. The 9.5 percent vacancy rate in medical office buildings that Colliers tallied in 2015's July-through-September period was 3.2 percent below "the rate of all office space nationally," the study concluded.
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Apartment Market to Continue Expansion According to Multifamily Investment Forecast Report (01/28/2016)

According to Marcus & Millichap's 2016 U.S. Multifamily Investment Forecast, the U.S. apartment sector is poised for another year of expansion, marking a seventh straight year of robust apartment demand and rent growth. Last year, the sector absorbed the largest wave of completed units since the 1980s. John Chang, first vice president of research services at Marcus & Millichap, states, "Demand for apartments has been underpinned by steady employment growth, positive demographic trends, and modest but consistent wage increases. These factors have helped tighten apartment vacancies and push rent growth to an historic high." Even with significant construction gains, he and others say the industry remains hard-pressed to meet demand in several markets amid accelerating household formation coupled with the Millennial generation's continuing preference for rental housing.

All 46 markets tracked in the report's National Multifamily Index (NMI) are projected to register continued employment gains and effective rent growth this year. Researchers note that while employers are projected to create 2.6 million new jobs, the expected delivery of 285,000 new rental apartments will track marginally ahead of the level of demand. This will result in a 10-basis-point uptick in apartment vacancy to 4.3 percent. Looking at the various geographic markets, San Francisco and San Jose earned the top two spots in this year's NMI, followed by New York City. Rounding out the bottom of the NMI are New Haven-Fairfield County (No. 44), Indianapolis (45th), and St. Louis (46th). "Strong results generated by apartment investments in 2015 will continue to spark rising activity in 2016 and will encourage investors to broaden their acquisition criteria beyond core markets," concludeed John Sebree, national director of Marcus & Millichap's National Multi Housing Group.
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Concrete That Melts the Snow
Buildings (01/25/16)

A new design integrating electric conductivity into normal concrete can melt the snow and ice that accumulates on roads, bridges, and parking areas during the winter month. University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers added carbon particles and steel shavings, comprising only 20 percent of the normal mixture. However, the resulting concrete creates sufficient electricity to melt any amount of precipitation while staying safe to touch. The research team notes that the technology will be especially useful for areas or spots that tend to see a lot of ice build-up in the winter, most notably driveways and sidewalks. By using magnetite rather than the normal limestone and sand, the new formula also shields against electromagnetic waves, including those used by cell phones. This can provide an additional line of defense for organizations concerned about corporate espionage.
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Laundromat Business Provides Advantage for Developer
Affordable Housing Finance (01/26/16) Gailliard, Sheri

Affordable housing builder C&C Development has come up with a real solution for the empty-space syndrome of mixed-use properties. It has established its own retail tenant in the form of a laundromat service that, in the case of ParkView Apartments -- its most recent mixed-use porject in San Marcos, Calif. -- can be the first and frequently most valuable retail lessee in the door. With its laundromat, the family-owned company can quickly fill a potential void clearly seen at street level that provides the all-important anchor that gives other potential lessees a comfort level to sign on the dotted line. Dubbed CBC Laundry, the laundromat operation is a subsidiary of C&C Development. It was established four years ago when C&C bought its first laundromat as an investment that it thought would serve two important purposes. One, it could if necessary be that first tenant into a mixed-use community. And, two, it would add to the company's portfolio of revenue-generating spaces.

CBC Laundry currently has four laundromat locations encompassing more than 300 washers and dryers. Three are in the city of Orange, Calif., and one is in its new 84-unit ParkView workforce housing property in San Marcos. Boasting 70 highly energy-efficient washers and dryers, the ParkView laundromat is open for use to the surrounding community. In fact, it has become an increasingly popular gathering spot for residents and neighbors as they wash and dry their clothes in the modern facility with state-of-the-art machines. One of the upsides of a laundromat operation for C&C as the property owner is that it requires neither intensive management nor 24/7 supervision. However, laundromats do have their set of challenges, including the need to constantly maintain machines and cleanliness and to optimize the use of washers and dryers to achieve the best possible profit.
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Kansas City's Downtown Revives Empty Office Towers With 'Adaptive Reuse'
Kansas City Star (01/26/16) Stafford, Diane

Currently, about a dozen dead or dying office towers dot Kansas City's downtown skyline, including the former Kansas City Power & Light Co. office complex and Commerce Tower. But the article's author writes: "Don't call the civic coroner, though. Block by block, the central business district is transforming from commercial to residential." Indeed, a string of redevelopers have been returning life to abandoned office spaces locally. To be sure, the changes aren't easy and have come slow. The firms involved almost always use tax breaks that don't sit well with some members of the public. The alternative, of course, is a skyline of vacant towers with small floor plates and aging mechanical systems that do not attract companies any more. Most of the conversions are occurring in multi-floor towers abandoned by businesses that opted for newer buildings in the suburbs. These buildings that were deemed obsolete for offices are sturdy enough for reuse.

The new use sometimes includes ground-floor retail and, occasionally, offices on lower floors. But multifamily has been one of the biggest reuses as building owners are learning they can make more money renting apartments than commercial space. Even the most economical market-rate apartments currently under development in downtown Kansas City are providing a better return on investment than trying to fill the space with small-office leases. An elevator core in the center of the space was the deal breaker for new offices in several of the buildings. Such structures are fine, though, if a redeveloper arrays apartments around the edges. Michael Knight, who's overseeing the Commerce Tower's redevelopment, said a nearby streetcar stop was a big reason to undertake the $121 million project that will turn most of the 30-story building into 340-plus market-rate apartments. By some calculations, downtown K.C.'s residential occupancy rate has reached 97 percent, with the demand for apartments still quite strong. Nearly 3,140 residential units have been completed or are under construction downtown from 2013 to present, and the downtown corridor's population has doubled since 2000.
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Top States for LEED-Certified Space in 2015
EcoBuilding Pulse (01/26/16)

Illinois claimed the top spot, followed by Maryland and Massachusetts, in the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) annual ranking of the states with the most LEED-certified buildings. Illinois, with 161 LEED projects and 3.43 square feet of LEED-certified space per resident, led the list for the third year in a row. "LEED has become an essential tool for the transformation of building design and construction,” says USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi. "By recognizing these states excelling in the use of LEED, we are celebrating the green building professionals, architects, business, policy, and community leaders who work tirelessly to design and develop innovative solutions toward a healthier, more sustainable future."

The top 10 states on USGBC's list certified 1,633 commercial and institutional projects in 2015, which combined represents 274.9 million square feet of real estate. Although not on the list, the District of Columbia had the highest LEED space per capita at 19.3 square feet, and the Mid-Atlantic region -- which includes Maryland and Virginia (ninth on the list) -- has been a stronghold for LEED development in recent years. Overall, the average LEED space per resident jumped to 2.47 square feet in 2015, breaking the 2014 record of 2.34.
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Crescent Communities Looks to 'Redefine Urban Living' in Uptown Charlotte
Multifamily Executive (01/25/16) Croce, Brian

Crescent Communities broke ground earlier in January on a project to bring a Whole Foods Market and more than 450 luxury apartments near a high-traffic light-rail stop in Charlotte. The elaborate transit-oriented development is situated outside Uptown Charlotte's light rail stop at Stonewall Station near the city's convention center and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Crescent says the project is on pace for a 2017 grand opening. Ben Collins, senior vice president for Crescent's multifamily business, reports that the development hinged on attracting Whole Foods to the area. The locally based developer began courting the supermarket operator in 2011. The Whole Foods store will be the first full-size grocer in Uptown Charlotte. Collins remarks, "Being able to bring a full-size grocer uptown, right by the light rail, really is a game changer for this area because it will allow the tens of thousands of residents who are in either walking or light rail distance from this grocer to fulfill their everyday needs."

In addition to the Whole Foods, Crescent is erecting a couple of apartment buildings on the site. The first will feature studios, one-, and-two-bedroom units renting for between $1,250 and $2,500 a month. Property management will be targeting the Millennial demographic. The second building will be a 12-floor high-rise and targeted toward empty nesters and Baby Boomers. The project also calls for two hotels, and Crescent is currently in talks with at least two hotel developers. Collins expects to close on one deal in the coming weeks and the other by the end of the year.
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Old Buildings Are U.S. Cities’ Biggest Sustainability Challenge
Harvard Business Review (01/16) Campbell, Iain; Calhoun, Koben

Large buildings, especially in major cities, are often the largest consumers of energy in the U.S. However, cities have begun to take efforts to reduce the amount of energy being used in metropolitan areas. Experts believe using mass retrofit and customization models is the most effective way to reap energy savings from buildings. The technique is possible through the use of sensing technology and using data from building systems and energy-consuming equipment. That information can be submitted to a platform that can identify steps that will make buildings more efficient. This technique could lower the cost of retrofitting by 30 percent, and building users will benefit as well through improved working environments. Chicago is amid a pilot program using the technique, but other cities will need to participate if significant reductions in emissions are to be made.
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