2013 Emerging Areas of Interest
How Did Municipalities Cope With The Recession? What budgetary changes were made by municipalities as the recession took hold? How are they preparing for the slow growth environment projected to continue in the coming years? What have been/are the implications for commercial real estate in terms of property value, taxes, zoning, proffers, etc.? Consider focusing on 10 to 20 of the best managed cities by size. Focus on unique responses/approaches that can be replicated elsewhere.
Prospective Implications of the Panama Canal Expansion on U.S. Ports. Examine U.S. ports and determine how the type and quantity of goods will change at each port, after the Panama Canal expansion is complete. What infrastructure is being upgraded? Does the port connect efficiently to inland ports? What are the pros and cons of proximity to population centers? What types of regulations exist in the port state/municipality that help/hinder commerce? What is the role of Foreign Trade Zones around ports?
Examine Future Demand Patterns for Conventional Office Space Usage by Industry or Business. For several years, professionals have conjectured that office space per employee will move from about 250 to 50 square feet. For real estate developers, these aggregate numbers are not refined enough to be helpful. To make the assessment more meaningful, we propose that the analysis be done by industry or business, rather than in the aggregate. Law firms use office space differently than technology firms or accounting firms. The study should examine past and present space usage (interior build-out of public and private work spaces); understand technological, cultural, and other forces affecting each business; and make observations about future demand for office space by industry. The researcher should consider office-using industries such as: Legal, Accounting, Architecture/Engineering, Technology/Internet, Finance and Insurance.
Quantify the Effect of E-Commerce Sales on Bricks-and-Mortar Retail. Just as telecommuting is eroding demand for office space, e-commerce sales are eroding demand for retail space. Understanding the effect could begin by examining what types of products lend themselves to internet sales and which do not? Who sells those products and what are the implications for those retailers? This could be done as a case study by focusing on five or so traditional and on-line only retailers, determining how they are reorganizing their online, retail and warehouse spaces.
A Demographic Update for Real Estate Developers. Discuss age, sex and race cohorts, how they are changing, and what can be expected relative to their social behaviors, use of technology, preferred work environments, etc. The U.S. is said to be an aging society like Germany and Japan. What are the implications of this and what must we do now to prepare? For example, should the retirement age be raised? What unique value do older workers add to the work environment? How can work tasks be assigned so older and younger workers can work collaboratively and optimally? With women projected to outnumber men in the workforce, what are the implications? What unique demographic or social changes are on the horizon that are not yet on the collective radar screen?
Develop a foundational publication on Data Centers that clearly explains the basics:
- Who uses data centers and why?
- Do users lease or purchase space?
- Discuss optimal locations for data centers (power, information lines, weather events, etc.)
- What types of data centers currently exist? What are the key attributes of each? What does it cost to build and operate each? Where are rents in various regions? Discuss sales of these centers.
- What structural shifts in data center development or use are likely? Supporting evidence - size, location, co-location versus wholesaling versus owner-user?
- How long does it take for them to become obsolete? Are they repurposed or demolished?
- What is the outlook for supply and demand of this product over the next five to 20 years?
The Future of Work. In the face of new technologies, new media channels, new manufacturing processes such as 3-d printing and robotics, how is work being redefined? What tasks will continue to be carried out in a central office setting and which will be done remotely? What skills will future workers require? What are the implications for the built environment in the next five to 20 years?
Typical research grants are in the $10,000-15,000 range. However, broad-reaching projects that provide critical information for the industry will be considered, but should not exceed an upper range of $25,000. White papers are also encouraged, and grants for these are in the $3,000-5,000 range. Some projects may receive tentative approval, pending co-funding and/or corporate underwriting, to be arranged by NAIOP and/or the research applicants.
The NAIOP Research Foundation reviews research assistance requests in the Spring. For the Spring 2013 cycle, submit your proposal no later than March 29, 2013. All applicants will be contacted no later than May 15, 2013, regarding which research projects the Foundation has decided to fund. To be considered, you must submit an abstract (250 words or less) AND an executive summary of your request for funding, formatted as a Word file.
Your packet should also contain a brief request covering the following points:
- Background of the issue/topic
- Purpose of the research
- Proposed research process
- Hypothesis or possible outcomes from the research
- Work product/deliverables
- Impact of the results on NAIOP members and/or the commercial real estate industry’s activities
- Estimated cost
- Potential vendors/researchers who would conduct the research
Requests for funding should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, please contact Margarita Foster at email@example.com or 703-904-7100.
The NAIOP Research Foundation will be acknowledged as a source of funding for the research, and we will have unlimited rights to use of the deliverables from the study. The NAIOP Research Foundation retains ownership of the funded research; researchers can request to reuse, repackage and/or republish the research in other projects or reports. Individuals involved in selecting the vendor/researcher must disclose in writing the nature of any vested interests/relationships they have with the vendor or its employees. Please note unless otherwise agreed to, the NAIOP Research Foundation requires a confidentiality agreement with the vendor/research company or institution, along with full and complete ownership of the work product.
The NAIOP Research Foundation is a Delaware non-profit corporation, which is tax exempt under 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and a public charity under IRC 509(a)(1). None of its funds may be used to support or carry on lobbying activities or voter-registration drives. These guidelines are subject to change without prior notification.