Developer of the Year 2013: Vulcan Real Estate's Bold Vision

By: Ron Derven, contributing editor, Development.

Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s real estate development company, Seattle-based Vulcan Real Estate, is leading one of the largest urban redevelopment efforts in the U.S. Vulcan’s ability to articulate a vision; collaborate with multiple public and private entities; obtain expensive infrastructure improvements; and finance, design, deliver, and fill office, scientific, medical, residential, and retail structures turned around an underused, aging industrial neighborhood just south of Seattle’s central business district.

Other Features In This Issue
office building at Mosaic

The Mosaic District: Urban Village Grows from Suburban Wasteland

When retail developer Edens first began looking into the possibility of redeveloping 27 acres of land in an area known as Merrifield, VA, the property was not a pretty sight. Occupied by an aging multiplex cinema surrounded by a sea of deteriorating asphalt, as well as an equipment rental business and communications towers, the property did not seem to be a likely setting for a new urban neighborhood. Yet a county comprehensive revitalization plan for the area already was in place, and Edens recognized that all the fundamentals needed to make that plan a success were there.      

the north tower at 396 Alhambra

396 Alhambra: Rebirth of a Midcentury Modern Office Landmark

The developers of 396 Alhambra — a 282,000-square-foot mixed-use office and retail development in Miami’s Coral Gables business district — have transformed and expanded a mid-20th century landmark into modern, LEED-certified office space.      

exterior of South Jordan Medical Center

South Jordan Health Center: Developing a Sustainable Medical Facility

When the University of Utah and Kennecott Land decided to build a new health center in the rapidly growing planned community of Daybreak in South Jordan, Utah, they had ambitious goals: to provide the community with a facility that would offer the best in health care services and state-of-the-art medical technology while also limiting the building’s impact on the environment. Most full-scale medical facilities use an enormous amount of energy, which makes obtaining LEED certification a challenge. But by implementing sustainability features into the building from the earliest design stages the development team was able to exceed its expectations.      

people at an education session

The View from I.con: Industrial Market Expands

More than 500 of industrial real estate’s leaders gathered at NAIOP’s I.con: The Industrial Conference in Los Angeles on June 5 and 6 to discuss trends, debate ideas, and share news and views of the industry and where it is headed. The industrial sector continues on a strong recovery path, driven by consumption, real trade, and real GDP, according to Gene Reilly, 2013 NAIOP chairman and CEO of the Americas, Prologis, who spoke at I.con’s opening luncheon.      

Advocacy

  • Koontz Decision Moves the Needle in Favor of Property Owners

    State and local governments, through their individual permitting and regulatory processes, play a critical role in the size, scope, and cost of all types of commercial real estate projects, from new development to the restoration of existing commercial buildings and warehouses. With 50 states and more than 89,000 local units of government in the U.S., the permitting and regulatory structure can be complicated, unpredictable, inconsistent, and/or bureaucratic, depending on the local jurisdiction.      

  • NAIOP Participates in Congressional Briefing

    The “2013 State of the Real Estate Industry” luncheon and briefing held on July 17 — organized by NAIOP and hosted by the National Real Estate Organizations (NREO) — brought together trade associations, industry consultants, and nearly 100 congressional staffers to focus on the impact of real estate as a driver in economic growth.      

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Development - Ownership

  • Developer of the Year 2013: Vulcan Real Estate's Bold Vision

    Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s real estate development company, Seattle-based Vulcan Real Estate, is leading one of the largest urban redevelopment efforts in the U.S. Vulcan’s ability to articulate a vision; collaborate with multiple public and private entities; obtain expensive infrastructure improvements; and finance, design, deliver, and fill office, scientific, medical, residential, and retail structures turned around an underused, aging industrial neighborhood just south of Seattle’s central business district.      

  • South Jordan Health Center: Developing a Sustainable Medical Facility

    When the University of Utah and Kennecott Land decided to build a new health center in the rapidly growing planned community of Daybreak in South Jordan, Utah, they had ambitious goals: to provide the community with a facility that would offer the best in health care services and state-of-the-art medical technology while also limiting the building’s impact on the environment. Most full-scale medical facilities use an enormous amount of energy, which makes obtaining LEED certification a challenge. But by implementing sustainability features into the building from the earliest design stages the development team was able to exceed its expectations.      

  • The Mosaic District: Urban Village Grows from Suburban Wasteland

    When retail developer Edens first began looking into the possibility of redeveloping 27 acres of land in an area known as Merrifield, VA, the property was not a pretty sight. Occupied by an aging multiplex cinema surrounded by a sea of deteriorating asphalt, as well as an equipment rental business and communications towers, the property did not seem to be a likely setting for a new urban neighborhood. Yet a county comprehensive revitalization plan for the area already was in place, and Edens recognized that all the fundamentals needed to make that plan a success were there.      

  • 396 Alhambra: Rebirth of a Midcentury Modern Office Landmark

    The developers of 396 Alhambra — a 282,000-square-foot mixed-use office and retail development in Miami’s Coral Gables business district — have transformed and expanded a mid-20th century landmark into modern, LEED-certified office space.      

  • Advanced RTU Campaign Promotes Efficiency in Rooftop Air Conditioning

    Older, inefficient commercial rooftop unit air-conditioning systems are common and can significantly increase a building’s energy costs. Fortunately, these systems can be replaced or retrofitted with new units that can save money and energy, make buildings more comfortable, and help the environment.      

  • Best Practices Pave the Way to Sustainability Goals: Five Key Lessons Learned

    Hitt Contracting has delivered more than 100 LEED projects totaling more than $2 billion in sustainable project billings — and learned some valuable lessons about best practices in sustainable construction along the way.      

  • Due Diligence Checklist for Vacant Commercial Properties

    Throughout the United States, developers are acquiring vacant commercial buildings in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Vacant buildings often are pre-entitled for the developer’s intended use and can deliver impressive returns after refurbishment. Much depends on timing and price, of course, but in some instances proper due diligence can make the difference between a cash cow and an albatross.       

  • Industrial Opportunities for Smaller Entrepreneurial Developers

    Have big institutions, global commercial real estate players, tight lending restrictions, and a crushing recession pushed small, entrepreneurial developers out of the business? I.con panelists conceded, during a session titled “Dissecting the Current Industrial Development Cycle,” that it is becoming more difficult for smaller developers to make deals in many markets.      

  • Moveable Urban Green Spaces

    While drivers in many urban areas know Parkmobile as the system that lets them use their smart phones to pay for street parking, people in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD) are enjoying another type of Parkmobile: a truly moveable micropark.      

  • Nuts and Bolts of Office Fitness Center Design

    Fitness centers do not generate direct revenue and they are not the first thing office tenants look for when leasing space, but a fitness center can set your building apart from others, especially if it is well designed. If you are thinking about setting up a fitness center in your building — and, according to Kari Frontera, an associate in Gensler’s Washington, D.C., office, this is a “must have” in a new Class A office building — don’t tuck it way in the basement, as developers generally do.      

  • To Build or Not to Build to 36- or 40-Foot Clear?

    This year’s I.con included much discussion — but no definitive answers — on the topic of building new warehouse/distribution facilities to 36- or even 40-foot clear heights.      

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Marketing - Leasing

  • A Moveable Fitness Program

    If you can’t devote a fixed space for a fitness center, you could opt to create moveable facilities. Carol Brooks, president and co-founder of Continental Real Estate Companies, started its “A Deeper Breath” fitness program several years ago, in what she called a natural extension of the wellness-oriented programs the firm already was providing for its clients. The idea emerged out of the recession, when many buildings had an abundance of vacant space.      

  • Industrial Tenant Hot Buttons

    At NAIOP’s recent I.con: The Industrial Conference in Los Angeles, a panel of brokers described the key features industrial tenants look for today in new space.      

  • NAIOP's 2013 Guide to Architects, Engineers and Contractors

    Looking for an architect, engineer or contractor for your next redevelopment project? The NAIOP guide in this issue lists dozens of firms around the country.      

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  • Effective Workplaces Survey

    “U.S. workers are struggling to work effectively. A confluence of factors, from economic challenges to longer workdays, is compromising the ability to get work done.” So concludes Gensler’s “2013 U.S. Workplace Survey,” which represents the responses of 2,035 randomly sampled knowledge workers worldwide. How can developers, architects, and employers better design work-places to drive innovation, improve performance, and increase satisfaction, given new workplace realities? The report offers some tantalizing suggestions.      

  • Four Trends Spurring Growth of Inland Ports

    Inland ports that serve the Midwest and other interior sections of the country should continue to experience strong growth in the future, according to Curtis Magleby, senior managing director and regional head, U.S. Capital Markets West, for Cushman & Wakefield; Michael Berry, president of Hillwood Properties; and Stephen Crosby, president of CSX Real Property, all of whom spoke at NAIOP’s I.con: The Industrial Conference in Los Angeles in June.      

  • Key Messages on U.S. Manufacturing

    Over the past several years, numerous studies and articles have touted the “reshoring” of manufacturing jobs to the U.S., leading readers to believe that large numbers of net new manufacturing jobs will be created here. A recent study prepared for and funded by the NAIOP Research Foundation — written by L. Nicolas Ronderos, New York director of Regional Plan Association — concludes, however, that the net result of this reshoring trend will be stabilization of manufacturing jobs rather than net growth.      

  • Ross Minority Program in Real Estate Expands to San Diego

    The University of Southern California’s Ross Minority Program in Real Estate — an executive education platform that equips women and minorities with critical real estate knowledge and leadership skills while also broadening options for investment in urban communities — is holding its first-ever San Diego program this fall.      

  • Speedy Delivery Drives Five Supply Chain Trends

    Omnichannel retailing and increasing consumer demands for same-day delivery are forcing retailers to adapt their supply chain networks and store formats to remain competitive as the market is increasingly driven by e-commerce. Jones Lang LaSalle believes that retailers’ supply chains will change so much as a result of these evolving demands that they will be completely unrecognizable in just five years.      

  • The View from I.con: Industrial Market Expands

    More than 500 of industrial real estate’s leaders gathered at NAIOP’s I.con: The Industrial Conference in Los Angeles on June 5 and 6 to discuss trends, debate ideas, and share news and views of the industry and where it is headed. The industrial sector continues on a strong recovery path, driven by consumption, real trade, and real GDP, according to Gene Reilly, 2013 NAIOP chairman and CEO of the Americas, Prologis, who spoke at I.con’s opening luncheon.      

  • Welcome to New Jersey: Breaking the Bridge Barrier to Allow Big Ships

    Following a finding of “no significant impact” by the U.S. Coast Guard in April 2013, a construction permit for the raising of the Bayonne Bridge roadway finally was issued on May 23 and welcomed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a press briefing in June attended by hundreds of cheering construction workers. The “Raise the Roadway” project should begin before the end of the year, according to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.      

  • By the Numbers: Data Impacting Commercial Real Estate

    A table showing the economic contributions from the development of commercial real estate buildings from 2010-2012.      

All Business - Trends Articles

Finance

  • Crowdfunding: A Game-Changer in Finance?

    Ask Benjamin Miller, co-founder of the Washington, D.C.-based online real estate finance company Fundrise about crowdfunding and he will tell you, as he told the House Committee on Small Business several months ago, that “the Internet will do to capital what it did to media and commerce: it will completely disrupt the status quo.” In short, it will be transformative.      

  • Tax Abatements as a Shield for Looming Property Tax Increases

    Throughout the Great Recession and well into what has become an extended period of slow recovery, the tax revenue base for municipal governments has been shrinking. According to a 2012 National League of Cities year-end survey, “National League of Cities Research Brief on America’s Cities,” 2012 was expected to be the sixth consecutive year of year-over-year declining municipal revenues. Municipal revenues are not expected to rebound in real time with the economy.      

  • Will Values Fall If Rates Rise and Rents Don’t?

    This past spring, Joseph L. Pagliari Jr., clinical professor of real estate at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, gave a presentation titled “Some Thoughts on Past and Future Real Estate Returns.” Today, as interest rates appear to be rising, nervousness about rate increases and their impact on real estate values appears to be on the rise as well. Development caught up with Pagliari to ask about his outlook on interest rates, commercial real estate values, and what all this means for owners and investors.      

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Perspectives

  • CEO on Leadership: Mark Fornes, President, Mark Fornes Realty, Inc.

    Mark Fornes is president of Dayton-based Mark Fornes Realty, Inc., an entrepreneurial developer of office, flex, and warehouse buildings in the southwest Ohio market. Since the firm was founded in 1987, its principals have developed more than 2.5 million square feet of industrial and office space and managed more than 1 million square feet of commercial property.      

  • Developing Leader Views Education, Volunteerism as Keys to Expanding Diversity in Commercial Real Estate

    Megan Creecy-Herman, the youngest person ever elected to serve on the Board of Directors of NAIOP’s Arizona chapter, will celebrate another distinction this January, when she becomes the first woman to serve as chairperson of the Arizona Chapter. When she’s not busy growing business opportunities for Liberty, she’s helping other young professionals grow their careers through NAIOP Arizona’s Developing Leaders program.      

  • Interview with NAIOP Chairman Gene Reilly

    As Gene Reilly enters into the last quarter of his term as NAIOP chairman — after many months of visiting chapters and getting to know the association’s diverse membership — Development magazine asked him some questions about where the industry is headed, what he believes is most important for NAIOP members, and his life in a new hometown.      

  • Sound Bites from NAIOP’s I.con: The Industrial Conference in Los Angeles

    Some highlights from NAIOP's 2013 I.con: The Industrial Conference in Los Angeles, Calif.      

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