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

By: Ron Derven, contributing editor, Development. Fall 2013

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 

By: Scott Kaufmann, vice president, commercial development, Kennecott. Fall 2013

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 

By: David R. Millard, principal, sales and leasing, Avison Young. Fall 2013

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 

By: Tere Blanca, president and CEO, Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Inc., the leasing agent for 396 Alhambra. Fall 2013

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 

By: Kathryn Hamilton, vice president of marketing and communications, NAIOP. Fall 2013

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 

By: Kim Roy, LEED AP BD+C, senior vice president, preconstruction and strategy, Hitt Contracting Inc. Fall 2013

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 

By: Michael G. Ramsey, senior counsel, Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden PC. Fall 2013

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 

By: Ron Derven, contributing editor, Development. Fall 2013

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 

By: Julie D. Stern, managing editor, Development. Fall 2013

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 

By: Ellen Rand and Ron Derven, contributing editors, Development. Fall 2013

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? 

By: Ron Derven, contributing editor, Development. Fall 2013

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.