ULI New York Blog

Recap: REO 2018 – Innovations in Real Estate

By: Katie Tang

Innovations in Real Estate 

ULI New York’s Real Estate Outlook 2018 conference held on Wednesday, January 31st honored the release of the industry anticipated annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report, and featured several impressive panels made up of New York’s leading real estate practitioners.

The last panel of the conference was titled Innovations in Real Estate. The panel was led by moderator Charles R. Bendit, Co-Chief Executive Officer at Taconic Investment Partners LLC, and made up of a mix of panelists, including Harlan Berger, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Centaur Properties, Andrew Kimball, Chief Executive Officer at Industry City, Ryan Simonetti, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Convene and Clelia Warburg Peters, Co-founder of MetaProp NYC and President of Warburg Realty.

From the discussion, one thing was clear – technological innovations in the real estate industry are changing the landscape in the way we underwrite and manage real estate. In their respective ways, each panelist is taking part in this generational shift by implementing new ways of “consuming real estate” by anticipating the needs of millennials who crave ease of service, work flexibility and most importantly community interaction.

Industry City, formerly a collection of warehouses in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York is now repurposed with six million square feet of office space, home to over 400 companies specializing in everything from fashion design to food and beverage. As a hub for innovation, Andrew Kimball speaks to the importance of community engagement. Initially, Industry City would curate use of community spaces to host tech meetups and makers’ markets to foster communication among its tenants. Since then, the ecosystem Industry City created is self-running and fosters an engaging environment that draws many TAMI companies.

In closing, Ryan Simonetti used a quote from Bill Clinton during the panel – “Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.” It is evident from analyzing trend lines that the sharing economy is the economic model of the 21st century. With landlords allocating at least 5-10% of building footprint to amenities, the physical experience of space is becoming more important. Specifically, Convene’s platform helps landlords easily upgrade office buildings to meet the evolving needs of today’s workforce through the design and implementation of tenant game rooms, community programming (ex: yoga and meditation classes, etc) and full-service meeting rooms. Active face-to-face interaction among tenants significantly increases a tenant’s decision to renew/stay in the building.

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