Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

February 24th, 2019

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

Amazon Real Estate Head Holly Sullivan Has No Regrets About The HQ2 Search

“The primary factor that we really looked at was the labor market,” Sullivan told Bisnow Thursday in an interview. “If you look at the RFP, it was fairly concise, but direct on what we were looking for. And that was a location where we could have the talent on day one, but also an opportunity to build that talent pipeline. We specifically referenced a tech talent pipeline.”

The company found that talent hub in Arlington. Amazon will build a 4M SF campus in the newly christened “National Landing” headquarters, and, as part of the deal with Virginia, Virginia Tech has committed to open a $1B satellite campus for innovation 2 miles away.

The public process naturally led to a trial in the court of public opinion, where Amazon has taken its lumps. After months of dealing with staunch opposition in New York City, the company decided to pull out of its agreement to open half of HQ2 in Queens. Amazon wanted a good, long-term partner, Sullivan said, and it lost confidence that it could find one in New York.” www.bisnow.com

Holly Sullivan Amazon

Strong Start to 2019 for Architecture Billings

“Starting the year on a strong note, architecture firm billings growth strengthened in January to a level not seen in the previous twelve months according to a new report released today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for January was 55.3 compared to 51.0* in December. Indicators of work in the pipeline, including inquiries into new projects and the value of new design contracts, also strengthened in January.

“The government shutdown affected architecture firms but doesn’t appear to have created a slowdown in the profession,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “While AIA did hear from a few firms that were experiencing significant cash flow issues due to the shutdown, the data suggests that the majority of firms had no long-term impact.” www.aia.org

Five Industrial Trends for 2019

“Now that we’re a month in to 2019, everyone has recovered from the holiday season and is eagerly looking ahead to the rest of the year. If your company is considering moving to a new industrial building or renting industrial space for the first time, there are some predicted trends that are important for you to know.” www.reoptimizer.com

Renters No More? Millennials Look to Ownership

Could Millennials, long regarded as the renting generation, represent the long-term bedrock of single-family home construction? A special report from Wells Fargo Securities and L.E.K. Consulting says yes.

Millennials House Key

“Millennials’ delayed household formation has led to a 2.2-million household gap relative to what the historical headship rate levels of their Gen X counterparts would imply,” according to the Wells/L.E.K. report.

That late start in forming households can be attributed to the weak labor market following the 2008 recession, and a student debt overhang, the report says. “However, aging Millennials are set to close the headship rate gap with prior generations—likely driving steady long-term growth in residential new construction.”www.connect.media

The FAA Is Finding New Tricks to Cut Delays

The Federal Aviation Administration is taking steps to reduce air-traffic congestion that has spread beyond crowded New York.
The Federal Aviation Administration is taking steps to reduce air-traffic congestion that has spread beyond crowded New York. ILLUSTRATION: HARRY CAMPBELL

As the skies get more crowded, the Federal Aviation Administration is making changes to air-traffic control in hopes of avoiding the kind of widespread delays that travelers experienced routinely 20 years ago.

The total number of minutes that flights were delayed by air-traffic control slowdowns—most of it attributable to weather—soared 69% to 21.7 million in 2017 from 12.8 million in 2012. Twenty-seventeen was a particularly bad year for ATC delays because of storm-related slowdowns, triggering the efforts to find new ways to minimize weather impact. It started working in 2018. Delay minutes actually dropped 4% compared with 2017 because of a new effort to speed flights out of New York airports.

But the number of flights keeps growing—up 2% last year—as airlines add more service, and congestion concerns have spread beyond crowded New York. The FAA is under pressure to find ways to handle storms without as many delays to avoid a return to the quagmire that air travel became in 1999 and 2000, when talk of gridlock abounded.

On April 1, the FAA will change how it handles flights into and out of Chicago and Denver, replicating the changes in New York airspace that reduced delays even as traffic increased. On the same day, it will also launch a major push to reduce slowdowns nationwide when bad weather hits.”[WSJ paywall] www.wsj.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

February 18th, 2019

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

Google to Spend $13 Billion on Data Centers, Offices Across U.S.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google plans to spend $13 billion on data centers and offices across the U.S. in 2019, saying the investment will create thousands of new construction jobs in states outside its traditional base of California.

The new spending builds on $9 billion the company put into expanding across the country last year. By the end of 2019, Google will have a presence in 24 states, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a blog post on Wednesday. As many as 10,000 new construction jobs could be created in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia, Pichai said.

Doubling down on hiring people across the country could help spread Google’s political influence at a time when lawmakers and regulators are asking tougher questions about the internet giant’s data-driven business model and approach to privacy. At Congressional hearings in 2018, conservative politicians repeatedly accused the company of having a left-wing bias because most of its employees were based in stereotypically liberal California

The spending also underlines how much money Google is pouring into data centers, which are key for its growing cloud-services business as well as supporting its core search and ad products. Though the company’s revenue continues marching steadily upward, costs are growing too, weighing down margins.” www.bloomberg.com

Pedestrians walk past the Google Inc. offices in New York, U.S.
Pedestrians walk past the Google Inc. offices in New York, U.S. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Import Wave Jams California Warehouses

A steady wave of imports into Southern California’s ports has the region’s shipping terminals overstuffed.

A steady wave of imports into Southern California’s ports has the region’s shipping terminals overstuffed. PHOTO: MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS

“A steady wave of imports into Southern California’s ports, driven by a robust U.S. economy and companies trying to get goods moving ahead of potential tariffs, has the region’s warehouses and shipping terminals overstuffed and distribution networks jammed.

U.S. businesses have been pulling shipments forward ahead of expected tariff increases and China’s Lunar New Year holiday, when the nation’s factories shut down for several weeks. That stacked-up inventory is straining logistics capacity around the neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together comprise the biggest U.S. trans-Pacific gateway.

Retail’s Woes Aren’t Over — Consumer Trends Signal They May Be Starting Again

“As a group, the affluents are the most highly educated in our society and also the best read. They follow the news, especially the business news, more religiously than the lesser-educated, lower-income masses. As a result, they see dark clouds on the economy’s horizon sooner than the rest.

 

To assess the affluents’ perspective on the state of the economy, we need to look at another survey, this one conducted by Ipsos at the end of 2018. With a consumer base of individuals with incomes $125k and above, Ipsos found that the affluents currently are far less optimistic about the U.S. economy than they were the same time last year .” www.forbes.com

The Biggest Impediment To Growth In CREtech

The latest splashy headlines in CREtech tout total funding and the extraordinary proliferation of startups—both wonderful things that benefit the entire sector. A reality check is in order though. Before the hasty celebrations kick off, let’s talk about the biggest impediment to growth facing CREtech.

 

Adoption.

Scaling issues trouble many CREtech startups unless their customers fully adopt and engage with their product/solution. Nascent startups overlook the fact that many target customers simply do not have the human resources or physical infrastructure in the first place.

“Tech products and services present a learning curve, as they require people to change the way they currently operate and implement new processes. It’s no longer good enough to simply deliver a valuable product or service; the most successful companies are the ones who recognize this fact and dedicate resources to assisting people in implementing change,” says Shannon Shaw of WiredScore.” www.cretech.com

Amazon’s Pullout From Queens, N.Y., Stuns Real-Estate Industry

The Citigroup Building, at center right, which was previously scheduled to house new Amazon employees, stands in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens.

The Citigroup Building, at center right, which was previously scheduled to house new Amazon employees, stands in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. PHOTO: DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES

Amazon.com Inc.’s announcement that it is ditching plans for a corporate headquarters in New York City stunned real-estate speculators, developers and renters who had rushed into the Long Island City neighborhood to be near the new HQ2.

Only three months ago, the prospect that the giant retailer would locate a headquarters in New York City and create 25,000 new jobs set off a real-estate frenzy that the borough of Queens had never experienced.

Open houses for Long Island City condos were overflowing. Brokers said customers made offers via text messages on units, site unseen. Developers with office space in Long Island jockeyed to attract the thousands of workers that were expected, and local residents cheered the promise that new restaurants, fashion boutiques and other new stores would flood the retail-starved neighborhood.”[WSJ paywall] www.wsj.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

February 11th, 2019

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

Why People Still Don’t Buy Groceries Online

“However they get customers to sign up, supermarkets are likely going to have to spend a lot of money in promotions and deals as they try to make delivery more popular among consumers. This, of course, advantages Amazon, which has deep pockets and has long been able to convince shareholders that spending up front on getting customers in the door has long-term dividends. This has never been Peapod’s strategy—it outlasted competitors like Webvan because it never spent a lot of money it didn’t have, Parkinson told me.” www.theatlantic.com

A Peapod employee fulfills an online order (Alana Semuels / The Atlantic)

“The beginning of the year is often a time for fresh starts. It marks a new period — a distinct point between the past and the future — which motivates people to set new goals and strive for self-improvement.

But what if you were already doing pretty well? Would a fresh start still be motivating? Or might it actually set you back?

I explored these questions in the context of work performance. Across one field study and three laboratory experiments, I found that a fresh start on people’s performance records — what I call a “performance reset” — affected their motivation and future performance differently, depending on their past performance.” www.hbr.org

Remembering Herb Kelleher: The Power of Authentically Engaging Employees

“He was the best listener I’ve ever met in my life,” Parker said. “You tell people that and they’re kind of surprised (because) he always talks so much.”

His attention was always focused on the conversation. It didn’t matter who else was in the room or walked into the room, Parker said.

“He was intently listening,” Parker said. “That was really helpful to me. What I realized is that’s how he learned so much. And he really cared about what people had to say and their thoughts and where they came from. … I think that’s how he go so well in touch with his people (at Southwest). That’s how he got to know what was going on at his airline.”

“Kelleher was a legendary character and an upstart maverick who disrupted an industry.” www.leanblog.com

How To Remember Names

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
-Dale Carnegie

One of the best ways to make a favorable first impression — and to get ahead socially or in business — is to remember people’s names. You can improve your ability to remember names if you will follow these four steps” www.witt.com

Workplace Theft Is on the Rise

Your office is a den of thieves. Don’t take my word for it: When a forensic-accounting firm surveyed workers in 2013, 52 percent admitted to stealing company property. And the thievery is getting worse. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports that theft of “non-cash” property—ranging from a single pencil in the supply closet to a pallet of them on the company loading dock—jumped from 10.6 percent of corporate-theft losses in 2002 to 21 percent in 2018. Managers routinely order up to 20 percent more product than is necessary, just to account for sticky-fingered employees.

JAMES GRAHAM

 

Some items—scissors, notebooks, staplers—are pilfered perennially; others vanish on a seasonal basis: The burn rate on tape spikes when holiday gifts need wrapping, and parents ransack the supply closet in August, to avoid the back-to-school rush at Target. After a new Apple gadget is released, some workers report that their company-issued iPhone is broken—knowing that IT will furnish a replacement, no questions asked.” www.theatlantic.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

February 4th, 2019

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

15 Years Ago, Google’s CEO Had a Brilliant Response to a Tricky Interview Question – and it Helped Him Get Hired

“When it comes to job interviews, we all want to give answers that make us stand out from the rest of the candidates. That means knowing how to answer each question, including the tricky ones designed to stump you.

But what if you don’t know the answer to a question?” www.cnbc.com

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Make Way for Generation Z in the Workplace

They are risk-averse and more diverse, says Inc. magazine. Forbessays they “want to work on their own and be judged on their own merits rather than those of their team.”

Generation Z is arriving, and they are different than previous generations – or at least that’s how this young cohort is being portrayed as it begins to enter the workforce. After the traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Y/millennials, we have Generation Z – that group born after 1995 now starting to graduate college.

But is Generation Z really different, and if so, how? When it comes to ascribing characteristics and accepting advice about a particular generation, caveat emptor. Over-generalizing about any group is a slippery business.” www.knowledge,wharton,edu

2019 Workplace Trend Predictions

The Fox Architects office just received the Fitwel 3 Star Rating – Image by Ron Blunt Photography

“Happy New Year, WDM readers! Work Design publisher, Bob Fox has again spent the month of January picking the brains of industry experts, clients, and peers while reviewing patterns in the market to round up his predictions for the biggest workplace trends in 2019. His list of five major trends include some new and some continuations that he expects will make an impact on the workplace this year..” www.workdesign.com

Modern Office Design: The One Thing Employees Want Most

“In the war for top talent, many employers assume the way to win is to offer employees unique and trendy perks—arcade games in the breakroom, fully-stocked beer fridges and on-site dry cleaning services, to name a few. It’s a reasonable assumption since those are the kinds of fringe benefits mega-successful corporate giants like Google and Amazon provide.

However, there’s one simple element of modern office design that has a much greater effect on employee productivity and well-being: abundant natural light.” www.iofficecorp.com

“As a content-obsessed millennial, I have made podcasts part of my daily routine for years. I listen while commuting, cooking, running errands, putting away laundry, washing dishes or during any relatively mindless activity that can be done while wearing wireless headphones.

My bond with podcasts is so cemented that it comes as a shock when someone I meet at a party — or someone in my family, or a friend I thought I knew — tells me that they, in the year 2019, do not listen to podcasts. And never have. And don’t really get what it’s all about. And, worse, don’t quite know how to start.” www.NYTimes.com

 

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

© Ken Ashley 2019