Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

March 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

There’s Only One Blockbuster Store Left in the Entire Worl

“Blockbuster was once one of the largest retailers in the world. It helped move the consumers’ ability to watch movies from the theater to the home, via stores that offered videotapes of mainline films for rent. Eventually, it was buried by Netflix and other companies that offered DVDs via mail, and then the emergence of streaming. Two Blockbuster stores survived as of this week. One will close later this month, and that leaves only one left in the world.

Blockbuster was founded in 1985. At its peak, in 2004, it had over 9,000 stores. About half of those were in the United States. Blockbuster’s employee count in the same year was 84,000, which is nearly triple what Google parent Alphabet has today.” www.usatoday.com

The exterior of a Blockbuster video rental store is seen February 10, 2004 in San Francisco. Soon there will be only one Blockbuster location left in the world, a store in Bend, Oregon.

The exterior of a Blockbuster video rental store is seen February 10, 2004 in San Francisco. Soon there will be only one Blockbuster location left in the world, a store in Bend, Oregon. (Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Heads Up, Real Estate World, Driverless Cars Are Coming

“…to get these vehicles fully driverless will take longer to develop than the low-speed autonomous shuttles. These cars would be an advantage for suburban areas, helping to increase real estate values further away from urban centers with faster travel time and more options.

However, the transportation information entrepreneur warns planning ahead for this technology is critical. Within dense urban areas, it could increase traffic, congestion and parking problems. This would require appropriate charges for driving and parking within the city.

“Very strong leadership would need to be ahead of this,” warns Matt Caywood. “People don’t worry about things until it becomes a problem. At that point it becomes a really big problem.” www.globest.com

Matt Caywood, CEO of TransitScreen

Matt Caywood, CEO of TransitScreen

Elon Musk Had a Great Week

“Elon Musk can exhale.

The entrepreneur has been on edge since SpaceX launched a spacecraft to the International Space Station last weekend. The launch went smoothly, the Falcon 9 rocket lighting up the night sky like a flare in the darkness. And SpaceX spacecraft have visited the space station more than a dozen times before, to deliver supplies and science instruments to the astronauts on board. But this mission was unlike the others. The spacecraft that launched on Saturday was designed to carry humans.” www.theatlantic.com

Parachutes soften the descent of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft on its return to Earth.

Parachutes soften the descent of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft on its return to Earth.NASA 

1B SF Of New Industrial Deliveries Not Enough To Satisfy Demand

“Industrial tenants want more space and they want it now.

Industrial supply nationwide is through the roof — with nearly 1B SF of new space coming online during the last three years — but it isn’t enough, according to a report.

Warehouse

Despite the surge in supply, there was positive net absorption in 43 of the 47 markets that were tracked during 2018. During the fourth quarter, 40 markets enjoyed positive net absorption. www.bisnow.com

The People Who Eat the Same Meal Every Day

Two pieces of bread—one spread with peanut butter and one spread with jellyYURIY GOLUB / SHUTTERSTOCK

“So there is nothing wrong with this habit. In fact, there are many things right with it. I spoke with about half a dozen people who, at one time or another, have eaten the same thing for lunch every day. Together, their stories form a defense of a practice that is often written off as uninspired.

Many of the people I talked with emphasized the stress-reducing benefits of eating the same thing each day. Amanda Respers, a 32-year-old software developer in Newport News, Virginia, once ate a variation on the same home-brought salad (a lettuce, a protein, and a dressing) at work for about a year. She liked the simplicity of the formula, but the streak ended when she and her now-husband, who has more of an appetite for variety, moved in together six years ago. Would she still be eating the salad every day if she hadn’t met him? “Oh heck yeah,” she told me. “It would’ve saved so much time. 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

March 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

Stressed at Work? Mentoring a Colleague Could Help

“Our experiment results showed that people who served as mentors experienced lower levels of anxiety, and described their job as more meaningful, than those who did not mentor. We learned from our interviews that mentoring afforded senior (officials) a venue for discussing and reflecting on concerns. Mentors heard their mentees’ accounts of anxiety and realized these feelings — which they also shared — were commonplace. By acknowledging that these anxieties were common, both mentees and mentors grew more comfortable in discussing them and in sharing different coping mechanisms. Mentors often found their interactions with junior colleagues therapeutic.” www.bisnow.com

ZHAO HUI/GETTY IMAGES

Real Estate Giants Try to be More Like WeWork

“…at Dock 72, an innovative new building in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard where WeWork’s custom co-working offices and Rise by We fitness studio will soon fill a third of the square footage, landlords are claiming a small victory. The building, co-owned by Boston Properties and Rudin Management, has its own tech. Rudin’s technology subsidiary, Prescriptive Data, has developed a mobile app to serve as tenants’ main portal for interacting with the building.

For Dock 72, Rudin developed a mobile app to serve as tenants’ main portal for interacting with the building. [Image: courtesy of Boston Properties]

The Dock 72 app will allow tenants and their employees to enter the building, register guests, book fitness classes at the in-house studio, order and pay for food at the cafeteria, book shared conference rooms, and submit work orders for maintenance issues. Data from the app will also provide the property’s operators and managers with real-time insights into the patterns of users, helping to improve building services and performance. With the app, Michael Rudin, senior vice president of Rudin Management Company, says he wants the building to be cashless.” www.fastcompany.com

Canyon Ranch to Bring Its Trailblazing Wellness Model to Senior Living

“Canyon Ranch is entering senior living at a time when many operators are reconfiguring their operations to focus on wellness. Based on what he has seen in the resort industry, Milner is confident that Canyon Ranch will provide a more robust and time-tested offering than potential competitors, however.

Photo credit CanyonRanch and Leisuremanagement.co

“Resorts would claim to have spas or wellness programs and when you really looked under the marketing and looked at substance, there [was] not much there,” he said. “So, I’m not educated enough yet on senior housing as a segment [to know] how serious these wellness programs are, and I hope there are some really serious players in it, but I certainly know there’s not anybody with our wellness background and skill set in the market.” www.seniorhousingnews.com

A Historic Rocket Launch Lights Up the Night; SpaceX is one step closer to returning human spaceflight to U.S. soil.

MIKE BLAKE / REUTERS

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—The stars were out over the marshlands near the launchpad. Crickets trilled a steady melody, interrupted by the occasional squawk of a bird flying low over the water. Except for a few pops of lightning, the sky was a very deep blue, almost black. It was, by all appearances, nighttime.

Then came a burst of blinding light.

A SpaceX rocket ignited its engines just before 3 a.m. ET on Saturday and rose like a ball of fire against the sky. A gold-colored glow spread across the horizon, like a racing sunrise in the middle of the night.

For the first time, a commercially built spacecraft designed to carry humans has launched to the International Space Station. www.theatlantic.com

NASA Is Rushing to the Moon

The American flag stands upright on the surface of the moon.JOHNSON SPACE CENTER / NASA

“The Trump administration wants to put humans on the moon by 2028. Unlike the Apollo program, this won’t be an in-house effort. NASA has asked American aerospace companies to submit designs for transportation systems that could be launched and tested, without a crew, as early as 2024. Applications are due in late March, and the winners stand to receive contracts worth from $300,000 to $9 million. Potential participants include longtime NASA contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman; the quirky-billionaire-owned SpaceX and Blue Origin; and smaller, more obscure companies.” 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 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!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

January 28th, 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 Pushing Hard Into Ocean Shipping, Making it Easier for Chinese Goods to Get to You

“Quietly and below the radar, Amazon has been ramping up its ocean shipping service, sending close to 4.7 million cartons of consumers goods from China to the United States over the past year, records show.

This marks a significant move into what many believe is the company’s overall strategy of eventually controlling much of its transportation network, from trucks to airplanes and now to ships.” www.usatoday.com

A cargo ship carrying shipping containers

(Photo: Getty Images)

Future and Growth of Transportation Market by 2020

Future and Growth of Transportation Market by 2020
Image credit: Shutterstock

“The business world is facing a complete overturn, and so does every industry vertical. The spending on IoT (Internet of Things) in the digital age is going to increase multifold with a net worth crossing $581 billion by 2020, as per McKinsey. Transportation and logistics are the backbones of the economy and an integral part of almost every business are also going to spend over $40 billion on IoT platforms, systems, and services by 2020, as per Statista. These facts clearly signify the new opportunities that the Transportation market is expecting in near future.” www.entrepreneur.com 

The 512W22 office building in Manhattan has 16,920 square feet of terraces and a common roof, all planted with native grasses and trees. CreditCreditCookFox Architects

“For years, office architects and designers have been bringing nature into the workplace, incorporating materials like wood and stone and strategically deploying plants and botanical artwork.

Now, companies are inviting employees to step outside for a taste of the real thing.

Employers with suburban campuses have long turned swaths of blank lawn into furnished outdoor areas where workers can meet with colleagues, work alone or simply take a break from their computer screens.

Now, developers and owners of urban office buildings are adding terraces and transforming once-barren rooftops into parklike settings, where workers can plant vegetables, unfurl yoga mats or swing in a hammock.” www.nytimes.com

Biggest Multistory Warehouse In The U.S. Planned For Brooklyn

A rendering of Sunset Industrial Park, a four-story, 1.3M SF warehouse planned in Brooklyn

“This will be a groundbreaking project for the U.S. industrial market, not only because of the building’s unprecedented design — essentially, four separate, stacked distribution centers — but also because of the enormous benefit it will have from a ‘last mile’ standpoint,” Bridge Northeast Region partner Jeff Milanaik said in a press release. ” www.bisnow.com

Upward Momentum: Charting a Year of Skyscraper Construction

Charting a Year of Skyscraper Construction

Ever since the first towering spires broke through the clouds in New York and Chicago, skyscrapers have remained a potent symbol of economic might.

The tallest buildings require vast amounts of materials, expertise, and capital to make them a reality, but the cities that add these landmarks to their skylines gain prestige and send a powerful message to competing economic centers. www.visualcapitalist.com

 

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

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

January 14th, 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

Construction Costs Complicating Developer Pricing, Tenant Decisions

“At North American Properties‘ Colony Square redevelopment project, the prolific developer secured an agreement with its general contractor that will cap any construction cost increases.

That was something that the developer rarely ever considered before the Great Recession of 2008, Managing Partner Mark Toro said.

“Pre-recession, we did not see the kind of run-up [on construction pricing] that we have seen this time in this cycle,” Toro said. “The level of activity is not unprecedented by any means … but it’s by far the most activity we’ve seen in our careers. And that’s what’s leading to the pricing pressure.” www.bisnow.com

“After a morning of tedious three-ring-binder presentations from executives, and stuffy lectures by professors, it was time for the keynote speaker. Herb walked to the podium, lit a cigarette, poured a glass of Wild Turkey bourbon, and delivered what remains the most hilarious, baudy, utterly brilliant CEO speech I have ever heard. When I spent a little time with him after the talk, I realized immediately that I was in the presence of leadership greatness — an entrepreneur who was as smart as he was sassy, as competitive as he was human, as consequential as he was approachable.” www.hbr.org

DAVID WOO/GETTY IMAGES

How Google Will Destroy Uber

“Google’s Waymo has officially launched the world’s first self-driving, ride-sharing service! Residents in four Phoenix suburbs can now ride around in its robo-taxis for a small fee.

In RiskHedge, I recently explained why self-driving cars are going to gut the auto industry like a fish. And Phoenix is only the first step in Waymo’s domination of American roads.

Here’s why…..” www.forbes.com

This Book List Will Almost Earn You A Ph.D. In Leadership

“Some books stick with you, long after you’ve closed the cover. The best books linger for decades, changing the way you look at the world. Those were the sorts of books we requested when we asked 20 world-class scholars to recommend titles for our 2018 list of the best leadership books available.

You can’t actually earn a Ph.D. in leadership from reading these books. (If you really do want to earn your doctorate, we hope you’ll check out this Ph.D. program in leadership, for senior executives.) What the books will do for you, however, is provide mind-stretching insights that help you think deeper and lead stronger.

We assembled this list of readings from some of the smartest people we know: top scholars with extensive practitioner experience. We asked them to tell us about the books that changed the way they think and lead.

The remarkable list ranges in year of publication from 1958 to 2018, and the topics are almost as diverse. Below we share the insights of the experts who recommended each title. We also suggest who on your holiday list might enjoy reading each book” www.forbes.com

Here’s What the Big Tech Companies Know About You

“The novelty of the internet platform boom has mostly worn off.

Now that companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet are among the world’s most valued companies, people are starting to hold them more accountable for the impact of their actions on the real world.

From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the transparency of Apple’s supply chain, it’s clear that big tech companies are under higher scrutiny. Unsurprisingly, much of this concern stems around one key currency that tech companies leverage for their own profitability: personal data.” www.visualcapitalist.com

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

We Interrupt The Normal Bookmarks Blog Post to Bring You Some POSITIVE Economic News

January 7th, 2019

For a number of years I’ve curated updates in this space on the CRE world. Today, we take a short break to focus on a different topic – the economy. I’m frustrated that some media outlets harp only on the negative news at every turn. This is one of the best economies of our lifetime – please read beyond the trending and check out the good news out there. #factsmatter #don’tjustreadtheheadlines

Credit: iStock

The Labor Market Would Like You All To Stop Panicking Now Please

“Job gains were led by the healthcare industry, which added 50,000 jobs in December, as well as construction, which added 38,000 jobs. Construction employment increased by 280,000 jobs over the year.” www.bisnow.com 

'The Labor Market Would Like You All To Stop Panicking Now Please': Economists React To December Jobs Report On Twitter

Fed Chair in Atlanta Boasts About Economy

“…Powell said he remains upbeat and has not made up his mind about further rate hikes this year.

“There is no preset path for policy,” he said. “We are always prepared to shift economic policy and to shift it significantly.”

The Fed is “listening carefully to the message that the market is sending,” he said.

Powell spoke Friday after release of the monthly government report that showed a gain of 312,000 jobs in December – about twice as many as had been expected. The report also showed wages rising. While the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9 percent, that increase was caused by a surge of new workers, he said.

That report was evidence that the economy is chugging along steadily and can probably more easily handle more rate hikes.”  www.ajc.com

 

Strong U.S. Job and Wage Growth Provides Assurance on Economy

“All the while, the economy kept cranking out jobs. U.S. employers added a net 2.64 million jobs to their payrolls in 2018, the best year since 2015. Payrolls have grown for 99 straight months, by far the longest stretch of steady hiring on record.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9% in December from 3.7% but remains low by historical standards. The increase owed in part to more people entering the workforce, some of whom get counted as unemployed while they’re looking for work.

Stock prices, already moving up on the economic news, jumped even higher after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed would be patient about further increases in rates this year.”[WSJ Paywall] www.wsj.com

 

Businesses across many sectors have been searching for workers as the labor market has tightened.
Businesses across many sectors have been searching for workers as the labor market has tightened. PHOTO: JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

U.S. Stocks Surge on Powell Remarks, Jobs Report

“U.S. stocks bounced back from their worst two-day start to a year since 2000, soaring Friday after fresh signs of economic strength eased fears that slowing growth around the world could drag on the U.S. expansion.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 750 points as better-than-expected hiring in December suggested a healthy labor market. Stocks rose further after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said economic data suggest good momentum heading into the new year, but that the central bank is “prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly” if necessary.

The combination mitigated investors’ worries about an economic slowdown. Those fears sent waves of volatility sweeping through stock and bond markets in recent weeks…” [WSJ Paywall] www.wsj.com

Q and A on the Big December Jobs Report

“The big news is that the jobs market apparently didn’t get the memo that the U.S. economy was barreling toward a recession. In fact, the jobs numbers came in a lot stronger than expected. Payrolls were up 312,000 in December, compared with expectations for about 180,000, and bringing the full count of jobs added for 2018 up to 2.6 million jobs, the strongest year for job gains since 2015. Wage growth accelerated slightly and, at 3.3 percent (before inflation) for mid-level workers, tied an earlier cyclical high. Weekly hours edged up slightly, jobs gains for the prior two months were revised up, and 70 percent of private industries added jobs on net, a high share for that metric.” www.washingtonpost.com

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

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

November 26th, 2018

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

The Benefits of a Short Attention Span

I’ll make this a quick read | “..yet blaming smartphones for our distractibility feels too easy—human attention has always been fleeting. A study conducted several years before the first iPhone was unveiled found that workers spent an average of just two minutes using a particular tool or document before switching to another. Moreover, interruptions may have a silver lining. Many workers who were insulated from distraction by website-blocking software became more aware of time’s passage and were able to work for longer stretches—but also reported higher stress levels as a result of their sustained focus.

Illustration: woman looking at phone

For those seeking to exercise greater control over their attention span, science has some suggestions. A 2016 study found that mindfulness meditation led to short-term improvements in attention and focus, and that the benefits were disproportionately large among heavy multimedia multitaskers.  And research published earlier this year suggests that the long-term attentional benefits of regular mindfulness practice may be even more substantial than previously thought. www.theatlantic.com

“Doctors rely heavily on faxes in both routine and high-stakes situations. According to Vox, one industry analyst estimates that 75 percent all of all medical communications still happen by fax. Occasionally, news outlets describe this phenomenon, mostly as human-interest stories: “Medical Students Flummoxed by Fax Machines” or “Med Students Are Puzzled When Forced to Use This Ancient Technology.” Despite confusion and frustration, though, the business of faxing continues on. Part of this has to do with an interpretation of a clause in hipaa, a U.S. health-privacy law, which requires health providers to take reasonable steps to safeguard patient information. Because this rule explicitly mentions fax and not email, some providers interpret the law to mean that records must go by fax.

A row of fax machinesDADO RUVIC / REUTERS

That habit dies hard. A start-up called PatientBank, which allowed users to share and receive medical records digitally, shut down in January, partly because weaning hospitals from fax proved too difficult. Paul Fletcher-Hill, a PatientBank co-founder, told me that one reason hospitals cited for their continued dependency was security: Many believed that hacking computer systems were easier to hack than fax machines—and that computer hacks were more damaging.

“There’s a perception that digital systems are easily hackable, and it’s true that many hospitals have struggled with ransomware attacks recently,” he said. There’s some truth to the claim that fax is more secure, in the sense that even if a signal is intercepted—which is very possible—compromising a single transmission would be less severe than hacking an entire system of digital records. So while fax may be more vulnerable in individual instances, in the aggregate, it may be more secure..” www.theatlantic.com

“When American engineers started adding bike lanes to American streets about a decade ago, they changed the model, creating a “protected” bicycle lane once misleadingly called “the Copenhagen lane.”

CreditCreditTop: Photo by John Massengale; Bottom: Rendering by Gabrielle Stroik Johnson; Design by Massengale & Co LLC

In Copenhagen, wide cycle lanes on both sides of the street buffer equally wide sidewalks from traffic.CreditFrancis Dean/Corbis, via Getty Images

 

We see examples on many Manhattan avenues, with parked cars sitting awkwardly between moving traffic and grossly striped bike lanes. Every planner and urban designer I’ve talked to in Denmark and the Netherlands says their countries would never build such ugly, over-engineered streets, which diminish the pedestrian experience and give high priority to traffic flow at 35 m.p.h. and above.” www.NYTimes.com

HQ2 Is Only Part of the Story of Big-Tech Expansion

“When word got out that Amazon is going to split its HQ2 between New York City and greater Washington, D.C., as the company made official today, many saw it as evidence of the widening gap between America’s coastal superstar cities and the heartland. Amazon is expanding from Seattle, a successful tech hub on the West Coast, to the world’s leading global city (New York) and the capital of the most powerful nation on Earth (Washington), both of which sit on the East Coast Acela corridor, equivalent to one of the world’s largest economies. With Google planning yet another expansion in New York, here is another example of winner-take-all urbanism.

While it is true that the geography of big tech reflects a winner-take-all pattern, not everything follows the shift of Amazon and Google to East Coast superstar cities. Indeed, tech in San Francisco may be reaching a saturation point as many of its big firms appear to be heading elsewhere, including some smaller, “rise-of-the-rest”locations.” www.citylab.com

World’s Biggest Companies Plan to Get Down With WeWork Effect

“The biggest employers on the planet see a future filled with free beer and new age motivational posters. Their offices will need to catch up.

WeWork co-working space in London Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

After WeWork Cos reinvented the office experience for freelancers and start-ups, large businesses see their use of flexible space rocketing over the next three years. More than half of them expect the non-traditional space to account for at least a fifth of the total compared with about 5 percent now.

“WeWork has changed the narrative around corporate real estate,” said Lee Elliot, a CRE trends researcher. “As well as seeking more flexibility, big businesses will increasingly look for “amenity-rich environments that help their employees with the challenges of modern work.”

The shift presents a major challenge to the world’s biggest landlords, which have traditionally focused on securing long-term leases to maximize the value of buildings and reduce the risk of vacancies. In London, landlords including British Land Co., Great Portland Estates Plc and the Crown Estate Ltd. have begun using some of their buildings as flexible spaces in response to changing demand.” www.bloomberg.com

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

© Ken Ashley 2019