Design of a future city

Right Place, Right Time: Predicting the Next Hottest Sectors in CRE

Technology is disrupting practices and processes across CRE and every major industry around the world. So which trends should you be focusing on? SmithGroupJJR President and Managing Partner Mike Medici will facilitate a discussion on emerging technologies shaping the future of real estate at Commercial Real Estate Conference this Sept. 26-28 in Scottsdale, Arizona. In this new Conversation Corner format, the dialogue will include the next sectors to emerge, potential winners and how to capture your fair share. We get a preview from Medici on what he plans to cover.

 Mike MediciNAIOP: Which sectors do you predict will boost the CRE industry in the next cycle?

Medici: I believe we’ll see continued growth in hoteling/flex and creative class office space like Makerspaces and WeWork. Independent contractors will continue to affect the CRE industry for flex space in urban environments. Urban areas with older existing buildings will need to find new life! Older/vintage buildings are now seen as desirable or “cool” and will be reinvented as flex inventory.

NAIOP: Who are the “winners” now – those that successfully predicted what would be the strongest office sectors this cycle?

Medici: Smart cities prepared their cores for live/work/play opportunities and saw a major influx in housing, retail, restaurants and flex office space recreated both from existing stock and by adding new developments. Legacy cities (Pittsburgh, Detroit, Philadelphia) previously known as post-industrial or Rust Belt have had a remarkable resurgence. Even second-tier cities have jumped on the bandwagon – the landlocked city of Tempe, Arizona, has waited through two cycles and is finally on fire. A mix of urban flavors, housing and office – Tempe has more momentum than most cities. Even Mesa, Arizona, is joining in the urban downtown wave. The Arizona State University Mesa Downtown Campus is being designed and funded as an economic engine.

NAIOP: How can CRE leaders keep tabs on which emerging sectors may be successful in the future?

Medici: Certainly the fact that 63 percent of the population will live in urban settings by 2040 is a telling sign. Urbanization is a leading indicator for the future. The challenge is, can we keep up with the infrastructure and transportation requirements? How will driverless cars affect office space, transit-oriented development and urban infrastructure core? When do I stop building parking structures? We might also see traditional industries reinvent themselves to compete with newer technology-driven companies. What if General Motors repositioned themselves as a technology company and competed with Facebook, Google and Twitter to hire the same engineers? How will artificial intelligence and interactive visualization effect the future of the work environment and commercial real estate needs? These are important questions to consider. Also, follow the money: technology companies, financial companies – where are they investing and exploring?

Join Medici and other commercial real estate thought leaders for fascinating insights on this topic and more at Commercial Real Estate Conference 2016, September 26-28, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Visit the conference website for the full agenda, and get a preview of the innovative development projects on the pre-conference tours.

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