ULI Chicago News

Spend a Day with ULI Chicago’s UD/MUC Blue Flight Council

ULI Chicago’s Urban Development/Mixed Use Council (UD/MUC) Blue Flight hosted an all-day event on April 23rd which was the second in a three-part series for 2015.  This local version of the National Product Council program is new to ULI Chicago and consists of over 70 ULI Members, in two Flights, from a diverse cross-section of the real estate industry.  The CPC format offers a unique opportunity for members to engage in an ongoing conversation about real estate, redevelopment, and land use trends with their peers and offers access to leading industry professionals.   Learn more about Chicago’s Product Councils

To give members a taste of the Council experience … spend the day with us.  The April 23rd meeting started with ‘Know your Council Members!’, moderated by Ronan Remandaban of Lee & Associates and Co-chair of the Blue Flight Council, which consisted of presentations by Molly Eckerdt, Preservation of Affordable Housing on their Woodlawn Development; Tom Bernier, Bucksbaum Retail Properties on their Addison Park on Clark Development in Wrigleyville; and, Doug Smith of Perkins + Will who presented on the Cook County Medical P3 Development and an exciting redevelopment project in Istanbul.

Next was a panel discussion on technology in real estate moderated by Meghan Webster and Todd Heiser of Gensler who facilitated a lively and candid discussion by Bruce Barron (Origin Ventures); Jordan Fishfeld of Peer Realty; and, Dan Lyne of CBRE.  Topics included the backstory on 1871 and how tech incubators and other new tech uses are shaping real estate development.

Paul Rickelman of Neal + Leroy and Matthew Otto of Apex Companies, LLC presented an overview of the redevelopment/revitalization of the Motor Row neighborhood, the impacts of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority’s new arena and hotel, as well as the new CTA Green Line Station, and how they have spurred development opportunities.  We also explored how pioneer businesses such as the soon to open Baderbrau Brewing facility at 25th and Wabash are sparking redevelopment.

Other presentations included a teleconference with Brian Oszakiewski who is Governor Rauner’s Policy Advisor for Infrastructure and a compelling presentation and question and answer session with Jeff Malehorn, CEO of World Business Chicago.

The afternoon continued with a presentation and tour of Hines’ Wolf Point and River Point developments.  The Hines team gave exceptional insight into the design, development, and future plans for these exciting riverfront developments that are improving Chicago’s unique skyline.

The final stop was a tour of the new healthcare incubator, Matter, and an informative talk led by Ross Ulrich of Gensler and Matter’s CEO Steve Collens.  Matter is an extraordinary next step in Chicago’s transformation into a tech hub.

Council members enjoyed a full-day of sharing, learning, and exchange.  The key takeaways from the day included how the tech sector is positively impacting many facets of the commercial real estate market and the many positive trends that are showing up in the market including revitalization of neighborhoods and large-scale development of trophy assets.  These trends are a direct result of investment from private and public entities in the region.

Council Chair, Jim Smith, Kensington Realty Advisors, Inc., says initial feedback from the Council members has been overwhelmingly positive and they are looking forward to the final Council meeting for 2015 in September.

Authored by Matthew Otto, Apex Companies, LLC, and Co-chair, UD/MUC Blue Flight

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