Futureproofing Real Estate from Climate Risks: New ULI & Heitman Report Released
Futureproofing Real Estate from Climate Risks: New ULI & Heitman Report Released
Local ULI Chicago Members Win National WLI Prologis Scholarship & Attend ULI’s Fall Meeting
ULI Chicago had two local members awarded the 2019 WLI Prologis Fall Meeting Scholarship. Lissa Lunt, Vice President, Pritzker Realty Group, and Sarah Wick, Senior Associate, Related Midwest, competed in a nation-wide application process and were two of the ten recipients, receiving complimentary registration to the Fall Meeting, participation on a National Product Council, as well as a WLI mentor and access to WLI Fall Meeting events.
Lissa and Sarah, who recently returned from the ULI Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., share more about their experience below.
Lissa Lunt, Vice President, Pritzker Realty Group
I was honored to attend this year’s ULI Fall Meeting in D.C. as a WLI Prologis Achievement award winner. The ULI Fall Meeting offers an exceptional opportunity to connect with senior leadership in the industry and experience first-hand the groundbreaking and transformative developments that are reshaping the host city. In D.C. this year, my experience was amplified by the opportunities afforded from the Prologis Award, which included a guest spot on a national product council (Urban Development Mixed Use – Platinum) and attendance at various events sponsored by ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative and Prologis.
With my career focus primarily in multifamily investment and development in core, urban markets, the several UDMUC tours and presentations of “real deals” in the District were a highlight for me. It was clear from these projects (The Wharf, 14th Street, The Liz, the Ballpark) that the complementary mix of uses and their effective integration were key to the vitality and success of the ending product. Hearing from the development teams first-hand in an open and honest dialogue on the challenges and lessons learned from these complicated projects (in addition to their obvious successes) provided great perspective and some valuable takeaways that I will be able to apply in my own work.
We were fortunate to hear a presentation from Madison Marquette on the development of the District Wharf, a 3.2 million sf mixed-use development along D.C.’s southwest waterfront. We heard about Madison Marquette’s bold vision to develop and deliver the entire phase 1 of the development at the same time, and then walked the final product. In one (very large) development, a new neighborhood and entertainment district was brought to life in a completely under-utilized part of D.C. In seeing and hearing about the project, the District’s success is driven by a well-thought mix of uses including residential (rental and condo), office, hotel, retail, dining, a 6,000 seat concert venue, and of course the waterfront amenities. The developers also used a different architect on every component of the project and emphasized local operators / retailers to add to the authenticity of the project….which surely also added to the complexity of the execution. It’s an impressive project and fantastic example of placemaking through thoughtful, mixed-use development, executed through public-private partnership.
The key benefit to participating on the council, of course, was the opportunity to meet and network with the impressive roster of council members. I appreciated how forthcoming the members were in their dialogue around key industry issues and developments and thank them for welcoming me at the various council events. I made many great connections and genuinely enjoyed my time with the council.
I want to thank WLI, Prologis and my mentor Serena Wolfe for this opportunity, but more importantly for all the work they’ve done to promote the advancement of women in our industry and increase the visibility of women leaders. The women I met through the WLI and Prologis events have dedicated so much of their time and energy for this cause and inspired me to find more ways to give back and mentor other female colleagues. Thank you again to Serena, WLI and Prologis for an awesome experience.
Sarah Wick, Senior Associate, Related Midwest
Thanks to ULI’s WLI Prologis Scholarship, I had the opportunity to attend the ULI Fall Meeting in Washington DC. This is only the second Fall Meeting I’ve been able to attend, and this was the first time I was able to attend WLI events at a national level. Participating in the WLI portion of the ULI Fall Meeting was important to me for two reasons. First, the networking and new relationships that are forged through WLI are invaluable. I was motivated and inspired by the industry professionals – both men and women – that are drawn to participate in WLI. Secondly, it became clear to me that WLI is fulfilling its mission to increase the number and visibility of more women throughout ULI’s as evidenced by the following:
These statistics are striking. And they evidence that by being intentional, we can change the face of real estate development.
Through WLI, I also learned that there are efforts throughout the US to go beyond the reaches of ULI to increase visibility of women in real estate. For example, the WLI New York Chapter recently received a Hines Innovation Grant to develop web based video content geared toward exposing high school aged women of color to view real estate development as a viable career path. And the WLI Toronto Chapter is expanding a podcast series that features conversations with women in their industry that focus on female leadership, city building, challenges and career development.
I also had the opportunity to guest on the Affordable / Workforce Housing Product Council. Product councils allow for the exchange of best practices and market trends coupled with an honest dialogue of the current challenges we’re all facing. Unfortunately, my counterparts at the national level that are working to build and preserve quality affordable housing are faced with the same conundrum as those of us in Chicago. Construction costs are rising, while affordable housing resources continue to get more constrained. Meanwhile, the demand for affordable housing increases. In general, the theme that reverberated throughout the Product Council day was that public policy has not been effective at enabling and incentivizing the creation of affordable housing. As developers in this industry, our role is to work within the parameters that are defined by programs and our government agencies. And in general, the residents we’re working to serve are those making less than 60% of Area Median Income, which is roughly $50,000 for a family of four (in Chicago).
I was encouraged to know that there are efforts at the national level to come up with potential solutions or proposed modifications to public policy that could increase the supply of affordable housing. The first is that there is a group who has pulled together a Housing Affordability Toolkit. This is a publication that is grounded in a significant amount of research, including illustrating a number of case studies, that is intended to help public policy makers and advocates understand a number of ways to incentivize affordable housing development. The second movement afoot is through the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 that would expand and strengthen the existing Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program to produce more units of affordable housing and better serve a number of at-risk and underserved communities. There are currently members of both the Senate and Congress, both Republican and Democrats, who are supportive of this bill. However, there is still work to do to gain further support.
In all the WLI Prologis Scholarship allowed me to gain access to WLI at a national level, as well as provide an opportunity to guest on a council that aligns with my career.
Senior women at Prologis created the grassroots group Breakthrough that supports the retention of women and identifies and removes barriers to advancement for Prologis across the globe. Breakthrough’s goals resonate with those of WLI in that Breakthrough strives to create a work environment where women feel connected and empowered, while creating a business culture that offers opportunities for success and recognizes the value of a gender-diverse workforce.