In Part 2 of our two-part series, Brittani Sanders, one of our 2017-18 Kahan Fellows, shares her musings and major takeaways from the 2018 ULI Spring Meeting in Detroit.
Each year, ULI Chicago’s Jeffrey Kahan Fellowship recipients attend the ULI Fall and Spring Meetings, gaining valuable insights from the senior CRE players who convene semi-annually to attend their US Product Council meetings. Our 2017-18 Kahan Fellows, Julie Heigel, Assistant Vice President, Waterton Associates LLC, and Brittani Sanders, Director, Multi-Family, CRG Real Estate Solutions, mixed it up a bit from years past while attending the 2018 ULI Spring Meeting in Detroit. Instead of attending their typical Industrial and Office Park Development Council (IOPC) meeting, Heigel and Sanders were both guests of the Multi-Family Council – Green Flight.
This year’s ULI Spring Meeting was held in Detroit. The city has done a great job reinventing itself after bankruptcy. However, there still appears to be a great deal of work left to do in order to attract significant institutional investment.
I had the opportunity to be a guest on the Multi-Family Council – Green Flight and it was one of the most amazing professional experiences I have had in my career. I spent a considerable amount of time touring Downtown Detroit, networking with other members of various Multi-Family Product Councils, listening to prominent speakers and engaging in dialogue around current real estate market trends throughout the country.
Bedrock Detroit is making significant investments in Downtown Detroit, primarily in the form of office and residential value-add projects. Bedrock is also currently developing a major ground up project in the heart of the CBD. It will include almost 1 million square feet of spec office space and a mixed use tower with ground floor retail, a hotel and luxury apartments. The company’s use of technology to showcase their work was innovative and very effective in communicating the story of growth throughout the CBD.
As a part of the walking tour, we also visited Little Caesar’s Arena, the new home of the Red Wings and Pistons, where we toured the Arena Bowl and underground hockey practice facility, as well as the Olympia District Detroit Preview Center.
All of the Multi-Family Product Councils gathered to hear Daryl Carter, Chairman & CEO, Avanath Capital Management; Dan Gilbert, Founder & Chairman, Quicken Loans, Inc. and Rock Ventures LLC; Kevyn Orr, Partner, Jones Day; and my personal favorite Stephen M. Ross, Chairman, The Related Companies.
ULI Chicago’s Jeffrey Kahan Fellowship is a sponsor-funded program designed to allow promising ULI Chicago members under 35 to participate as a Full Members in ULI for one year and to join a US Product Council at the ULI Fall and Spring Meetings. Applications for the 2018-19 Jeffrey Kahan Fellowship will be released soon.
Still curious about ULI’s 2018 Spring Meeting in Detroit? Check out some of the other Spring Meeting Recaps from Urban Land magazine.