ULI Chicago News

Young Leaders Embrace Industry Advice in Three Part Speaker Series

It has been a busy start to the New Year for the ULI Chicago Young Leaders, as many recently gathered over the course of three consecutive weeks to participate in the 2nd Annual Small Group Discussion Series. This three-part speaker discussion series showcased CRE professionals from The John Buck Company, Skidmore Merrill Owens, and Singermen Real Estate. Each of the three events proved to be full of dynamic industry insight and meaningful dialogue.

Part 1: The John Buck Company – Development Case Studies
The first event featured Dominic Adduci, Principal and Senior VP of Development Division, and Mark May, Senior Vice President, of John Buck’s Development team who shared case studies for several of their ongoing projects. Project S’Park, located in Boulder, Colorado, is an innovative mixed use development strategically placed on 6.8 acres of land in the city’s thriving downtown tech district. The property makeup consists of 144 market-rate rental apartments, 38 affordable rental apartments, 89,000 SF of office and 43,000 SF of retail.

While heaving soils and deep basement parking proved to be a challenge for the Buck team in Boulder, mixing classic and modern design was a nonnegotiable component for project 3Eleven, said Adduci and May in their second case study overview. Located in central River North, this multi-family residential tower is replacing the parking lot of Assumption Catholic Church. Innovative entitlements for the Servite Friars of Assumption Catholic Church were undeniably crucial in getting this project approved. With 245 rental units in current development, occupancy is set to begin in 1Q 2018.

Part 2: Skidmore Owings & Merrill – Smarter Urbanism: A Global Perspective
Part 2 featured Arathi Gowda, Associate Director, Sustainable Design Specialist, Thomas Hussey, Director, Urban Design & Planning and Adam Semel, Managing Director of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill. Where the Buck Team discussed hyper-local projects, the SMO team covered the current state of global cities and what the future looks like for urban environments. Notable facts included, but were not limited to:

  • By 2050, 75% of the planet will live in cities.
  • 50% of the U.S. GDP is generated in just 22 urban areas.
  • Chicago ranks 7th in the Global Cities Index, Rank and Score.

The SMO team challenged the Young Leaders to think about Chicago’s water re-usage tactics, green spaces, and access to clean energy. They stressed that Chicago needs to be more forward thinking in all of these areas in order to stay competitive with the other major global cities, and we as CRE urban professionals can join together to help that effort.

Part 3: Singerman Real Estate – Starting a RE Private Equity Fund
To conclude the small discussion series, Seth Singermen, Managing Principal and Luke Lopatka, Associate, of Singermen Real Estate explained the necessities and complexities of starting a SRE Opportunity Fund. Singermen shared his career triumphs while also light heartedly deterring the Young Leaders from ever starting their own discretionary fund. Singermen and Lopakta broke down the three types of opportunity funds one can start, while showcasing the strengths and weaknesses of each type of fund.

Lopatka explained that the Singermen team focuses on class b markets that cater to their asset classes. But, he stressed that the only way to understand a market footprint is to physically visit and spend the necessary time on the ground. Buzzwords like guts, persistence, and insanity were used to describe this part of the CRE Industry.

The Small Discussion Series is designed to educate Young Leaders while connecting them with some of the most respected firms and individuals in the Chicago CRE scene. With a record attendance this year, plans to continue this series in 2018 are already in place. Stay tuned for more Young Leader events this year.

Authored by Matt Cermak, Chicago Title Insurance Company

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