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By Jake Ables, director of concrete promotion, Silvi Materials When choosing a pavement surface for large-scale industrial facilities, there are several different factors that developers may want to consider. Chief among those factors, in the context of our current construction economy, is sustainability. Current trends in the Mid-Atlantic warehouse markets, for example are pushing developers, contractors and suppliers towards sustainable construction practices. We have seen evidence of this with the implementation of environmental product declarations (EPDs) that disclose the global warming potential (GWP) of building materials on various construction projects. The purpose of these documents is to quantify the environmental impacts of building materials. As the push for sustainability increases, it behooves developers to look for sustainable value when and where they can find it.   Life Cycle Thinking As the push for sustainability intensifies over the coming years, property developers’ will see their priorities adjust to compensate for changing market conditions.  While costs will always be at the forefront of concerns for developers, sustainability is becoming an ever-higher priority.  So what does that mean for developers? We believe it means a shifting mindset toward sustainable value over costs. Concrete paving provides the life cycle value that developers are seeking …

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Despite strong fundamentals and a plethora of buyers waiting to transact, the industrial sector is experiencing dwindling sales as the industry is still reeling from the impact of rising interest rates. The U.S. industrial sector recorded $82 billion in sales volume in 2023, a 46 percent year-over-year decline and the lowest sales volume in about six years, according to data from Matthews Real Estate Investment Services. Newmark tallies the first three months of the year totaling $16.9 billion in U.S. industrial sales volume, which would be the seventh consecutive quarter of annualized declines. Michael Brennan, co-founder, chairman and managing principal of Brennan Investment Group, said that the rising cost of debt inherently makes values a moving target even in a healthy sector like industrial real estate, especially with such a massive upswing in interest rates over a short time frame. “Interest rates are the No. 1 problem for real estate,” said Brennan. “Buyers and sellers can’t see eye to eye. And make no mistake, prices went down, though maybe not as much as we thought they would have.” The data backs Brennan up as the average price per square foot was recorded at $130 at the end …

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Hillside-Village

By Taylor Williams Everybody loves a good underdog success story, but sometimes the Goliaths of the world just have too much going for them to get beat by the Davids.  All retail owners worth their salt recognize the unique draws that boutique, original concepts bring to their shopping centers. But landlords’ fiduciary responsibilities often dictate that they bring in heavier proportions of national credit tenants that can afford top-dollar rents — all other factors being held equal. And in a market defined by (relatively) high costs of capital, low vacancy, healthy demand for space and rising operating expenses, established brands have the edge.  “The market definitely favors national credit tenants that are well-financed and have hundreds if not thousands of locations,” says Will Majors, senior vice president in CBRE’s Austin market. “At minimum, it favors franchised locations with national corporate offices that support the franchisees.” According to data from CBRE, the direct availability rate for retail space in Dallas (not the metroplex as a whole) stood at 4.8 percent at the end of the first quarter, essentially unchanged from a year ago. In Austin, the availability rate currently clocks in at 3.4 percent, just 10 basis points higher on a …

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Eran Dor Pavlov Spaces Multifamily Amenities quote

The multifamily industry faces a major challenge. Final construction costs have grown 33 percent since 2019 interest rates and operational expenses are sky high; and rents may need to increase, where possible, to make deals feasible — an off-putting reality for residents. One developer solution is smaller apartments, which make units cheaper. There is also a push to add more common-space amenities that are both valuable and less costly to include. These features include rooftop spaces, green areas and decks. However, to make these spaces truly usable for today’s multifamily residents, it is important to make them technologically flexible and to offer easy internet connection. “The floor plans of most new-construction multi-dwelling units (MDUs) today are shrinking, and their amenities are expanding,” says Bryan Rader, president of MDU at networking and internet service company Pavlov Media. According to RentCafe, the average size of newly constructed apartment units fell by almost 6 percent in a decade, with half of that change occurring in the last year. Rader likens it to the “resort-style community” approach, where hotel rooms are small, and guests are encouraged to spend time everywhere else on the property. Similarly, multifamily developers create shared amenities such as comprehensive fitness …

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912-Broadway

By Blima Ehrentreu, founder and CEO, The Designers Group The urban real estate landscape is undergoing a remarkable transformation. With shifting work patterns and changing societal needs, design and development teams are working to convert underutilized office buildings into vibrant residential spaces. As office vacancy rates rise in cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago, this challenge drives creative solutions that blend design innovation, virtual planning and sustainability. This dynamic landscape provides an exciting platform to reimagine urban living and meet the evolving demands of residents. At The Designers Group (TDG), we embrace the concept of adaptive reuse. Rather than tearing down old buildings and starting from scratch, we see value in maintaining existing structures and repurposing them in innovative ways. This approach not only aligns with our commitment to sustainability but also offers a chance to preserve the character and history of urban landscapes. Industrial elements such as exposed brick, concrete pillars and high ceilings can be integrated into residential designs, creating unique and compelling aesthetics. This focus on adaptive reuse means less waste and smaller carbon footprints, which is critical in today’s environmentally conscious world. By working with what already exists, we minimize the need for new …

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InterFace Conference Investor Panel

ATLANTA — Workforce housing is a hot topic in the multifamily sector. The apartments are designed to serve middle-class renters, with no government subsidies such as tax credits and fewer of the bells and whistles associated with luxury projects. The combination of the spike in the cost of living, elevated interest rates and a low housing supply has made it difficult for middle-income households across the nation to buy or rent housing. Theoretically this means there is a large market to serve by building workforce housing communities. However, while some developers, owners and investors see a world of new opportunities in this sector, others are more skeptical that workforce housing projects can be developed on a larger scale without more support from federal, state and local governments. This was the topic of discussion during a panel titled “Who is building, developing and investing in the Southeast?” at the inaugural InterFace Affordable Housing Southeast conference. The event was held on Thursday, May 9 at the Cobb Galleria Center in Atlanta. France Media’s InterFace Conference Group and Southeast Multifamily & Affordable Housing Business magazine hosted the conference, which drew about 170 industry professionals.  Workforce housing targets the missing middle Workforce housing is designed to …

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— By Anthony Sanchez, design director and principal, Nadel Architecture + Planning — Consumers are heading back to the shopping mall, which is great news for retail owners, operators and tenants that rely on in-person sales and experiences as part of their respective business models. According to Placer.ai, February and March of this year saw a steady rise in foot traffic at malls nationally. Indoor malls sit just 5 percent below their pre-pandemic foot traffic levels, while open-air shopping malls surpassed 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic.  The trend marks an incredible resiliency for the retail space, especially as financing and inflationary issues loom over the economy. But with all these shoppers coming back to the mall, the question is: will they recognize it? Anchors Entering a New Era With news of some larger retailers like Macy’s and the Dollar Store closing locations en masse, developers are chomping at the bit to reimagine those spaces. There is exciting potential to recreate them within malls in ways that enhance the overall shopping experience for consumers and attract new foot traffic – all to the benefit of the existing retailers at the shopping center. The result might be a …

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There are a common set of headwinds — such as high construction costs and interest rates — facing the commercial real estate industry at large. But affordable housing development and operations also come with a unique set of challenges all their own. Despite this, panelists at the InterFace Affordable Housing Southeast conference, held May 9 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, expressed an optimistic outlook for the sector.  Closing out the day’s events, speakers on the “Southeast Regional Housing Authorities & Legal Update” panel shared strategies for surviving within the current affordable housing landscape and highlighted the importance of planning ahead to succeed in the sector.  The devil’s in the details Most crucial to navigating the sometimes tumultuous waters of affordable housing is engaging in thorough — even painstaking — preparation, concurred each of the panelists. This is especially true given the current macroeconomic climate and its difficulties.  When asked how her organization confronts these challenges, Yvonda Bean, chief executive officer with Columbia Housing, identified an emphasis on facilitating communication within the project team for planning purposes.  More specifically, Bean reported that Columbia Housing connects the “general contractor with the architect to work on design plans” early on, such that when …

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Galleria-White-Plains

If the whole mall redevelopment thing doesn’t work out, you can always become a marriage counselor. Perhaps some additional training and education would be needed for such a career transition to actually take place. But mall and shopping center owners who undertake high-risk redevelopments undoubtedly have firsthand appreciation of the importance of providing clear and courteous communication to the many different groups they deal with, from municipal leaders to longstanding tenants to onsite contract workers. That’s not to say that poor communication will necessarily kill a mall redevelopment. The inability to secure zoning overlay districts, civic partnerships for infrastructural improvements or feasibly priced construction loans in 2024 — these are variables over which mall owners have limited control and can actually sink these projects in their infancy. And those factors only come into play once the development team has done its due diligence and determined what uses and levels of density the project will feature.  “After you’ve considered the macro-level needs of the market and the asset itself, you enter a phase that we call ‘the minefield map,’” says Steve Plenge, CEO of Pacific Retail Capital Partners. “Reciprocal easement agreements [that regulate design or tenancy issues] by parties with ownership …

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ATLANTA — In order to satisfy long-term affordability commitments, builders and designers of affordable housing must be well educated about the sector’s exacting design and construction rules, which are typically driven by the source of a project’s funding. A panel of construction experts speaking at the InterFace Affordable Housing Southeast conference held Thursday, May 9 at Cobb Galleria Centre shared insights about how their industry is meeting these standards today. The inaugural conference hosted by France Media’s InterFace Conference Group and Southeast Multifamily & Affordable Housing Business drew approximately 170 industry professionals. Energy efficiency, teamwork and accessibility were three themes running through the discussion. Accessibility in multifamily construction refers to features that enable people with disabilities or limited mobility to navigate common areas and individual units comfortably and safely. Many of these building features are required by various laws. “Get your consultants, architects and contractors to help you put the deal together,” advised Ross Haynes, chief executive officer of Roswell, Georgia-based Community Construction Group. The company focuses on construction and renovation of affordable housing projects.  “That team is there to understand the code requirements that affect the job, including energy programs and accessibility,” added Haynes. Specific energy-efficiency requirements for affordable housing vary. …

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