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Commercial Real Estate Topic at Conference held at University of Miami

  • Commercial Real Estate Topic at Conference held at University of Miami

    Commercial Real Estate Topic at Conference held at University of Miami

    The commercial real estate market appears to be shifting due to social and monetary forces and was the focus of an in-depth discussion at the University of Miami Real Estate Impact Conference, hosted in February by the School of Architecture and the School of Business Administration. The discussion was moderated by Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, general manager of the Cambridge Innovation Center. The discussion also featured panelists with focuses in real estate investment and modern office spaces.
    The first part of the discussion focused on the greatest issues the panelists believed will face the real estate investment market in the near future. The overall consensus was a tried and true belief in property, that of “location, location, location.” Those involved in real estate investment are seeing disruption of old trends, as larger percentages of the population are moving to urban areas. One member of the panel stated that location is most important in the retail mall experience, as shoppers now want entertainment as well as a variety of shopping options. Many retail and shopping centers are now seeing an increased variety of service buildings, such as supermarkets and gyms, in order to provide an array of services to shoppers increasingly turning to online commerce as the main way of purchasing goods.
    Urbanization is also a leading factor in the growth of office spaces, including individual and alternative office formats. Michael Gross, vice chairman of the office space provider WeWork and one of the panelists included in the discussion, said that the movement of skilled workers is creating need for office space even outside major metropolitan areas. Secondary cities, such as Tampa, Atlanta, or Austin, are seeing large increases in population as high rent prices force young workers away from traditional urban areas, such as New York.
    A final topic discussed between panelists involved the role of hotels in today’s work environment. Panelists touched on the difficulties facing hotels, including the idea that profit and higher usage rates is based on the difficult need to be different or cooler than the nearby competition. The unique model of home sharing business such as airbnb also provide challenges, although panelists mentioned that traditional hotels are much better equipped to handle business travelers compared to casual leisure travel.
    The overall conclusion that the panelists reached was that consumer patterns and habits are changing, and businesses who have more flexibility in location and services provided are more likely to survive and thrive within urban areas, such as Miami.