by Stephen Ursery
The National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) is holding its 47th Annual Spring Journalism Conference here at the Hilton Atlanta this week, and The Wilbert Group is there in force. In addition to our clients participating on numerous panels and hosting several high-profile events throughout the week, The Wilbert Group is providing pro bono communications for the conference and President Tony Wilbert is co-chair of the Host Committee.
In the spirit of the High Five blog, here are five quick blurbs about the sights and sounds of the show thus far:
#1 Taking Them Out to the Ballgame. About 30 real estate journalists and industry members took in the Atlanta Braves’ extra-inning win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. A blazing summer sun and some good ‘ole Southern humidity made the first few innings something less than completely comfortable, but according to our sources, the group from NAREE was feeling a lot better after a frosty beverage or two and the much-anticipated sunset.
Our sources also can confirm that France Media Editor Matt Valley provided extensive analysis of the Braves’ season so far on the post-game shuttle ride back to the Hilton.
Those in attendance included Ralph Bivins of Realty News Report, Harold Bubil of the Sarasota Harold-Tribune, Michael Bull of Bull Realty, Sue Doerfler of the Arizona Republic, Liz Gillespie of North American Properties, Daniel Taub of Bloomberg, Kristi Swartz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Scott Trubey of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, to name just a few.
#2 Go West Young Man (And South. And East). In the “Top 10 Issues Facing Residential and Commercial Real Estate Over the Next Decade” session on Wednesday morning, Howard Gelbtuch, chair of the Counselors of Real Estate, pinpointed Brazil, China, India and Russia as countries poised for significant economic growth – and, thus, growing commercial real estate opportunities – in the coming years.
#3 Not Getting out of the House. Gelbtuch also noted that the trend of working from home will have a growing impact on the office sector. “This year, 30 percent of U.S. professionals chose to work from home, and this number is expected to skyrocket over the next several years,” he said.
So if you’re reading this from the den while on the company dime, you’re not alone.
#4 Urban is In. In the “The Workplace Debate: Downtown vs. Suburbs” session on Wednesday afternoon, the panelists made it clear that tenants now want to be in walkable urban environments to attract workers.
According to David Kitchens of Cooper Carry, 85 percent of the projects that the firm’s Washington D.C. office is working on are around a transit station or a planned transit station.
#5 Small is In, Too. Both the “Workplace” and the “Top 10” sessions touched on the shrinking size of much of commercial space. According to David Demarest of Jones Lang LaSalle, Gen Y workers simply don’t need a lot of square footage to put stuff. “Everything they need is in this (holding up iPad) or an iPhone” he said.
Likewise, many apartments that are less than 320 square feet are being sold in New York City, Gelbtuch noted.