October 22, 2019

Take 5 from the ULI Fall Meeting

October 18, 2019
Libby Lassiter, President

In late September, I had the honor of attending the ULI Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Bayer Properties. Several encounters and experiences made the two-day conference stand out from past industry events, including the closing interview of former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

Another highlight from the event was making a new connection with Steven Burke, a sustainability manager with the Boston contractor Consigli. Steven is involved with BuildingGreen, an industry group whose mission is to bring sustainability into the construction field. I was immediately interested in expanding BuildingGreen to include our contractor friends in Alabama. As some of you may know, sustainability in CRE has become one of my biggest passions and I fully intend to do all I can to deliver on this within Bayer’s projects and our vendors.

Throughout the conference, I attended four sessions and participated in the CRCGold Council Day. The event featured several interesting speakers and topics, from the store of the future to technology and beyond. While many sound bites really captured my attention, my top five key takeaways from the event are highlighted below:

1. Hipsturbia is an emerging trend that will take CRE by storm: You can take the hipsters out of urban areas, but you can’t take the cool coffee & doughnut shops, microbreweries, etc., out of the hipster.

2. Amazon spends $22 billion annually on live experimentation to learn lessons during the R&D process. They spend more in this area than almost all other top companies combined.

3. Technology is rapidly evolving to create face-to-face activity and interaction versus personal inactivity (phone-to-face). I can’t wait for the tech gurus to make that work. Would anyone else like to see phone-to-face dining become a thing of the past?

4. The biggest assemblage of wealth in real estate has been in the downturns, not in the upturns.

5. The creative class is on the rise and will soon be much more prevalent in the tech spotlight, replacing engineers in the tech driver’s seat. Not 100% sure I believe this prediction.

Lastly, my trip ended on a high note while touring the Apple store at the Carnegie Library. The innovation on display was breathtaking and it was so interesting to see how this design principled retailer was able to create an incredibly rich and unique experience in an iconic building.

As we continue creating places people love at Bayer, we’ll surely keep these educational moments top-of-mind.