ULI report explores factors that will shape urban growth
Washington, D.C. A new report released Tuesday by the Urban Land Institute uncovered a series of factors that are expected to guide real estate investment and shape urban growth in the years ahead.
The report, Finding Certainty in Uncertain Times, found that even in economic uncertainty, there are still some elements of certainty, such as demographic shifts, financial industry restructuring, global competitiveness and sustainable building, that will guide real estate in the future.
The collection of commentaries from ULI’s five senior resident fellows — Stephen Blank, Edward McMahon, John McIlwain, Thomas Murphy and Michael Horst — examines trends in population growth, consumer housing preferences, employment, real estate finance, environmental conservation, energy efficiency, venture capital investment and public leadership. These factors, according to Finding Certainty, are converging to shape a new era of urban economics within which cities and urban regions will have to compete in order to be successful in the 21st century.
“These trends will continue regardless of location, of which political party is in power, and of how quickly we recover from the recession,” said the report. “Taken collectively, they will create the ‘new normal.’”
“As the housing markets recover, demand will increase significantly for smaller, greener homes, more rental than in the past, and more compact, walkable urban centers in the suburbs as well as in many, but not all, central cities. The biggest challenge (in center cities) will be finding suitable, affordable locations,” McIlwain wrote in the report. “There will be metro areas that will attract the brightest and best, and will continue to grow and provide opportunities for development. Within these metro areas, some local markets will thrive; these are the compact, walkable communities, which are finding increasing demand as people look to new ways to define livability.”
McMahon, ULI’s senior resident fellow for sustainable development, maintained that the push for more environmentally conscious development practices will be driven at the state and local levels of government, and by the private sector, rather than at the federal level. He cited a steady increase in the number of buildings entering into the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star program, and a surge in the number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified professionals as evidence that interest in green building has remained strong, despite the recession.
Walmart to sell Apple’s iPad
Bentonville, Ark. Walmart will start selling Apple’s iPad in some stores by Friday and in a majority of locations by the height of the holiday shopping season.
The chain will sell the iPad at Apple’s suggested retail price, which range from $499 to $829 depending on the model. It will be available online but must be picked up at stores.
Target began selling the iPad earlier this month and Best Buy Co. has carried the computer tablet since it came out in April.
Dollar Tree moves beyond border
The acquisition of 85 Dollar Giant stores in Canada by Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree gives the company its first international exposure and a potential new avenue of growth. Dollar Tree currently operates 3,961 stores in 48 U.S. states.
“I am excited about the opportunity to expand our presence into Canada,” said Bob Sasser, Dollar Tree president and CEO. “Dollar Giant is an excellent fit for us. This acquisition will enable us to further leverage our resources and infrastructure to offer more value to more customers. It provides Dollar Tree with an outstanding platform for significant, profitable growth in the Canadian market.”
Both companies are single price point retailers. Merchandise sold at Dollar Tree is offered for $1 or less while Dollar Giant sells for $1.25 in Canadian dollars.
Dollar Tree said it expects to complete the $52 million acquisition by mid-November.