If you don't see images, click here to view
Story Ideas  .  Events 
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More...
To ensure delivery, please add newsletter@bisnow.com to your address book, learn how
Real Estate Bisnow
Washington | New York | Chicago | Dallas-Fort Worth | Houston | Boston | Atlanta | Los Angeles | South Florida | Baltimore | National
January 13, 2011 
Ride a Mile

Up for delicious appetizers and great networking? Come to Bisnow's first big event of 2011: Power Networking. Take a sneak peek at the menu on our event page (click just below the margarita). Tues, Jan 25 at Trece Restaurant. Sign up today!

There is but one way to truly understand wheelchair accessibilty when designing buildings and offices: Architects in wheelchairs.
Swain Mayo
We snapped W.R.A. Architects principal Swain Mayo, who took up the challenge in the fall as part of the Dallas AIA’s Accessibility Awareness exercise. He was navigating the long, uphill handicap entrance to the Dallas Center for Architecture along with nine other AIA members who spent a day in wheelchairs. Swain says the experience opened his eyes to the difficulty of doing everything seated: getting in and out of a vehicle and even opening a door. BGO Architects’ Walter Kilroy, who organized the event during his term as committee chair, says while meeting code has always been in the back of his mind, hearing the challenges of getting around from a wheelchair-bound attorney lead to this program.
Jonah Sendelbach
Walter says more than 50 architects have participated in this social experiment over its six years, including Page Southerland Page associate Jonah Sendelbach, whom we caught struggling to get in the door at the DCFA. The participants start the day with an agenda of things to test. Ramps (as Swain learned) may be hard to navigate. Jonah found many issues in his first few hours: “I had to back up to get into the elevator and it was a small maneuvering space; the walkway into the building was hard to get up, too.” Then, there was the trashcan under the handicapped sink in the restroom and the paper towel dispensers that were away from the sink and too high to reach. Before lunch, Jonah already had blisters on his hands from braking on the steep handicap ramps. Lessons learned, he says.
Walter Patterson
Community activist Walter Patterson, who contracted polio as a toddler, spoke at an AIA luncheon as part of the awareness activities. He tells us when architects experience the challenges of disabilities, it yields better results. Common activities like getting a cup of coffee or purchasing a pack of gum from a vending machine can be very challenging for anyone with a motion-related impairment, he says. His advice to architects: Forget the past, and don't be limited by your budget. Coming up with a creative way to move people from the ground floor to a higher one may cost more than sticking an elevator in the corner of a department store. But the more accessible and attractive you make a building, the more people will want to come and experience it.
David Shively
This was Page Southerland Page senior associate David Shively’s second time doing the event. (In back, HKS intern Tucker English waits his turn with MAA’s Drew Hayes in white.) He encouraged others to give it a try—even for an hour at a time. ADA compliance is more than just a requirement, he says, and this experience can help make the world a better place.

Paul Landen, Brad Williams, Jody Thornton, Steve Richter and Greg Nelson
Volatility may be the story of 2011, according to a panel in Houston earlier this week arranged by Baker Botts and Ernst & Young. Our Houston reporter snapped moderator Baker Botts’ Paul Landen, Ernst & Young’s Brad Williams, HFF’s Jody Thornton (a Dallas boy who must've gone south to dodge the snow), Weingarten CFO Steve Richter, and Baker Botts’ Greg Nelson in the Houstonian. In good news, Jody says companies are again underwriting for rent and job growth. And he’s heard some surprising news: At a conference in December, every institution had a handful of multifamily starts planned for 2011, and all were predicting double-digit rent increases. He also just sold a hotel at a 4% cap, which he’s never seen before.
Mark Cover, Mark Grinis, Steve Richter and Greg Nelson
Hines’ Mark Cover and Ernst & Young Global Real Estate Funds leader Mark Grinis join Steve and Greg on stage. Now for the shaky stuff: Mark Cover believes we’re at an inflection point. Risk's been inappropriately priced for a long time, and the market will be uncertain until it’s corrected. He believes the corporate war for talent will make companies willing to pay high rents to get in Class-A buildings. Mark Grinis says global funds have singed fingers and aren’t investing in real estate. Some ’09 vintage funds are filling the void, but active funds have very focused goals. (Jody says “fund” is the new F word, since those deals are so tough to get underwritten.)
Mark Grinis, Steve Richter and Greg Nelson
Steve says for a while public companies had the upper hand, but by the end of 2010, private firms were leveraging better. He and Jody are seeing investors drift away from the core properties (which have seen a bubble of their own) to chasing yield. Steve says retailers have been in good shape through the recession and want to grow. The few remaining developers should have opportunities to build this year, although most want double-digit returns. He tells us new lease rents are soft, but renewals have been more competitive with 3% to 5% increases. Last, keep your eye on DC lawmakers, says Greg, tax issues could be significant in 2011. For example, watch the deficit reduction bill, which includes a territorial tax system. If we switch to that, the US will no longer tax worldwide income for companies based here. Since the current system prevents companies from headquartering in Dallas, a change could have a big impact on CRE.
What's the word? Tell Tonie Auer, tonie@bisnow.com.
Haynes Boone 3
Hill Wilkinson (Values)
Kurz (Property Tax)
Beck Group4
Corenet SW (Jan)
Toby BOMA (spirit)
CONTACT EDITORIAL                             CONTACT ADVERTISING                              CONTACT GENERAL INFO


This newsletter is a journalistic news source which accepts no payment for featured interviews. It is supported by conventional advertisers clearly identified in the right hand column. You have been selected to receive it either through prior contact or professional association. If you have received it in error, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe at bottom of the newsletter. © 2010, Bisnow on Business, Inc., 1817 M St., NW, Washington, DC 20036. All rights reserved.

Real Estate Bisnow Sent Using iContact