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Andy Ball's Take on ULI

Suffolk Construction CEO Andy Ball says there has been an optimism and vitality recognition that things are going well at ULI's big annual show this week in San Fran. But inevitably there are grumblings about how difficult it is to do business in S.F., and how the construction and land costs are too high, and entitlements are frustrating. While there are lots of obstacles, he thinks the other side of the coin has always been if you are in a successful market, people are going to flock to it.

One of Andy's latest projects is 1900 Broadway, right on the BART in downtown Oakland. Integral out of Boston is buying the site from Mission Bay Development managing principal Seth Hamalian, who got it entitled. It's ground zero for a new development, especially since Uber is expanding nearby at Uptown Station. Andy's lived in East Bay for more than 20 years and tells us this is Oakland's time more than any other. Home prices have doubled over the past few years and rents that were once $2.50/SF are now about $4.50/SF, which justifies new development. 

Andy's been on the party circuit all week, despite a hurt foot from working out (not pictured), including Cushman & Wakefield 600-person fete at the Press Club. 

Andy doesn't think anyone is going to find a major city in the world where it's easy to get entitlements. People who dive into this market are amazed how long it takes and the political process, he says. But this is America, the land where everyone gets a say—and the right to get in your way, he says. Don't miss Andy speaking at Bisnow's Bay Area Multifamily Heatin' Up event on Oct. 15, starting at 7:30am at Hotel Kabuki. Register now!