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An urbanizing world has put commercial real estate practices in the spotlight. Gensler’s Co-CEO’s Diane Hoskins and Andy Cohen discuss the ways the industry can lessen its climatic stress.

Mass urbanization and commercial real estate’s climate impact demand strong action by designers, urban planners and architects, developers and legislators around the world. It’s also a subject that Gensler has taken very seriously: the Gensler Cities Climate Challenge (GC3) outlines the firm’s commitment to design all their projects to net-zero standards by 2030; and addressed it in their recently released Design Forecast “Shaping the Future of Cities.” Diane Hoskins and Andy Cohen, Co-CEOs at the leading global design firm, spoke to GlobeSt.com about the real estate industry’s most urgent climatic challenges and how CRE stakeholders are responding.

GlobeSt.com: How has CRE’s climate impact changed and how much will that burden expand in the future?

Diane Hoskins: The growth of cities creates so much more of a need to focus on buildings, which account for 40 percent of CO2 emissions in cities. Cities overall create 70 percent of CO2 emissions even though they’re only 2 percent of the world’s land mass. Since 1990, we’ve seen a 70 percent increase in the number of people living in cities (to 3.8 billion). That obviously means more CRE in our cities and thus more CO2 emissions.

Andy Cohen: We are adding about 1.5 million people to cities every week for the foreseeable future, and 80% of the world’s GDP is in cities. More than half of the global population is now concentrated in urban areas, and by 2060 two thirds of the expected population of 10 billion will live in cities. The way we design, build and operate new buildings, and how we reposition existing buildings to be more efficient are critical factors in our global efforts to address climate change and the effects of climate change.

GlobeSt.com: What are the biggest climate concerns and how can cities be more resilient in response?

Cohen: Cities are at the forefront of these issues, dealing with the real-time impacts of weather events, rising sea levels, migration, and resource scarcity. Ninety percent of the world’s urban areas are on coastlines, so they are increasingly at risk. Working together, governments, institutions, and investors can anchor city planning in resilience to produce tangible, positive impacts on people’s lives, jobs, health and well-being.

Hoskins: A multi-pronged effort regarding material choices, building retrofits and new construction standards is required. For existing buildings, how we upgrade systems and the building envelope from both a thermal and energy-generation standpoint is critical, using new types of glass and even brick and other types of veneers that sequester carbon.

GlobeSt.com: What impact is climate change having on the real estate investment sector?

Hoskins: At the 2019 ULI Fall Conference, one of the panelists talked about increasing coastal risk from rising seas. The investment sector in coastal US markets is really beginning to sound the alarm and take a harder look at the 10-, 20- and 30-year time horizon with regard to the risk and resilience of locations. We’re in the mode now of resilience thinking versus prevention. For example, in Miami it’s not about trying to stop sea level rise, but rather adapting to changing conditions. This includes having walkways at the second level and having entries that may be on the ground level but that are built with materials that can withstand the water. And in order to ensure that there isn’t a cataclysmic level of warming and flooding, it’s critical to address greenhouse gas emissions through building sector choices. Going to net zero can help keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius from now until 2050.

GlobeSt.com: What are the biggest CRE challenges to meeting and exceeding net zero carbon standards?

Cohen: We need to address everything from operational energy and the materials we choose, to how people travel and where we decide to build. We need our cities and governments to set goals in their cities and then take concrete steps to achieve them. We need investment from the private sector to assist with the gap in resilient design and high-performance measures, because the returns on these investments take time. And we need our cities to create densified zoning to encourage green development. We need all parties involved in development to design for zero carbon starting now and as desig
Approximately half of the luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold.

In Manhattan, the homeless shelters are full, and the luxury skyscrapers are vacant.

Such is the tale of two cities within America’s largest metro. Even as 80,000 people sleep in New York City’s shelters or on its streets, Manhattan residents have watched skinny condominium skyscrapers rise across the island. These colossal stalagmites initially transformed not only the city’s skyline but also the real-estate market for new homes. From 2011 to 2019, the average price of a newly listed condo in New York soared from $1.15 million to $3.77 million.

But the bust is upon us. Today, nearly half of the Manhattan luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold, according to The New York Times.

What happened? While real estate might seem like the world’s most local industry, these luxury condos weren’t exclusively built for locals. They were also made for foreigners with tens of millions of dollars to spare. Developers bet huge on foreign plutocrats—Russian oligarchs, Chinese moguls, Saudi royalty—looking to buy second (or seventh) homes.

But the Chinese economy slowed, while declining oil prices dampened the demand for pieds-à-terre among Russian and Middle Eastern zillionaires. It didn’t help that the Treasury Department cracked down on attempts to launder money through fancy real estate. Despite pressure from nervous lenders, developers have been reluctant to slash prices too suddenly or dramatically, lest the market suddenly clear and they leave millions on the table.

The confluence of cosmopolitan capital and terrible timing has done the impossible: It’s created a vacancy problem in a city where thousands of people are desperate to find places to live.

From any rational perspective, what New York needs isn’t glistening three-bedroom units, but more simple one- and two-bedroom apartments for New York’s many singles, roommates, and small families. Mayor Bill De Blasio made affordable housing a centerpiece of his administration. But progress here has been stalled by onerous zoning regulations, limited federal subsidies, construction delays, and blocked pro-tenant bills.

In the past decade, New York City real-estate prices have gone from merely obscene to downright macabre. From 2010 to 2019, the average sale price of homes doubled in many Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Prospect Heights and Williamsburg, according to the Times. Buyers there could consider themselves lucky: In Cobble Hill, the typical sales price tripled to $2.5 million in nine years.

This is not normal. And for middle-class families, particularly for the immigrants who give New York City so much of its dynamism, it has made living in Manhattan or gentrified Brooklyn practically impossible. No wonder, then, that the New York City area is losing about 300 residents every day. It adds up to what Michael Greenberg, writing for The New York Review of Books, called a new shameful form of housing discrimination—“bluelining.”

We speak nowadays with contrition of redlining, the mid-twentieth-century practice by banks of starving black neighborhoods of mortgages, home improvement loans, and investment of almost any sort. We may soon look with equal shame on what might come to be known as bluelining: the transfiguration of those same neighborhoods with a deluge of investment aimed at a wealthier class.

New York’s example is extreme—the squeezed middle class, shrink-wrapped into tiny bedrooms, beneath a canopy of empty sky palaces. But Manhattan reflects America’s national housing market, in at least three ways.

First, the typical new American single-family home has become surprisingly luxurious, if not quite so swank as Manhattan’s glassy spires. Newly built houses in the U.S. are among the largest in the world, and their size-per-resident has nearly doubled in the past 50 years. And the bathrooms have multiplied. In the early ’70s, 40 percent of new single-family houses had 1.5 bathrooms or fewer; today, just 4 percent do. The mansions of the ’70s would be the typical new homes of the 2020s.

Second, as the new houses have become more luxurious, homeownership itself has become a luxury. Young adults today are one-third less likely to own a home at this point in their lives than previous generations. Among young black Americans, homeownership has fallen to its lowest rate in more
Sterling Bay
Sterling Bay’s Dallas project is part of a national expansion

A Chicago developer that just snapped up a building site in Dallas’ Deep Ellum district has had its eye on the neighborhood for a while.

And while Sterling Bay Cos. officials say it’s too early to talk about exactly what it will do with the more than 2.5-acre tract just east of downtown, you can take some clues from the developer’s recent projects at home in Chicago and elsewhere.

“Deep Ellum is a market that’s been on our radar for a long time,” said Ryan Walsh, Sterling Bay’s director of acquisitions. “Sterling Bay has had a lot of success in Chicago in a neighborhood called Fulton Market — a former meat-packing district that has transformed into a hub for dining, residential, retail and offices.

“We pioneered the development transition there, starting with the Google building.”

With new construction, Sterling Bay converted an almost century-old, 10-story cold storage building into Google’s Midwest headquarters.

“We look for neighborhoods that remind us of Fulton Market across the country,” Walsh said.

Deep Ellum is one of those gentrified commercial districts that’s transitioning into a higher-density, mixed-use neighborhood.

Uber has started construction on a new regional headquarters in the area on Pacific Avenue. And more new apartment, office and retail projects are on the way.

The property Sterling Bay bought in December is across from the DART rail station at Malcolm X Boulevard and Indiana Street. It includes a vacant 70,000-square-foot building on the site that was previously occupied by animation firm Reel FX.

Surrounding property owners say they expect Sterling Bay to raze the block of low-rise buildings that date to the 1950s and 1960s to make way for a more vertical development.

“So much of that Deep Ellum market is fractured ownership, and it’s difficult to get a site of scale and the sheer size of ours,” Walsh said. “We think it’s right on what we think is the 50 yard line of Deep Ellum.”

Walsh said whatever the developer does, it will fit into the neighborhood. “We don’t want to develop buildings that seem out of place,” he said. “Our McDonald Headquarters building (in Chicago’s West Loop area) is brand new, but it looks like a 100-year-old warehouse.”

Walsh said Sterling Bay is “kicking off our planning in earnest” for the Deep Ellum project, but that it’s too early to discuss specifics.

The Dallas project is part of a national expansion for the more than 30-year-old company, which has more than $8 billion in projects in its development pipeline.

Along with building Chicago projects for Google and fast-foot giant McDonald’s, Sterling Bay is building a 55-acre riverfront project at home called Lincoln Yards.

But the company is also diversifying its operations to new markets, including Dallas, Miami and Portland, Ore.

“We expanded outside Chicago into Miami’s Wynwood District — a thriving arts and retail neighborhood,” Walsh said.

Sterling Bay’s 545wyn project in Miami is a 298,000-square-foot creative office and retail building designed by architect Gensler.

In Portland’s Pioneer Square, Sterling Bay converted a historic 16-story department store building into flexible creative office and retail space.

“Google ended up taking the remaining half of that building recently,” Walsh said.

Along with projects for Google and McDonalds, Sterling Bay has landed other big office tenants in its projects, including Glassdoor, Dyson and Hillshire Brands.

Walsh said Uber’s plan to move thousands of workers to Deep Ellum will have a big impact on the area, fueling the desire for more office space. “Everyone saw the recent news with Uber taking substantial presence in Deep Ellum,” he said. “That same type of catalytic event happened with Google coming into Fulton Market in Chicago.

“It only makes sense people would like to office in the neighborhood they already like spending time in,” Walsh said. “Those are the neighborhoods we are looking at nationally.”

The Real Deal
The site is next to Related’s Icon Las Olas

Related Group paid $8 million for a development site on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard as it continues to bet on the city.

The Miami-based real estate developer bought the 0.35-acre parcel for $525 per square foot, marking the highest-priced land trade on Las Olas Boulevard, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Steelbridge, a Chicago and Miami-based private equity firm, sold the property.

Robert Given, Errol Blumer, Troy Ballard and Ricky Giles of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller in the deal.

The site has flexible zoning and could be developed into a residential, retail, hotel and office project, according to a press release.

The property is one of the last remaining undeveloped single parcels in downtown Fort Lauderdale, with 70 feet of frontage along Las Olas Boulevard. It’s next to Steelbridge’s Las Olas Square, a Class A, 278,635-square-foot mixed-use property anchored by the 17-story SunTrust Center. It’s also next to Related’s 44-story Icon Las Olas, a 272-unit multifamily project.

Known for its condo towers in Miami, Related is expanding its presence in Fort Lauderdale.

In December, Related scored a $47.9 million construction loan to build its New River Yacht Club III project in downtown Fort Lauderdale. In Fort Lauderdale Beach, Related developed Auberge Beach Residences and Spa, a luxury condo project at 2200 North Ocean Boulevard.
Gary Landsman
If only your office was as cool.

No, really. You might have a fancy rooftop deck, or a golf simulator, maybe even a white-tablecloth restaurant in the lobby. But you don't have the original costume Christopher Reeve wore in "Superman," or the Heart of the Ocean necklace Kate Winslet wore in "Titanic." And no way you have the sorting hat from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Those are just a few of the items on display in the Motion Picture Association's headquarters building in downtown D.C. The MPA moved in August from swing space at One Franklin Square back to its longtime home at 1600 Eye St. NW after a major repositioning by Trammell Crow Co. and Meadow Partners. The WBJ recently toured the improved space, designed by Gensler and chock full of stuff to geek out on if you're a fan of popular culture.

"What inspired this was kind of melding the idea of classic Hollywood and technology together," said John McKinney, a principal at Gensler who was part of the design team.

The building's showplace is its ground-floor event space facing Eye Street NW. Set against a wall fashioned to look like a movie curtain and interspersed with video screens showing TV or movie previews, you'll find a life-sized statue of Batman from "The Dark Knight Rises," a miniature space capsule from "Apollo 13," and the costumes Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto wore in "Star Trek: Into Darkness," among other things.

It's not a museum, mind you. It's a commercial office building redesigned for multiple occupants including the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, which plans to occupy about 14,000 square feet. But the MPA's members include the studios that brought Batman, Superman and Star Trek to the Silver Screen, and in this modern era of office as brand, the building features plenty of memorabilia on loan from those shops.

The association, with about 40 local employees and 200 globally, lobbies on behalf of its members just like every other government affairs shop. But it also holds plenty of events, including a couple of movie screenings a week on average in its freshly remodeled and expanded 118-seat theater, accessible from that ground-floor event space. It has hosted the likes of Charlize Theron in connection with a screening of "Bombshell," Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson for a screening of crime drama "Power," and Jane Fonda in connection with Mark Ruffalo's environmental drama "Dark Waters."

From there you can continue to a door leading into the building's main lobby, which also has a separate entrance at 888 16th St. NW. The MPA occupies about 30,000 square feet, including parts of the second floor and its main headquarters space on eight. As you might expect, there are all kinds of costumes and set pieces inside, including some of the weaponry from the "Men in Black" and a proton pack from the 2016 remake of "Ghostbusters."

That left Trammell Crow and Meadow with about 120,000 square feet to play with. The partners retained CBRE to market space, and having separate entrances helped downplay the impression that other companies would be taking remainder space the MPA didn't need.

"It was important to make sure that we kind of bring the building to current but also give an eye toward the future," said Jordan Goldstein, a principal and global design director for Gensler. "How does this building have a long life beyond its present and past?"

The MPA picked Trammell Crow Co. and Meadow Partners to reposition 1600 Eye as part of a competitive bidding process run by Savills Studley. The pair acquired a majority interest in the building for $32.25 million in 2017, while the association retained ownership of its space.

Renovations to the Brutalist structure, which dates back to the 1960s, included replacing the building's deep-set, punch-window facade with floor-to-ceiling glass, introducing a new fitness center, and converting mechanical equipment on the building's rooftop into usable, indoor-outdoor penthouse space. That prospect didn't come without its own drama, Goldstein said.

"The crazy thing is this building, which has some amazing views, had no rooftop, no occupiable rooftop whatsoever," Goldstein said. "In fact when we went out the first time and went to the corner, the building management at the time got a phone call from the White House. 'What are you guys doing?' Because the corner ironically, has a view between
Kaizen Development Partners
The new $1 billion+ mixed-use project from Kaizen Development Partners, Woods Capital, and Dundon Capital will reshape the Dallas skyline.

Opportunities like these don’t come around very often, and the partners behind the new Field Street District are determined to get it right. Kaizen Development Partners, Woods Capital, and Dundon Capital acquired two prime tracts on McKinney Avenue at Field Street this past summer, and have selected HKS Inc. as lead designer on their new mixed-use project.

Initial plans call for 1.2 million square feet of office space—in 700,000-square-foot and 500,000-square-foot towers—a hotel, and two residential towers with about 300 units in each. There also will be about 30,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet in amenity space, mostly restaurants and resident/tenant services.

“To be able to influence the Dallas skyline in a meaningful way, with what we’re doing vertically and horizontally—rarely do you get a chance to do this in an urban environment,” says Derrick Evers, CEO of Kaizen Development.

Along with HKS Inc., Beck is working on pre-construction and Kimley-Horn is the civil engineer. The project is getting support from Downtown Dallas Inc., DART, the City of Dallas, and other stakeholders, says Jonas Woods, CEO of Woods Development. “Everyone sees this as an important domino that needs to fall for the continued recreation of the urban fabric to take place,” he says. “It’s an incredible placemaking opportunity.”

The vision is to create a verdant neighborhood that’s grounded in nature. HKS was selected to lead the design, Woods says, because the firm paid a lot of attention to the ground plane: “It’s fundamental to the success of everything above … One of the concepts HKS came forward with is the idea of an elevated walkway on top of the DART rail line that runs along the property.”

The partners expect to break ground in the summer or fall of 2020, depending on preleasing. Interest in the project among brokers and potential tenants is brisk, Evers says.

“We’re hearing about some great deals in the market that are too big for some of the boutique buildings in Uptown,” he says. “We don’t have those limitations; we have the ability to do more than 1 million square feet. We’re holding a big catcher’s mitt.”
TPA Group/City of Alpharetta
Alpharetta is set to decide whether to approve a new 62-acre mixed-use project that would bring 255 apartments, 60 townhomes, 31,525 square feet of retail/restaurant space, and 630,000 square feet of office space to Haynes Bridge Road at Georgia 400.

The city's planning commission is set to review developer TPA Group's 360 Tech Village on Dec. 5, and the city council is scheduled to hear it on Dec. 16.

The new development would be north of the intersection of Georgia 400 and Haynes Bridge Road, on the west side of Haynes Bridge south of Lakeview Parkway.

The city's planning staff is recommending approval of the project with conditions, including that office development will be limited to 630,000 square feet, retail/restaurant space will be limited to 31,525 square feet, a minimum 3,000-square-foot neighborhood grocery store will be required, there will be no drive-through restaurants, no more than 10 percent of the townhomes will be allowed to be rented, and a minimum of 25 acres of civic space and 7 acres of amenity space will be required.

Also required would be pedestrian and bicycle connections throughout the site, including between buildings and recreational facilities within the development and across Lakeview Parkway to the existing office development. Alpharetta planners want the corner of Haynes Bridge Road and Lakeview Parkway to be designed with a minimum 5,000-square-foot green space with a focal point sculpture. TPA Group would also be required to provide a minimum of six original sculptures located at prominent locations throughout the development, as approved by the city with input from the local arts committee.

TPA Group and architect Nelson Worldwide have just submitted new renderings of the project, see the adjacent slideshow.

Midtown Union picks hotel development team
Midtown Union will include three buildings on a 3.8-acre site. In total, it will have 610,000 square feet of office, a 210-key hotel, 355 housing units, 33,500 square feet of retail and 1,850 parking spaces.
18-acre town center mixed-use project moving forward in Snellville
The Grove at Towne Center mixed-use development is slated for 18 acres in the city of Snellville.

Luxury Retreat Surrounded By Panoramic Views

TPA Group said in September it was in late-stage negotiations with a Fortune 500 company that needs up to 120,000 square feet of office space in the project.

In a discussion of the project, Alpharetta planners note that, "The applicant proposes 475,680 square feet of new office on the site, which is in addition to the 154,400 square feet of office building at the southwest corner of Lakeview Parkway and Morrison Parkway. If the applicant’s request is approved, a total of 630,080 square feet of office could be constructed within the master plan. For comparison, Northwinds is approved for 2.8 million square feet of office on 260 acres and Avalon for 660,000 square feet on 86 acres."

The project could have 4,412 office workers, city planners say.

The request includes two low-rise, loft-style office buildings; 3-story, 200,000 square foot office building along Lakeview Parkway and a 2-story, 120,000 square foot office building near the lake. A third office building is proposed at the corner of Morrison Parkway and Lakeview Parkway and is six stories with 150,000 square feet.

An earlier plan for the site proposed a new 211-room hotel, but it has been eliminated from the newest plan.
Studio 216
Wright Runstad is about to jump north across Spring Boulevard. The planned Phase III of its 36-acre mixed-use Spring District project effectively began last month, with the signing of another lease agreement with Facebook.

The lease is for the planned Block 6 office building, which also just entered design review with the city of Bellevue. It’s addressed at 1646 123rd Ave. N.E., on the north side of Northeast Spring Boulevard, which is under construction.

Wright Runstad’s website confirms that Facebook has already leased Block 16 and Block 24, which are now under construction on the south side of Spring. Those two buildings will have about 515,000 square feet of offices (plus a little retail); Block 6 will add another 320,000 square feet or so.

All three buildings are designed by NBBJ. Turner Construction is building both Block 16, which is expected to open early next year, and Block 24, which could open in early 2021.

The Block 6 lease was signed in mid-October and recorded late that month. It’s for 15 years, with 12 years of subsequent renewal options. And there’s a right of first opportunity to buy the building if Wright Runstad opts to sell. The Block 16 and 24 leases have similar terms.

Broderick Group is Wright Runstad’s broker for all the office space; its third quarter Eastside report indicates that Block 6 could open in 2022. Wright Runstad already has its master use permit, also with NBBJ, for the whole project, so Block 6 design review won’t take that long.

In general, Phase I at the Spring District was the apartment component on its south end, at Northeast 12th Street. AMLI Residential and Security Properties have developed multiple buildings with almost 800 units. Retail and a child care center are also included.

North of that, Phase II includes Block 16, Block 24, REI’s headquarters (set to open next year), the GIX building (already open), the small creative office/brewpub building (soon), ancillary structures and park.

Ahead, Phase III could total around 1.5 million square feet of offices (including Block 6), along with apartments, a small retail/bike-parking pavilion, a hotel and more retail. (The exact mix and numbers are subject to change.)

The entire Spring District is thought to be a $2.3 billion project, with JPMorgan and Shorenstein Properties among its backers.
Ossip van Duivenbode
Combining playful design with contemporary architecture, Dutch firm MVRDV has just completed WERK12, a mixed-use development near Munich’s East Station that catches the eye with its bold and expressive art facade. Lifting verbal expressions from German versions of Donald Duck comics, the facade is punctuated with 5-meter-tall lettering that spell out words like ‘WOW’ and ‘HMPH.’ Located at the heart of the Werksviertel-Mitte district, the project is part of an urban regeneration plan to transform a former industrial site.

Spanning an area of 7,700 square meters, WERK12 features five floors occupied by restaurants and bars on the ground floor, the offices of Audi Business Innovations on the top floor, and a three-story gym facility in between with one story dedicated to an indoor swimming pool. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls wrap around the building to bring natural light and views of the city in. The line between interior and exterior is further blurred with the addition of external staircases that curl around the building and connect to 3.25-meter-wide outdoor terraces on each floor.

The bold facade was created in collaboration with local artists Christian Engelmann and Beate Engl. The lettering and the colloquial expressions are a nod to the area’s graffiti culture and use of signage. At night, the letters light up to create a “vibrant lightshow.” The five-meter-tall letters also span the height of each floor, which have extra-tall ceilings that allow for mezzanines or other level changes for greater flexibility.

“The area of the Werksviertel-Mitte district has already undergone such interesting changes, transforming from a potato factory to a legendary entertainment district,” says founding partner of MVRDV Jacob van Rijs. “With our design, we wanted to respect and celebrate that history, while also creating a foundation for the next chapter. WERK12 is stylish and cool on one hand, but on the other it doesn’t take itself so seriously – it’s not afraid to say ‘PUH’ to passers-by!”

A canyon-like tower by MVRDV and a twisting structure by Studio Gang are among the buildings to be revealed for a new San Francisco development.

MVRDV, Studio Gang, Henning Larsen and WORKac make up the four practices that have teamed up to design buildings for a new neighbourhood called Mission Rock.

The development will be located in the Mission Bay neighbourhood, on 3rd Street in between Terry Francois Boulevard and Mission Rock Street. It will span a 28-acre waterfront site on San Francisco Bay that is currently used as a parking lot.

Rotterdam firm MVRDV has proposed mixed-use tower, Building A, that features a 23-storey construction with box-shaped units that project out to form a pixelated effect.

It is nicknamed The Canyon because MVRDV referenced California's mountains when designing, with the intention to bring back the city's hilly topography missing on the flat asphalt plot.

"We wanted to establish a dialogue between the waterfront, the ballpark, and the robust Californian rock formations," said MVRDV co-founder Nathalie de Vries.

"Those formations inspired The Canyon's architectural form: steep rocky walls with a narrow valley running between them, thus creating a mix of apartments of different sizes, roof terraces, and lush public spaces which feel welcoming to all."

The project comprises a central tower as a "canyon" that will "fracture" the north-east podium to make a building form of its own and also a lush space at ground level. Another volume, known as the "annex", will contain a separate lobby on the east side of the building.

At the base of MVRDV's tower is a podium with a similarly faceted, red exterior. Located here will be retail, office and commercial spaces.

The building will scale 240 feet (73 metres) and contain about 285 residential units. Mechanical equipment will be housed on the roof in an additional 14-foot (4.3-metre) volume, and a rooftop patio, partial basement for bike parking, and space for the District Energy System round out the design.

US firm Studio Gang, meanwhile, has conceived a 23-storey tower with floors that twist away from one another to create inlets for planted terraces. Ceramics will clad each floor to offer varying hues.

"Building F will be at the heart of Mission Rock, housing amenities for the entire neighbourhood that overlook a new public plaza and vibrant streetscape," said Studio Gang's founder Jeanne Gang.

"For the residences, we designed a tower inscribed with terraces, extending this indoor-outdoor living and offering views amidst elevated bio-diverse gardens."

Similar to MVRDV building, Studio Gang's project will accommodate residences, shops and commercial spaces.

Danish studio Henning Larsen Architects and New York firm WORKac have both created office buildings for Mission Rock.

Like MVRDV, Henning Larsen Architects has taken cues from San Francisco's hilly terrain for Building G. The lower floors are stepped to create terraces for planting, drawing similarities to Studio Gang's structure, while the gridded facade extends at the top to form a balustrade around a rooftop garden.

"Contrary to the contemporary trend of sleek all-glass commercial towers, the aesthetic of Mission Rock reflects the historic architecture of industrial San Francisco where tactile materials bring an inviting, comfortable environment and deep facades create a dynamic play of light and shadow throughout the day," said Henning Larsen partner an design principal Louis Becker.

"An active ground plane with diverse retail programming and engaging streetscape design will define the success of Mission Rock as a new, yet authentic San Francisco neighbourhood," added Henning Larsen design manager Kelly Holzkamp.

WORKac has created a more linear office building with volumes that form a pixellated exterior. The protrusions are also used to create outdoor areas.

"We thought we could take advantage of all the setbacks at the different levels by carving new openings down the face of the building," said WORKac co-founder Dan Wood. "That way every floor has a garden, open to the sky."

"This a building that reflects the city's embrace of the outdoor life so that no matter where you are, you have access to workspace outside," he added.

Mission Rock as a whole encompasses 12 plots – seven for residential, four
KTGY Architecture + Planning
With a rapidly aging population, an inward flux of new urban residents, and developmental pressures forcing displacement and homelessness on growing numbers of people, housing design finds itself at a critical nexus in the United States.

And while many architecture firms are surely working on innovative housing projects, few have dedicated teams focused on pursuing housing innovation from an integrated, transformational perspective. KTGY Architecture + Planning is one such firm, however. The R+D Studio at KTGY exists to "explore new and emerging ideas related to building design and technology," with an eye toward integrating new housing developments into their surroundings, re-thinking existing design paradigms, and prototyping cost- and time-saving construction approaches all the while expanding the realm of housing design to include co-living arrangements, contemporary senior housing models, and supportive housing.

We talked with Marissa Kasdan, director of KTGY's R+D Studio, to discuss how well-designed housing can serve more people, the changing nature of domestic spaces, and to highlight innovations coming out of her team's work.

What is the focus of KTGY’s R+D Studio? And of your position?

KTGY’s R+D Studio was created as a dedicated effort focused on furthering KTGY’s vision, “to move the discourse of architecture forward by continuously searching for better.” With that goal in mind, the R+D Studio explores new and emerging ideas related to building design, shifts in residential demographics, and trends in the way people live. My role, as director of the R+D Studio, is to maintain the focus of the studio in a way that also supports the design efforts of the various studios within KTGY. I coordinate with studio leaders from KTGY offices across the country and look for opportunities to develop design concepts that support the building types and market segments we serve.

The R+D Studio seems to pursue an integrated approach that considers design, urban-scale considerations, and constructability issues simultaneously. Can you share an example of a project (or an approach/idea) that has most benefited from this arrangement?

The Skytowns concept considers how townhome unit plans in a high-rise configuration could maximize building efficiency while minimizing elevator stops and shared circulation space, all while providing multi-level unit layouts in an urban setting. On every other level, the townhome units recapture the corridor area as unit area, increasing the overall building efficiency to nearly 90%. The inherent nature of the multi-story units creates a unique opportunity for vertical variation along the high-rise façade.

One of your research focuses revolves around expanding the definition of co-living. How is the research coming out of the R+D Studio informing the design of unit plans for this type of housing?

Initially, we developed a co-housing concept to address urban affordability for young professionals trying to manage their rents, leading to the development of an 11-bedroom, 11-bathroom prototype unit. Since then, we have discussed with many of our clients and other interested individuals the opportunity to apply the benefits of shared living in new ways to help address a variety of issues and serve a wide range of demographics.
Make room, Brickell. Another Miami neighborhood is making a run at the lucrative market of prime office space.

Three new Class A office buildings — new or renovated construction featuring luxurious amenities, professional security, high-tech infrastructure and desirable locations — are either under construction or nearing completion in the historic Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove:

▪ The Related Group, the biggest real estate developer in South Florida, is building a new eight-story Class A office building at 2850 Tigertail Ave., adjacent to the Park Grove luxury residential towers, which Related developed in joint partnership with Terra Group.

Related will relocate from its longtime home base in downtown Miami and take over the top two floors of the 105,000-square-foot building. Construction is scheduled to be completed in late 2020.

▪ Mary Street, a joint venture between Terra and the boutique luxury brokerage firm Mayfair Advisors, has received its temporary certificate of occupancy, which allows tenants to begin the build-outs of their individual spaces.

The five-story building, located at 3310 Mary St. and designed by Touzet Studio architectural firm, is an adaptive reuse of a former parking garage into 77,840 square feet of office space. The building is already leased out. The CPA firm Kaufman Rossin will move nearly 300 employees into 64,666 square feet of space in the building by mid-2020. Terra’s corporate office will occupy the remaining space.

▪ One CocoWalk, the five-story Class A building that forms the office component of the redeveloped CocoWalk, has leased out 65 percent of its available 85,762 square feet. Signed tenants include the co-working company Spaces, which will occupy the second and third floors with its ready-to-go office spaces, and the investment firm Boyne Capital, which will occupy 11,600 square feet.

The Related Group’s decision to relocate its corporate headquarters is surprising, since the company is best known for its extensive development in the Brickell and downtown corridors. But Related Group CEO and chairman Jorge Pérez has long made the Grove his primary residence, and his company has outgrown its longtime headquarters at the base of the One Miami condo towers at 315 S. Biscayne Blvd., which Related built in 2006.

“We had already expanded to additional office spaces at 444 Brickell Avenue,” said Nick Pérez, vice-president of The Related Group. “Brickell and the downtown area will always be the main urban cores of Miami. But the Grove has a unique personality — it was the original neighborhood of Miami — and we’ve always had a connection with this area, as professionals as well as a family.”

Perez said that unlike the company’s other projects, which are usually launched with a splashy ad campaign, construction of the 2850 Tigertail office building began without fanfare. The property is being marketed via a “whisper leasing campaign” using one-on-one appointments with brokers and tenants, to be as selective as possible.

“This building is boutique in nature,” he said. “We want tenants who have an appreciation of fine art — my father’s collection will be rotated in and out of the lobby — but also wants exclusivity and luxury.”

Unlike other office markets around Miami-Dade, Coconut Grove developers can afford to take a soft-sell approach with their product, because the Grove’s zoning codes do not allow for the kind of height and density that would result in a critical amount of oversupply.

According to the Colliers International Miami-Dade County Office Forecast report for second quarter 2019, more Class A office space was vacated (added to the market) in the Grove than was leased during the second quarter of 2019. But the surplus was only 4,398 square feet, which is modest compared to other areas such as Kendall, which had a surplus of 32,574 square feet.

Unlike other office markets around Miami-Dade, Coconut Grove developers can afford to take a soft-sell approach with their product, because the Grove’s zoning codes do not allow for the kind of height and density that would result in a critical amount of oversupply.

According to the Colliers International Miami-Dade County Office Forecast report for second quarter 2019, more Class A office space was vacated (added to the market) in the Grove than was
Andre Aragon
Best known for his towering urban projects, the Uruguayan architect's private residence rests on five hilltop acres.

Rafael Viñoly's, FAIA is best known for his towering urban projects, many of which become icons on city skylines. The famed Uruguayan architect's 191 Ridgebury Road house, however, remains an outlier as one of Viñoly's rare private residences. Located in Ridgefield, Conn., International Style 191 Ridgebury Road is 16,000-square-foot and features three bedrooms and three full bathrooms. Although the property has been on and off the market several times since 2008, 191 Ridgebury Road is back on the market for $9.75 million following a restoration by the current owner.

Viñoly originally designed the house for Alice Lawrence, the wife of real estate mogul Sylvan Lawrence, in 1984. Working with slabs of pre-cast concrete and glass windows, Viñoly assembled the house on a 35 ton steel frame, resulting in clean, open spaces. By the time the project was completed almost three years later, construction costs had reached an estimated $25 million plus an additional $3 million in landscaping for the five acre estate.

Built to display Lawrence's vast art collection, the Ridgeport house contains expansive, light-filled areas that include a living room, a dining room, a custom kitchen, and a sitting room. The house also features a penthouse office, indoor and outdoor heated pools, and an observation deck offering views of the Hudson River.

Following her death in 2008, Lawrence left the residence to Fairfield University, a private, Jesuit university in Farfield, Conn. The university listed the house for $10 million in 2008 and, after it sat on the market, relisted the property again in 2011 for $3.2 million. According to Connecticut Open Data, the house was sold to the present owner for $2.17 million in 2012.

Over seven years, the owner restored the property beyond its original condition, adding a lower-level suite to the original house and a driveway heating system. According to the Sotheby's International Realty listing, the price also includes the adjacent High Medow Farm at 224 Ridgebury Road, an 11-acre property with a five-bedroom farmhouse. While it is not part of the original Viñoly project, the current owner acquired 224 Ridgebury Road with the intention of having an associated equestrian facility, but is now is selling both together.

191 Ridgebury Road is listed by Laura Freed Ancona at Sotheby's International Realty.

Getty images
The city's Transamerica Pyramid building has been listed for $600 million

For the first time ever, one of San Francisco's most iconic buildings has just been listed for sale. The Transatlantic Pyramid, the city's unmistakable triangular-shaped skyscraper, has been put up for sale for a reported $600 million by its owner, the Transamerica Corporation, which has owned it since it was first built.

Designed by American architect William Pereira, the 48-story Brutalist-style building stands at 853 feet tall. From its inception in 1972 until 2018, it was the tallest building in San Francisco, but it has since been surpassed by the newly constructed Salesforce Tower. When it was first built, the Transamerica Pyramid was ridiculed for its irregular shape, but over decades it has become one of the Golden City's most iconic buildings, and a defining shape in the city's skyline. Its tapered pyramid figure was requested by Transamerica's then CEO, John Beckett, who opted for a shape that would allow as much light as possible to hit the streets below. At the time, the city's top urban planner called the building's proposal "an inhumane creation," while an architecture critic at The Washington Post called it "a second-class world's fair Space Needle." But decades later, local paper SFGate would go on to write that "with each year that passes, the integrity of Pereira's design grows more compelling. It is a strong architectural vision executed with simplicity and care."

"Right now, San Francisco has a very robust office real-estate market," says Transamerica's chief administrative officer, Jay Orlandi, in a statement, of the company's move to put the iconic structure on the market. In addition to the pyramid, two additional buildings on Sansome Street are included in the deal. Last year the company attempted to sell only part of the building, but when no one stepped forward, the decision was made to list the entire property.
Builder Online
Check out what M&A meisters Michael Kahn, Joe Walsh, and Peter Hazeloop have to say about deal flow in a new period of growing uncertainty.

Michael P. Kahn is one of home building's most-active and--at age 83--most-senior, active senior statesmen. He has known most of the people who run America's big home building companies since they were kids.

They take his call. They return his call. Or they initiate contact with him when they're thinking about selling or buying a home building firm. They've been doing that for about as long as anybody can remember. His knowledge of what they do, what they care about, and fret about, and get really excited about dates back to his own days as a builder and developer in the early 1960s and spans, from then to now, across 125 home building firm mergers and acquisitions deals since 1988. That's an average of one closing every 90 days for the past 31 years.

And there are more in the pipeline.

"They keep calling me," says Kahn, whom Century Communities co-ceo Dale Fransescon has knighted "the dean of home building M&A," and who tried--unsuccessfully--to retire in 2011 as the Great Recession held the business in its tight grip. "We're working with three companies right now who are looking to sell, and I just got contacted to do some buy-side work for a public builder looking to acquire."

The reason they "keep calling" Mike, and the reason they keep returning his calls is pretty simple. Mike knows that good deals equate to value both buyer and seller get--beyond fair dollar market value for tangible real estate assets--and both buyers and sellers trust him and his process to deliver on expectations that particular combination sets. Deals that go well, Mike will tell you, do so not only on the back of KPIs, but human beings. Deals that don't often look great on paper but fail the people sniff test.

Today is tricky for M&A.

Seller motivation and urgency come from a pool of both shared and unique issues. Same with buyer goals. In one instance, an interested seller may be "of an age" where he or she wants an exit before the next down cycle, whenever that may be. In another, the goal may be tantamount to a deep-pocketed capital partner for a growth path into the next up cycle. Buyers may want deeper market scale, or greater exposure to customer segments, such as entry-level or 55+, or may want to thwart rivals in a market, or may want to establish a beachhead in a market new to their footprint.

At the same time, uncertainty, volatility, and an absence of predictability pronounce themselves as ever more material challenges for those who're trying to model growth, profits, and opportunity and risk.

As is always the case where people transact, highly motivated or time-constrained buyers will value the same assets higher than those whose urgency settings are in a longer-term frame. The same goes for sellers--keenness to close opens them to greater willingness to negotiate terms.

It's generally acknowledged that the pace of deals has slowed, but for Michael Kahn & Associates, the cadence has kept up. So, he's reached out to two long-time partners Peter Hazeloop and Joe Walsh, principals of Hazeloop-Walsh & Associates, to carry important parts of each process forward over the months buyers and sellers take to combine from this point forward. Kahn and his firm will partner with Hazeloop and Walsh's company in a joint venture, reuniting them for the research, due diligence, valuation, negotiation, and other disciplines they've mastered as match-makers for decades.

Michael, Joe, and Peter have outlined, exclusively for BUILDER, some of their take on the current drivers of M&A business activity, and where they're headed leading into 2020 and beyond. What follows is their co-authored perspectives on key dynamics motivating buyers and sellers in the late-stage recovery housing has entered:

Current State:
The height of post-recovery home building M&A activity spanned from 2013 to 2017, and it has cooled off somewhat since then. This is due in part because the number of quality candidates has fallen off as many have been acquired. By quality candidates, we mean builders with a three- to four-year land pipeline, a solid management team who will commit to staying on, profitability in the high-end of the range for their market and with a meaningful market share. Another reason for the fall-off is that, in many of the major markets, the large public builders have now re-established their market share since shuttering or shrinking their
MVRDV has unveiled designs for the Green Villa, a striking mixed-use building draped in greenery for the Dutch village of Sint-Michielsgestel. Created in collaboration with Van Boven Architecten, the four-story Green Villa will be located on the town’s southern edge and will use a grid “rack” system to host a wide variety of potted plants, bushes and trees, including the likes of forsythia, jasmine, pine and birch. The project will be a landmark project for the village and will promote sustainability with improved biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

Located on a corner lot next to the Dommel River, the 1,400-square-meter Green Villa will house a new ground-floor office space for real estate developer and client, Stein, as well as five apartments on the three floors above in addition to underground parking. The building shape relates to the existing urban fabric with its adoption of the mansard roof shape used on the neighboring buildings. A new architectural typology is also put forth with the use of a strikingly lush facade that will help the structure blend in with the nearby river, fields and trees.

“This design is a continuation of our research into ‘facade-less’ buildings and radical greening,” explained Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV. “The idea from the nineties of city parks as an oasis in the city is too limited. We need a radical ‘green dip’: as will be shown soon in a book by The Why Factory with the same title, we should also cover roofs and high-rise facades with greenery. Plants and trees can help us to offset CO2 emissions, cool our cities and promote biodiversity.”

“This design is a continuation of our research into ‘facade-less’ buildings and radical greening,” explained Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV. “The idea from the nineties of city parks as an oasis in the city is too limited. We need a radical ‘green dip’: as will be shown soon in a book by The Why Factory with the same title, we should also cover roofs and high-rise facades with greenery. Plants and trees can help us to offset CO2 emissions, cool our cities and promote biodiversity.”

The Green Villa will be defined by a square grid four bays wide and three bays deep, in which modules for bedrooms and living spaces will slot inside. The facade will be made up of a “rack” of shelves of varying depths to support a “three-dimensional arboretum,” and each plant will have its own nameplate with additional information. The plants will be watered year-round with a sensor-controlled irrigation system that uses recycled rainwater. Construction is scheduled to start in 2020.

Wanda Lau
Building professional connections is a skill not taught in many architecture programs, but it is a necessity in practice, Evelyn Lee writes in her first column for ARCHITECT.

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point (Back Bay Books, 2002), I would be considered a “connector.” I’ve been in the industry nearly two decades, with about 15 years serving on different AIA committees at all levels. As a business school graduate and contributing writer to several publications, I seek out individuals and organizations thinking about the future of architecture and how practice needs to adapt. I enjoy connecting people within my network because, while the design profession is relatively small, the number of us thinking about the evolution of practice is even smaller. Relationship building has been critical to my own growth, professionally and personally. My best connections keep me excited about the industry, challenge my viewpoints, and have become incredible mentor and advocates—and I take pride in cultivating my network.

Which is why I was taken aback by the flurry of cold emails and messages I received from firm principals and senior designers almost immediately upon updating my LinkedIn profile with my new role as the inaugural senior experience designer at Slack, the fast-growing tech company in San Francisco. Since I had moved to the client side three years ago, my ability to hire architects was nothing new. So why the widespread attention? Perhaps it was Slack’s recent IPO?

The myriad mindless messages I received in response to my new position truly left a bad taste in my mouth. Business school graduates know that networking is fundamental: Universities want to promote what percentage of their alumni have gone on to find successful jobs, and building relationships enhances that stat. Literally, Networking 101 is built into B-school orientation.

But designers could certainly do much better when they reach out. To make the process more palatable to both you and your networking target, I offer five recommendations for developing professional relationships.

Look for Mutual Connections
Regardless of your age or experience, leverage the resources that exist in your network. People are more receptive to an email that comes from someone they know—or even someone who knows someone they know—than from a stranger. This validates a good connection and assures the recipient that the contact will be deeper than a superficial ask for new work. The architecture world is not that big.

It’s Not About You
The first outreach should never be about your needs: It’s always about theirs. Do not fish for information in the first contact; instead, be specific about why you want to talk or, at the very least, if you’re requesting their particular experience and viewpoint on your own work. If you explicitly want to talk about my new job, then I will shelve your request.

Simplify Your Ask
Most people will be happy to talk for 15 minutes on a topic they are passionate about—just make sure you know what that topic is. I have had more success asking for a 15-minute phone conversation than an in-person sit-down. Even a coffee meetup means you are asking someone to take time out of their day, go to a place out of their routine, and commit to a conversation that they may not be excited about. Fifteen minutes first. Then maybe coffee.

Be Patient
Relationships take time, trust, and nurturing. A milestone in a person’s career is a good reason to reach out or pick up a conversation with a connection you haven’t talked to in a while. As with personal relationships, it takes time to develop professional confidantes.

Google Yourself
Leverage technology but be mindful of your own profile. Whether you are building your own network or on the receiving end of a cold email, people are going to research who you are. Clean up your public personas and make sure they reflect your professional self.

About 10 years ago, I picked up a great book on social media marketing for AEC professionals. I wanted to meet the author and was excited to discover she was running a workshop at the local AIA component. I made the workshop but had to run immediately after the event without speaking with her. My few shared connections with her on LinkedIn were merely acquaintances to me—so I took a chance and messaged her directly. In my email, I explained that I had attended her workshop, had questions about specific points she made, and was interested on her take on the profession’s
West 8
The Rotterdam, Netherlands–based firm will revitalize 11 miles of the city's shoreline.

Rotterdam, Netherlands–based urban design firm West 8 has been named the winner of the Middle Branch Waterfront Revitalization Competition, which called for submissions to restore the area's wetlands and connect the surrounding neighborhoods with recreational parks and trails. The firm's winning proposal will bring new life to an 11-mile stretch of Baltimore's Patapsco River shoreline, "recreat[ing] and redefin[ing] the blue green heart of Baltimore," according to a press release from the firm.

In the winning design, West 8 proposed reusing dredges from Baltimore's port to control the water and sediment flow along the waterfront's bay. With the expectation that this will create new marshlands overtime, the team also proposed an 11-mile ring of multiuse piers, boardwalks, and structures to create a more community-focused environment.

"A future phase of the design reimagines the iconic Hanover Street Bridge as a park which completes parkland ring and connects people from all walks of life to each other and to the Middle Branch," said West 8 design director Adriaan Geuze in the same release.

The three finalists for the competition, which included the New York-based firms James Corner Field Operations and Hargreaves Jones, were revealed in April. After the announcement, residents were invited to visit an exhibition where they could learn more about the shortlisted designs and add their own comments. A five person jury then ranked the teams on elements such as technical merit, feasibility of the ideas, ability to integrate community feedback, originality of design vision, and responsiveness to the competition's objectives.

Los Angeles Clippers/AECOM
The Los Angeles Clippers have released initial renderings of their brand new 18,500-seat arena expected to open in 2024. Team owner Steve Ballmer and the city of Inglewood are moving forward with the $1 billion, 900,000-square-foot NBA arena over neighborhood concerns and lawsuits over the project,

Designed by local architecture and engineering firm AECOM, the metal-clad, oval-shaped arena is said to be inspired by the “swoosh” of a basketball net. Ballmer told ESPN, “I want it to be a noisy building… I really want that kind of energy.”

The grand vision includes a basketball arena, corporate office building, sports medicine clinic, retail, community and youth-oriented spaces, parking garages, a solar-panel-clad roof, indoor-outdoor “sky gardens,” and an outdoor game-viewing area with massive digital screens.

Ballmer’s goal is to create, “the best home in all of sports,” he said in a statement accompanying the release of the renderings. “What that means to me is an unparalleled environment for players, for fans, for sponsors and for the community of Inglewood. Our goal is to build a facility that resets fans’ expectations while having a transformative impact on the city we will call home.” Ballmer, one of the richest people in the world, will privately finance the mixed-use development.

The project must overcome several legal challenges that cloud its potential success. First, from the Uplight Inglewood Coalition, an organization looking to strengthen Inglewood residents’ political power, is suing the city on allegations that the city’s deal to sell the land for the arena violated California state law. The California Surplus Land Act requires that public land be prioritized for affordable housing development before any other uses. Housing costs in the area had soared since 2016, when the NFL agreed to let the Rams and Chargers relocate to Inglewood.

“In the midst of booming development—which has caused skyrocketing rents and the loss of affordable housing—it simply does not make any sense to prioritize an NBA arena over the needs of Inglewood residents without investing in the needs of residents,” Uplift Inglewood member D’artagnan Scorza said in a recent press release, “Public land should be used for the public good, and access to housing is central to building strong communities.”

Second, James Dolan, owner and CEO of Madison Square Garden, owner of the New York Knicks and the nearby Forum has also sued the city, accusing leaders of secretly negotiating with the Clippers to build on land that it once leased. The 26-acre complex will house all team operations, from corporate headquarters to the team’s training facility. The Clippers currently practice in Playa Vista, have a business office in downtown Los Angeles, and play at the Staples Center (shared with rival Lakers and NHL’s Kings since 1999). Their lease ends in 2024, putting pressure on team ownership to finish construction on time for the next season.
Business Wire
Multifamily Developer Enters Growing Pacific Northwest Market with Project In Goose Hollow

Greystar, a global leader in the development, investment, and management of multifamily housing, today announces its first-ever residential development in Portland, Oregon. Comprising 182 apartments and approximately 8,000 square feet of retail spaces, the soon to be named project recently began construction on Thursday, July 18, with an official groundbreaking ceremony. Located at the corner of Southwest 18th Avenue and Southwest Salmon Street in the neighborhood of Goose Hollow, the project marks Greystar’s expansion across the Pacific Northwest, which currently includes offices in Seattle and now Portland.

“As the burgeoning city of Portland evolves in its wide array of job offerings and housing demands, we are thrilled to begin construction and bring to market our first of, hopefully, many great projects for local area residents,” said Aaron Keeler, Senior Director, Development at Greystar, Pacific Northwest.

Slated to open in 2021, the eight-story community will introduce both market-rate and affordable rental residences, under Portland’s inclusionary zoning mandate. Purchased from TriMet, the transit-oriented site will provide easy access to nearby light rail transportation stops including Kings Hill Station, which provides direct access to downtown Portland. The community will be minutes away from Providence Park, multiple bus stops and the 405-Interstate freeway. Future residents will also have convenient access to Multnomah Athletic Club, Lincoln High, and Providence Park, home to Major League Soccer team, the Portland Timbers, and the American professional women’s soccer team, the Portland Thorns. Designed by SERA Architects, the community’s design will draw inspiration from New York City’s iconic Flatiron Building and reflect a sustainable design with dynamic spaces for its residents.

“At the heart of Goose Hollow’s best amenities and local entertainment, this community will introduce a modern and eclectic address for future residents looking to live in the center of one of Portland’s most exciting neighborhoods,” said Doug Burges, Director of Development at Greystar, Pacific Northwest. “We look forward to celebrating the groundbreaking of this momentous milestone for Greystar and for the neighborhood of Goose Hollow.”

About Greystar

Greystar is a leading, fully integrated real estate company offering expertise in investment management, development and property management of rental housing properties globally. Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, with offices throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America, Greystar is the largest operator of apartments in the United States, managing over 400,000 units in over 150 markets globally. Greystar also has a robust institutional investment management platform dedicated to managing capital on behalf of a global network of institutional investors with nearly $16 billion in gross assets under management including more than $7 billion of developments that have been sold or are underway. Greystar was founded by Bob Faith in 1993 with the intent to become a provider of world class service in the rental housing real estate business.
Oxford Properties
The Canadian metropolis is going vertical as a building spree of billion-dollar projects continues

A newly proposed mega-development in downtown Toronto was announced late last month, highlighting how the city’s vertical growth spree continues to pick up momentum.

The $2.7 billion ($3.5 billion Canadian dollars) Union Park project, helmed by Oxford Properties Group, a partner in New York’s Hudson Yards, will be one of the largest mixed-use project in the city’s history.

Set on four acres just north of two city landmarks, Rogers Centre (the sports stadium formerly known as the SkyDome) and CN Tower (the city’s iconic communications and observation tower), the development will consist of twin curved 58- and 48-story office towers and apartments surrounded by newly landscaped public parkland, and bring 4.3 million square feet of new mixed-use office, residential, and retail spaces to downtown.

This development comes at a time when other large-scale mixed-use projects, such as the 12-acre Sidewalk Labs-backed Quayside smart city project and The Well, a 7-acre “21st century city,” highlight the city’s rapid expansion. A growing tech industry and expanded immigration, among other factors, have fueled a Toronto condo boom; there are 400 proposed high-rise projects in the pipeline, according to Rider Levett Bucknall a global construction firm, and the city has the most construction cranes in North America.

According to the Financial Post, other forthcoming Toronto mega-projects include CIBC SQUARE, a two-tower development adding 3 million square feet of space and a new Microsoft office, and a plan by Cadillac Fairview and Investment Management Corporation of Ontario to develop 1.2 million-plus square feet of mixed-use office and retail at 160 Front Street West.

Union Park fills a gap in the market, said Oxford vice president Carlo Timpano, shifting the financial sector of the city west by providing additional office space for expansion, and adding needed retail and residential space for an underserved part of the downtown core.

The floors for the office portion of the development are designed to measure 100,000 square feet, providing the large, open floor plans favored by tech tenants.

Union Park will also add public amenities to the downtown, including an enclosed winter garden for all-season recreation and a new two-acre park built atop a covered rail line. The park will point towards Lake Ontario, helping provide a new pedestrian pathway linking the business district with the waterfront.

Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, which designed San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower, with local support from Toronto’s Adamson Associates, the project will be spread across two towers, and add 800 apartment units and 200,000 square feet of retail. The city’s PATH underground pedestrian tunnel system will be expanded to connect to the Union Park Project.

The two-acre park, which will cap the Union station rail corridor between Blue Jays Way and the John Street Bridge, is designed by OJB Architects. It’s not the first such project under development; the city’s own Rail Deck Park, a proposed 21-acre green space that just won an appeal against stopping its construction, will be right around the corner.

Oxford, which is starting the public engagement and municipal approvals processes now, expects to begin construction in 2023 and finish within five to six years.
The Real Deal
It's part of a larger housing plan Google announced last month as an answer to the housing crisis it and other tech firms have created in Silicon Valley

UPDATED, July 17, 6:36 p.m. Eastern: Google has already found a partner for its most ambitious real estate project yet.

On Wednesday, Google announced that it has tapped Australia-based construction giant Lendlease to co-develop $15 billion worth of master-planned communities in Silicon Valley.

Under the terms of the agreement, Google and Lendlease will redevelop the tech company’s properties in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and San Jose, California, over the next 10 to 15 years. The firms will jointly undertake the master planning and development, which would see mixed-use communities replace office space and empty land. Lendlease is aiming to start work in 2021.

It’s part of a larger housing plan Google announced last month as an answer to the housing crisis it and other tech firms have created in Silicon Valley.

In an interview following the announcement, Lendlease’s CEO Americas Denis Hickey estimated the project will include 15,000 units of condominiums and rentals. The entire development work will see a total of 15 million square feet, not including office space.

Hickey said the Google-Lendlease team has already begun working with local governments on rezoning and master planning. The process, he said, is “well underway.” Lendlease said it was the largest deal in its 61-year history.

The search giant and the contractor are intimately familiar with one another —Lendlease in 2017 was selected to build Google’s $435 million London headquarters, which was designed by Bjarke Ingels and Heatherwick Studios and is expected to be completed in 2021. Lendlease also worked with Google on a discontinued headquarters in Sydney.

A few months ago, the tech giant poached Lendlease’s top real estate executive in San Francisco, Alexa Arena.

Lendlease is the go-to general contractor for luxury high-rise condo towers in New York City, having built Harry Macklowe and CIM Group’s 432 Park Avenue, World Wide Group and Rose Associates’ 252 East 57th Street, Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South and Hines’ 53 West 53rd Street.

Back in 2015, the firm launched a development arm, its first New York project being 277 Fifth Avenue as part of a joint venture with the Victor Group.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the latest Google deal will increase Lendlease’s global development pipeline to about $70 billion.
Weldon Brewster
Fleet of concrete trucks mobilized for near-record placement

The 18.5-hour construction of the 13,478-cu-yd mat for the $1-billion Grand mixed-use development in Los Angeles ranks as the second largest continuous casting of a foundation in Los Angeles, after the Wilshire Grand’s, which, at 19.5 hours, set a Guinness World Record in 2014.

At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at a rate of approximately 1,000 cu yds per hour, 140 workers from the Conco Cos. began the job, which required 1,348 truck trips to six batch plants, for the mat, which contains 13,478 cu yd of concrete. The mat will support a 39-story tower.

“Due to precise and complicated logistics, the mat’s coordination started four months prior to the actual pour,” says Barry Widen, vice president of design and construction for developer Related Cos.

The mat is 39,303 sq ft with a thickness that varies from 6 ft to 12 ft. The concrete truck fleet traveled eight times between the site and six batch plants. With seven of eight concrete truck pumps staged on streets, Related coordinated with Los Angeles City Council District 14, and the city’s Dept. of Transportation and Bureau of Engineering’s Major Transit and Transportation Construction Traffic Management Committee (TCTMC) to minimize the impact to traffic, which required complete closures of Olive Street and 2nd Street and directional closures on Grand Avenue and 1st Street.

In February, Related and partner CORE USA broke ground on the project, designed by Gehry Partners and located across the street from Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall. The project is expected to create 10,000 new jobs and $1.3 billion in one-time total economic output for Los Angeles County. The Grand will include 176,000 sq feet of retail and a hotel in 20-story second tower. Related expects the second mat will be cast this month.

AECOM is the Grand’s construction manager and DCI Engineers is the project’s structural engineer.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to clarify that there were 1,348 truck trips required for this concrete placement. The project team has not specified the number of trucks utilized.
In a bid to revitalize Singapore’s Bedok Town Centre, international design firm ONG&ONG has completed HEARTBEAT@BEDOK, an award-winning, mixed-use development that serves as a key civic and community space for Bedok residents. The community building is also a beacon for sustainability and follows passive design principles to minimize energy demands as well as building operation and maintenance costs. A cooling microclimate is created with lush landscaping used throughout the site and around the building, which is draped with greenery on every floor.

Located on Singapore’s east coast, the HEARTBEAT@BEDOK was commissioned as part of the Housing and Development Board’s ‘Remaking Our Heartland’, an initiative that was announced in 2007 to ensure older towns and neighborhoods are adequately modernized to keep pace with the nation’s development. To bring new life to the area, the architects transformed a public park in the heart of the Bedok neighborhood into the site of a new community center that brings residents of different backgrounds together and cultivates community spirit.

“The Heartbeat@Bedok is an architecturally distinctive community building that is defined by the highest standards in modern sustainability,” the design firm explained. “Featuring an inverted podium-and-blocks design strategy, spaces within the new building are predicated on functionality. The elevated podium allows for optimized natural ventilation, with a group of microclimates created around internal public spaces. A covered area extends 145 m diagonally across the site, creating a 3-story atrium that enhances porosity between floors, while also working to improve overall connectivity and visual integration of the internal spaces.”

Completed in June 2017, the mixed-use development includes a community club, sports and recreation center, public library, polyclinic, a senior care center and public green space. In addition to the abundance of greenery, solar heat and radiation is mitigated with tapered facade glazing, solar fins and optimized passive solar conditions. A rainwater collection system and gray water system were also integrated into the building to ensure responsible and sustainable water use.

John Wardle Architects
The University of Tasmania has unveiled designs for the first building to be developed as part of its $334 million Northern Transformation Project at its Inveresk campus in Launceston.

The proposed library and student experience building, designed by John Wardle Architects, will form part of stage one in the redevelopment and will be the centrepiece of a new precinct plan for the campus, itself designed by John Wardle Architects and Tasmanian practice 1+2 Architecture.

The building will be sited in front of the Annexe Theatre and beside the School of Creative Arts. Its sawtooth roof lines will reference the industrial heritage and materials of Inveresk and the broader city.

“The new Student Experiences building will be a contemporary place for people to connect with one another and to continue in the long traditions of the site to gather, drawing in people from all regions of northern Tasmania to share and create new and other experiences,” said Jane Williams, principal of John Wardle Architects.

The University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said, “This is a thoughtfully designed building that will nest within the existing buildings and rooflines of Inveresk.

“It speaks to and respects the industrial heritage around it through its form and materials, but it is a thoroughly modern and exciting building that will serve the needs of today’s students and those of tomorrow.

“As we promised, this is also contemporary timber building. It uses engineered timbers for its three-story structure and throughout the internal fit out. It will be a living demonstration of how we can use timber to construct large buildings in Tasmania.”

The design team led by John Wardle Architects were appointed to the project in July 2018. The updated masterplan, which now includes the addition of student accommodation buildings, also outlines several stages for the redevelopment.

Stage one will also include a pedestrian bridge across the North Esk River to the Willis Street site, which will be home to a health science and research building, to be completed by 2024 as part of stage three, as well as townhouse style student accommodation buildings.

Stage two will include a learning and teaching building, to be completed by 2023, which will be located adjacent to the existing School of Architecture designed by Six Degrees and SBE. Both the library building and learning and teaching building will face onto a proposed University Square that will be situated along a central spine linking two sites across the river. This spine will also include active recreation facilities.

“It is a campus designed to deliver the aspirations of the University’s Northern Transformation Program, educating more Tasmanians and attracting students and staff to Launceston,” Black said.

“The campus is designed for today’s students and life-long learning, so we can work with the community to lift educational attainment and address disadvantage. Our research facilities will enable us to partner with industry to grow their businesses and to see start-ups create more new jobs for the region.”

The redevelopment of University of Tasmania’s Inveresk campus is the single largest infrastructure investment in Launceston’s history. It is funded jointly by the federal, state and local governments and the university as part of a $260 million city deal. The addition of student accommodation to the precinct plan will be funded in partnership with the private sector to the tune of $54 million. The federal government will also contribute $30 million for a Maritime and Defence Innovation and Design Precinct at Newnham.

At Serenbe, biophilic design unlocks an alternative—and idyllic—method of suburban development

When Steve Nygren talks about how he began Serenbe, a 15-year-old 1,000-acre planned community outside of Atlanta, he speaks about it in humble terms. “I just wanted to save my backyard.” But his backyard, behind a 1905 farmhouse, wasn’t just any backyard; it was acres of untouched forests, farmland, and meadows brimming with flora and fauna. Nygren, his wife, and his daughters often hiked in those woods, taking in the birds, streams, waterfalls, and solitude.

Then came the bulldozers.

One morning, Nygren woke up to dozens of them clearcutting land adjacent to his lot and feared that a new subdivision, filled with the same generic suburban homes seen throughout metro Atlanta, would soon break ground.

“My first impulse was to buy the land in my backyard,” says Nygren, who was a successful hospitality industry businessperson before becoming a developer. “At one point I had 900 acres, but I couldn’t keep showing up at closings. That isn’t enough to save you from urban sprawl.” He knew there was a better way to develop, one that would preserve open space and provide housing, and so he set out to build it himself.

Today, Serenbe is textbook idyllic. Picture corrals with ponies, baby goats, and chickens. Mares and foals running along hills covered in green grass. In spring, dogwoods, blush-pink azaleas, and white hydrangeas that look like perfectly round snowballs are in full bloom everywhere. There’s a 25-acre organic farm that grows vegetables for a local CSA and farmer’s market.

There are still acres of forest and streams meandering through them, but tucked alongside are houses. And lots of them—over 400. They’re far from the tract homes that would have gone up years ago, and sell for significantly more. (Today, Serenbe houses for sale start at about $360,000 and go up to $1.8 million; needless to say, it’s a very wealthy community.)

If you talk to some of Serenbe’s 700 or so residents, as I did when I visited in April for the Biophilic Leadership Summit, they’ll tell you—in the way that people who live in intentional communities often rhapsodize—that they’re happier and healthier than they were in their old homes and couldn’t imagine living elsewhere. It feels very utopian, but Nygren doesn’t see it that way.

“We don’t have places where people connect to nature and to each other,” says Nygren. “Isn’t it sad that when we see something where people are functioning, we think it’s utopia and ask, ‘Is it for real?’ I think that’s a statement for the times we’re in. And it makes me sad.”

Serenbe is an example of biophilic design, a concept rooted in building relationships between humans and nature. Though it’s been around for decades, it is receiving renewed attention as a lens through which more beautiful, healthy, and environmentally sensitive design can be achieved, and as cities look for ways to balance growth and quality of life for all residents.

What is biophilic design?

At its core, biophilic design is about the connection between humans and nature, which goes back to human evolutionary biology. Amid the 1970s environmental movement, social psychologist Erich Fromm coined the word “biophilia,” defining it as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.” The biologist Edward O. Wilson and late Yale professor of social ecology Stephen Kellert pioneered the concept of biophilic design, arguing that humans feel most comfortable in environments that reproduce the qualities of ancestral human environments.

But biophilia isn’t about copying nature. While biomimicry seeks solutions to human challenges by emulating nature, biophilia fosters connections with nature. Scientific studies have shown links between connections to nature and improved mental health, reduced stress, and physical health, as well as to reductions in crime and violence.

Biophilic design can be applied at virtually any scale, from individual rooms to entire cities. Singapore has been a leader in biophilic urbanism, showing that dense urban environments can include natural systems. In the 1960s, it embarked on plans to transform itself into a “city in a garden.” Today, the city of 5.6 million people includes lush gardens meshed with architecture, like in the recently opened Safdie Architects–designed Changi Airport and the Khoo Teck Puhat Hospital, which
On May 29, 2019, the City of Edmonton announced the winners of its Missing Middle Infill Design Competition. Launched earlier this year, the design-build competition turned its gaze to medium-density (or ‘missing middle’) housing and how to make it both economically feasible and well designed to work in Edmonton. Increasing the city’s housing choices, particularly how to integrate more housing in the ‘missing middle’ range, is an important part of the City Plan — Edmonton’s future growth strategy for a city headed towards a metropolitan area of two million people.

Endorsed by The Alberta Association of Architects, the 2019 competition drew proposals from teams of architects and builders/developers from across Canada and abroad. Their task: design a ‘missing middle’ housing development on five City-owned parcels of land at the northeast corner of 112 Avenue and 106 Street in the Spruce Avenue neighbourhood. Their prize: the opportunity to purchase the site and build their winning design, subject to rezoning approval.

The Missing Middle Infill Design winners are:

1st Place

The Goodweather
Part & Parcel, Studio North, and Gravity Architecture

Jury Commentary: This scheme provides a contextually responsive design which may be translated into a tangible community asset due to its high degree of construction viability and replicable design elements.

The first place team is currently in negotiations with the City to purchase the five parcels of land and build their winning design, conditional on rezoning approval.

2nd Place

Leckie Studio Architecture + Design Inc.

Jury Commentary: This submission provides a twist on classic urbanism through its marriage of high quality and durable materials and simple, elegant shape.

3rd Place

RedBrick Group of Companies and SPECTACLE

Jury Commentary: This scheme represents an innovative approach to site layout by distributing densities and amenity spaces through a unique “checkerboard” development pattern and basic massing, which supports affordability and sustainability.
In May, German architectural firm Ingenhoven Architects broke ground on Kö-Bogen II, a sustainable mixed-use development envisioned as the “new green heart” of Düsseldorf, Germany. Designed to visually extend the adjoining Hofgarten park into the inner city, Kö-Bogen II wraps the sloping facades of its two buildings with hornbeam hedges that total nearly 5 miles in length. The hedges and turfed rooftop spaces will also help purify the air and combat the city’s heat island effect by providing a cooling microclimate.

Located at Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, Kö-Bogen II will serve as a commercial and office complex covering 42,000 square meters of gross floor area offering retail, restaurants, office space, local recreation and a five-story underground parking garage with 670 spaces. The development comprises a five-story trapezoid-shaped main building and a smaller triangular building that cluster around a valley-like plaza. The sloping facades, which will be planted with hornbeam hedges, open up the plaza to views of the iconic Dreischeibenhaus and the Düsseldorf Theater nearby. The architects will also be refurbishing the roof, facade and public areas of the Düsseldorf Theater.

“In order to do justice to the overall urban design situation, the design of Kö-Bogen II deliberately avoids a classical block-edged development such as that along the Schadowstrasse shopping street,” the architects explained in a press release. “In addition, the idea of green architecture has been applied systematically, thus distinguishing the development from conventional architectural solutions.”

Ascending to a building height of 27 meters, the hornbeam hedges will offer seasonal interest by changing color throughout the year. The turfed surfaces planted on the triangular building’s sloped facades will be accessible to passersby, who can use the space as an open lawn for rest and relaxation. Kö-Bogen II is slated to open in the spring of 2020.

Riley Stewart Photography
The group wants to showcase the talented women working in the industry

As the director of development at Urban Capital Property Group, Taya Cook finds herself sitting in a lot of boardrooms surrounded by men.

Cook says she knew women who were doing fantastic work in the development industry, but for some reason, they weren't at the table.

So when she saw an article last year showcasing the "kings of condos" — more than a dozen men developing the city — she thought something had to be done.

"It was a very striking visual representation of what I've experienced in the development industry for the last 15 years," she said.

"Where are the queens?"

Aiming to find them, Cook teamed up with Sherry Larjani, managing partner at Spotlight Developments, to create the city's first all-female development team, with women leading projects in all areas, including engineering, architecture and urban planning.

"It's just to make a statement," said Larjani.

"It actually brings the females that are working behind the scenes and puts them in front of everybody to see."

The team of approximately 15 women is working together on a residential project in Etobicoke, dubbed Reina, which means queen in Spanish.

Still in the design phase, it will eventually rise on the site where the now-demolished House of Lancaster strip club operated.

Building by and for women
While improving the visibility of female workers, Cook and Larjani say they also want to improve design. Their project will look at how improvements in spacing, lighting and security can make buildings more welcoming for all residents.

Some of their ideas include communal storage space for strollers on the first floor, bedrooms designed specifically for children and even a communal kitchen as an amenity so families can host large gatherings.

Cook said men and women in the industry are guilty of overlooking these ideas.

"We know what works and we do it again," she said.

"What's unique about this project is that we're taking the opportunity to step back and really ... rethink all these assumptions."

Larjani says they've come up with these ideas because they're thinking more about what women, and mothers want and need in a space.

"They are very simple ideas at times, but they're things that sometimes in buildings are overlooked," she said.
Ric Carrasquillo/for The Washington Post
A Tuesday afternoon in the Mission District of America’s tech wonderland.

Michael Feno stands outside Lucca Ravioli, his beloved pasta emporium on Valencia, a vestige of old San Francisco, puffing on a cigar while posing for pictures, his customers in tears.

Living in this city’s radically shifting landscape, veterinarian Gina Henriksen found comfort by telling herself, “Thank God, Lucca is still here. If Lucca goes, I’m going to have to leave San Francisco. What do we have left?”

Lucca is no longer here.

After 94 years, doors shuttered on the last day of April. The parking lot sold for $3.5 million. A three-building parcel, including the store, listed for $8.3 million and was purchased by — need you inquire? — a developer..

A few blocks away, in this neighborhood of shops hawking $2,600 electric bikes and $8 lemonade, Borderlands Cafe — a throwback with plants cascading from the ceiling — closed the same day after a decade in business.

Owner Alan Beatts couldn’t retain staff, even with a $15 minimum hourly wage. Who can live on $15 an hour in this city transformed by innovation?

How can Alba Guerra, co-owner of nearby Sun Rise restaurant, continue to charge $10.95 for the housemade vegan chorizo platter after her rent spiked 62 percent last year to $7,800 a month?

For decades, this coruscating city of hills, bordered by water on three sides, was a beloved haven for reinvention, a refuge for immigrants, bohemians, artists and outcasts. It was the great American romantic city, the Paris of the West.

No longer. In a time of scarce consensus, everyone agrees that something has rotted in San Francisco.

Conservatives have long loathed it as the axis of liberal politics and political correctness, but now progressives are carping, too. They mourn it for what has been lost, a city that long welcomed everyone and has been altered by an earthquake of wealth. It is a place that people disparage constantly, especially residents.

Real estate is the nation’s costliest. Listings read like typos, a median $1.6 million for a single-family home and $3,700 monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment.

“This is unregulated capitalism, unbridled capitalism, capitalism run amok. There are no guardrails,” says Salesforce founder and chairman Marc Benioff, a fourth-generation San Franciscan who in a TV interview branded his city “a train wreck.”

You no longer leave your heart in San Francisco. The city breaks it.

The city is filthy rich in what other regions crave: growth, start-ups, high-paying jobs, educated young people, soaring property values, commercial and residential construction, a vibrant street life, and so much disposable revenue. But San Francisco, a city of 883,305 residents, 100,000 more than two decades ago, is the Patient Zero of issues affecting urban areas. The sole constant is its staggering beauty.

Downtown is a theme park of seismic start-ups — Uber, Airbnb, Slack and Lyft, with Twitter in the nearby Tenderloin, every app a skyscraper. The 58-story Millennium Tower is a sinking, tilting luxury condo folly that will take $100 million to right — writer Rebecca Solnit dubbed it “the leaning tower of hubris.”

In the shadow of such wealth, San Francisco grapples with a very visible homeless crisis of 7,500 residents, some shooting up in the parks and defecating on the sidewalks, which a 2018 United Nations report deemed “a violation of multiple human rights.” Last year, new Mayor London Breed assigned a five-person crew, dubbed the “poop patrol,” to clean streets and alleys of human feces.

The small downtown’s streets are choked with Google and Apple employee buses, and 45,000 daily Uber and Lyft drivers, some commuting from hours away and unfamiliar with the city. By comparison, there are 25,000 ride-sharing drivers in Philadelphia, a much larger and more populous city.

There’s an ongoing battle between the NIMBYs and YIMBYs over development in one of the nation’s densest cities. Tech companies here are the beneficiaries of gilded carrots, tax breaks. Longtime residents worry that tech workers are drawn here for the jobs, not the city, and may never become stakeholders in San Francisco’s future.

“Our rich are richer. Our homeless are more desperate. Our hipsters are more pretentious,” says Solnit, who
The sharing economy puts a different spin on new construction and building operations.

ber. Amazon. AirBnB. WeWork. Common.

These are some of the prominent brands and business platforms that have come to define the “shared” or “gig” economy in the U.S. and beyond. They are reflections of and responses to societal and behavioral changes in the ways that people want to live, work, and play. Their success is linked inextricably to the ubiquity of mobile tools that connect users to the Internet that, as one AEC firm put it, “is the circulation system of the shared economy.”

As this economy evolves and expands, the built environment plays catch-up. Indeed, some AEC executives still view this evolution through a narrow framing of “collaborative spaces” and transparency. These same executives, though, acknowledge that something is going on out there that is redrawing design and construction parameters.

These influences vary by building type and manifest themselves in different ways. For example, Thousand Oaks High School in California recently completed the transformation of its 4,500-sf library into a Perkins Eastman–designed Learning Center that “is like Starbucks without coffee,” say two of the firm’s Principals, Brian Dougherty, FAIA, LEED AP; and Betsy Olenick Dougherty. The Learning Center is “energized” with nonstop music and strong bandwidth. The space’s lighting, acoustics, and tools (it includes 3D printers) are completely different from a traditional library’s, and the librarian now serves as a facilitator and mentor.

In Lowell, Mass., Maugel Architects designed the 100,000-sf Boott Mills office building (which includes labs on its third floor) with large, flexible conference spaces that all tenants can share.

On a grander scale, Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet-owned company, is developing a 12-acre neighborhood, called Quayside, southeast of Toronto, whose objectives include creating a destination for people, companies, startups, and local organizations “to advance solutions to the challenges facing cities, such as energy use, housing affordability, and transportation,” according to the project’s website.

“I think [the shared economy] is having a bigger impact than most people realize,” says Rhett Crocker, President of LandDesign, a Charlotte, N.C.-based urban design, planning, and civil engineering firm.

Before Crocker spoke with BD+C in mid-March, he had a conversation with a client about developing pickup and drop-off areas for car-sharing services and the city’s popular bike- and scooter-sharing programs. (Since the city launched its electric scooter program in May 2018, monthly ridership has ranged from 83,000 to 139,000 trips, according to the Charlotte Department of Transportation.) Crocker notes that some existing drop-offs have become little social hubs in their own right.
Mike Blake/Reuters
State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 50 would rewrite the state’s single-family zoning codes. What's wrong with that? A lot, say opponents.

In a hearing room in California’s capitol on Tuesday, State Senator Scott Wiener described a widespread housing crisis in stark terms. California is short about 3.5 million homes, he said, citing a McKinsey report that projected housing demand by 2025. Buying a home at the Golden State’s median price—over half a million dollars—is a fantasy for most households. Rents are soaring, homelessness is up, and displacement is refacing storied neighborhoods.

“Red or blue, all of our communities are struggling,” Wiener told an audience of lobbyists, citizens, and members of the state senate housing committee, who would later have their say about how to address the housing crisis.

As they spoke, the painted figures in a Depression-era mural depicting the state’s romanticized origins looked on. Flanked by a missionary, a prospector, a frontiersman, and a native Californian, Calafia, the Amazon goddess from whom the state supposedly gets its name, graced its spectacular and varied terrain. In the foreground, a white working-class couple, child in arms, surveyed their land of promise.

As the hearing on April 2 on made clear, rarely has California’s mythic story of opportunity seemed further from reality. From Sonoma to San Diego, the state faces a massive affordability crisis; across the political gradient, few residents disagree on that, even if they don’t see eye to eye on how to solve it. Investment in below-market-rate housing? Stronger tenant protections? Better city planning? They’re all part of the solution, said Wiener. But what California fundamentally lacks is adequate housing supply, he said, and it needs to tear down needless barriers to market rate construction.

That’s the intention behind Wiener’s Senate Bill 50, which proposes to rewrite the laws that have blocked high-volume housing construction. Like its predecessor SB 827, the transit-oriented housing bill that captured national attention last year, SB 50 faces vigorous opposition from many angles. It cleared its first legislative hurdle in early April, when it passed that housing committee (which Wiener leads) with a bipartisan 9-1 vote.

But on May 16, SB 50 was made a “two-year bill” by the Senate Appropriations Committee, delaying a full vote on the contentious legislation until 2020. “While I’m deeply disappointed that the Chair of the Appropriations Committee has decided to postpone SB 50 until 2020—since we have a housing crisis right now—we are one hundred percent committed to moving the legislation forward,” Wiener said in a statement.

The bill would set an unprecedented state standard for residential zoning codes in certain corners of California. Currently, it is illegal to build anything but single dwellings designed for single families, sometimes with an in-law unit, in roughly 80 percent of California’s residential neighborhoods. SB 50 would change those laws in areas that are near high-frequency transit lines, job clusters, and good schools, prying open opportunities for developers to build to taller heights, with more units per square foot.
Related Santa Clara, one of the largest projects in the Bay Area, plans to create over 9 million square feet of offices, housing, hotels and retail on 240 acres next to Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Developer Related Cos. intends to start construction next year on the $8 billion project, previously known as CityPlace Santa Clara, which survived dueling lawsuits between Santa Clara and its neighbor, San Jose. The first phase is set to open in 2023.

In a battle over Silicon Valley’s future growth, San Jose sued Santa Clara in 2016 and alleged that the project, which includes 5.4 million square feet of office space and 1,680 housing units, would lead to more housing demand and additional traffic in San Jose.

In response to San Jose’s lawsuit, Santa Clara sued to block Santana Row, a large office project planned in San Jose. The two cities settled both lawsuits last year, allowing both Related Santa Clara and Santana Row to be built in exchange for payments to both cities to fund transit improvements.

The clash underscored Silicon Valley’s growing pains amid the red-hot economy, powered by big tech companies like Google, which plans to build a giant campus in San Jose, and Apple, which leased space in Santa Clara last year. Job growth has far outpaced new housing, with the Bay Area adding 14,900 new homes in 2017 compared to 52,700 jobs, according to government data.

The amount of housing was limited at Related Santa Clara because the site was previously used as landfill and required additional environmental approvals, according to Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor. She said other parts of the city will add more housing, such as the adjacent Tasman East area, where 4,500 units are planned.

The project will replace an underused golf course at 5155 Stars and Stripes Drive, she said. Legal challenges aren’t fully resolved: David’s Restaurant, a tenant on the site, is fighting a city eviction and use of eminent domain.


Did you know you can access The Chronicle’s photo archives?

Crowds arrive early on opening day of the Golden Gate International Exposition. Feb. 18, 1939.
Stephen Eimer, a Related executive vice president, said the developer was attracted to the site because of its proximity to transit from the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority and Amtrak and Altamont Corridor Express trains. VTA light rail trains will connect to Caltrain stations in Mountain View and San Jose and a soon-to-open BART station in Milpitas. (The project website confusingly notes that BART is coming to the city of Santa Clara in 2025. While technically true, that station is 6 miles from the stadium area and will not offer convenient transit connections.)

The project will generate $17 million in annual taxes and fees and create 25,000 jobs. It includes 170 affordable housing units. An additional 700 hotel rooms are planned.
Henning Larsen Architects
Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects has won an international competition for the design of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City, a new district in the southern Chinese city spanning 5.5 million square meters. Working alongside two other local firms, Henning Larsen’s green and sustainable master plan will help cement Shenzhen — often likened to China’s Silicon Valley — as the innovation center of the country.

A critical part of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City is reconnecting the business district with the waterfront and emphasizing the pedestrian urban realm — something that Chinese planning authorities have long overlooked in favor of vehicular traffic. In Henning Larsen’s approach, cars will be relegated to an underground network of roads and highways so that commuter cars will rarely be seen aboveground in public areas. Moreover, the master plan’s central organizing axis will consist of a linear waterway that visually and physically connects the district to two larger bodies of water.

“Our design aims to make Shenzhen the waterfront city it should always have been,” said Claude Godefroy, partner and design director of Henning Larsen’s Hong Kong Office. “To create an attractive waterfront, we brought commercial and cultural facilities meters away from the seashore, so citizens will finally be able to enjoy the atmosphere of Shenzhen Bay in an activated urban environment, like in Sydney, Singapore or Copenhagen.”

Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography
On April 18, the New York City Council passed an ambitious package of climate change bills—legislation that imposes strict rules on the city’s larger buildings, requiring them to drastically curb carbon emissions.

The centerpiece of the eight-bill Climate Mobilization Act is aimed at new and existing buildings larger than 25,000 square feet, requiring owners to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050. Fail to comply, and owners would face steep fines—$1 million a year for the largest properties.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may run for president in 2020, is expected to sign the legislation in the coming weeks and has touted it as a Green New Deal for New York, one that could forge a path for other cities to follow.

“This is the first city in the world, that I know of, that has placed significant carbon emission caps on this many buildings,” said John M. Mandyck, the chief executive officer of the Urban Green Council, an advocacy group for sustainable buildings.

In 2016, the city pledged in its Roadmap to 80x50 report to meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050. In New York, where the Urban Green Council estimates about 60 percent of the city’s 1 million buildings are 25,000 square feet or larger, some 67 percent of carbon emissions come from the built environment. The Climate Mobilization Act builds on this and other existing rules, like the city benchmarking law, which requires large buildings to measure and report energy and water consumption.

The new legislation makes specific, and expensive, demands on these larger buildings. Mark Chambers, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, estimates the work could cost property owners at least $4 billion, as buildings replace or retrofit windows, roofs and heating and cooling systems.

“The new law is going to drive down carbon emissions and it does so through really tough requirements on buildings,” Mandyck of the Urban Green Council told Architectural Record.

But the bill does make some exceptions. Public housing, houses of worship, and apartment buildings with rent-regulated units would be exempt from the emissions caps, and instead have to meet softer targets, like insulating pipes. The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) opposes the legislation for excluding so many buildings from the requirements and setting emission standards that it says could inhibit business growth.

The legislation “does not take a comprehensive, city-wide approach needed to solve this complex issue,” REBNY President John H. Banks said in a statement.

The Climate Mobilization Act includes an advisory board to recommend policy changes as the law rolls out. It also allows buildings to trade carbon credits and encourages building owners to buy renewable sources of energy in an effort to shift the city away from fossil fuels. Other new rules would require green roofs or solar panels on new construction and major retrofits. (Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled a version of a Green New Deal that would phase out gas-fueled cars in the city.)

In a speech on Earth Day, Mayor de Blasio singled out glass skyscrapers as a major source of pollution. “We are going to introduce legislation to ban the glass and steel skyscrapers that have contributed so much to global warming,” he said, standing on the Queens shoreline. “They have no place in our city or on our Earth anymore.” He doubled down on his statement a few days later on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Chambers, however, back-pedaled de Blasio’s comments, telling Architectural Record, “No one is saying that no one is going to use glass material anymore. What we’re saying is we have to be as thoughtful as possible about our mass and glass ratios.”

REBNY’s Banks pushed back against criticism of glass towers in a May 1 op-ed in Real Estate Weekly, writing, “We must not forget that a building’s rate of energy use and efficiency is not dictated by the material found in its facade—far from it.”

The mayor may be able to implement design changes through the city’s revised energy code for new construction, expected by the end of the year, according to Mandyck. “We’re waiting to see any proposals,” he said in an email. “So we simply don’t know if it will be part of the code—and if, how—or separate legislati
Architecture firm BIG has unveiled its second project for Ecuador's capital city: a mixed-use tower comprising two curved blocks covered in herringbone-patterned cladding and pockets of greenery.

Revealed today, BIG's mixed-used EPIQ tower was developed in collaboration with Quito's Uribe & Schwarzkopf. It marks BIG's second project in the city after the IQON tower, which was revealed last year and is currently under construction.

Described as a "vertical city", the 24-storey EPIQ will provide residential, commercial, and office space on a plot in the city's Parque La Carolina neighbourhood. Its design draws on details found in nearby area Old City – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

"The historical centre of Quito with its red herringbone sidewalks is a bombardment of forms, geometry, typography and colour," said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels.

EPIQ comprises two interlocking structures covered in pinkish tiles, as a reference to the hues of the Old City's salmon pink buildings that date back to the 1EPIQ comprises two interlocking structures covered in pinkish tiles, as a reference to the hues of the Old City's salmon pink buildings that date back to the 16th century. Tiles in varying tones will cover different portions of the fragmented building.

6th century. Tiles in varying tones will cover different portions of the fragmented building.

EPIQ comprises two interlocking structures covered in pinkish tiles, as a reference to the hues of the Old City's salmon pink buildings that date back to the 16th century. Tiles in varying tones will cover different portions of the fragmented building.

"As architects, we are often a little afraid to play with colour – in Quito we thought it could be interesting to use colour to accentuate the different building blocks and give each volume its own shade of red," said Ingels.

Large green pockets will break up the form of the tower, as a reference the 65.5-acre (26.5-hectare) landscaped park it faces, and provide residents with access to outdoor space.

"At the south tip of La Carolina park, our aim is to create a three dimensional community: a constellation of building volumes of different sizes that form a holistic whole offering the residents and their families a variety of sun-filled openings, passages, parks and pockets for play, social life, work and enjoyment," Ingels added.

Angular windows cover much of the curved exterior to provide ample natural light, as well as vistas from almost every part of the building.

Renderings show that the residences will have an open-plan layout and simple decor, including a mix of either white or wood surface.

Alongside private balconies, each resident will have access to larger, communal outdoor spaces scattered across the tower.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures
The defunct National Baths of Aix-les-Bains will receive a vibrant and sustainably minded revival in the hands of the Paris-based practice Vincent Callebaut Architectures. Selected as the winner of a competition following the popular vote, the firm’s proposal — dubbed “The Foam of Waves” — will not only restore the ancient thermal baths, but also introduce a sustainable, energy-producing paradigm that follows the carbon-neutral guidelines as recommended by COP 21. The project will adopt a mixed-use program that incorporates residential, commercial, tourist, educational and urban agriculture spaces.

The Foam of Waves focuses on the renovation of the Pellegrini, Revel and Princes buildings while staying respectful of the existing Roman remains. To inject new energy into the space, the architects have created a mixed-use program designed to attract locals, tourists and business investment. The scope includes a tourist office, a Center of Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage, a wellness center, a teaching space for the Peyrefitte School, a wellness-focused shopping center with restaurants, coworking spaces, 185 “green apartments” and parking. An urban educational farm integrating permaculture and aquaponics will be located on the green roof.

“The whole architectural project is the carrier of the new paradigms of our society,” the architects said. “It offers future residents and visitors the opportunity to adopt new lifestyles that respect the environment, health and urban well-being in order to simply live better. It is a resilient architecture, innervated by nature. It is an ode to biodiversity, renewable energies and the circular economy that advocates the construction of post-carbon, post-fossil, post-nuclear and even post-insecticidal cities.”

In addition to an expansive green roof, the buildings will feature updated wave-like facades with balconies large enough to accommodate trees and private garden spaces for residents. The building envelopes will be also be optimized for airtightness, insulation and passive solar conditions. The project aims to produce more energy than it consumes and will include a solar photovoltaic and thermal roof, a mini-biomass plant on-site and a co-generation system with rapeseed oil. Rainwater harvesting systems and gray water recycling will also be implemented.

Mark Lennihan/AP
Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

Since its official unveiling last month, critics have been teeing off on Hudson Yards, the $25 billion office-and-apartment megaproject on Manhattan’s West Side. The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright calls it “bargain-basement building-by-the-yard stuff that would feel more at home in the second-tier city of a developing economy.” In Curbed, Alexandra Lange writes that it suffers from “no contrast. No weirdness, no wildness, nothing off book.” The New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman describes it as a “vast neoliberal Zion.”

“New York politics and real estate are notoriously akin to Rashomon,” reads Kimmelman’s review. “Any verdict on an undertaking as costly and complex as Hudson Yards depends on one’s perspective.”

Views abound, sure, but so far, nobody seems to like what they see when they look at Hudson Yards. The project has managed to do something unique: unite all New Yorkers in a vernal equinox of acid contempt. Early reviews offer a litany of contrasts, with the development’s garish geometry and dull placelessness earning rebuke in equal measure. That’s before considering how certain features, particularly Thomas Heatherwick’s oft-derided shawarma-shaped bucket, square with other projects as “bellwethers pointing to exactly where our cities are going awry.”

However, among all the many reasons to feel salty about Hudson Yards, one perspective may deserve a place of privilege: the view from Harlem. Without their knowledge, the residents of a number of public housing developments helped to make Hudson Yards possible. The mega-luxury of this mini-Dubai was financed in part through a program that was supposed to help alleviate urban poverty. Hudson Yards ate Harlem’s lunch.

Specifically, the project raised at least $1.2 billion of its financing through a controversial investor visa program known as EB-5. This program enables immigrants to secure visas in exchange for real estate investments. Foreigners who pump between $500,000 and $1 million into U.S. real estate projects can purchase visas for their families, making it a favorite for wealthy families abroad, namely in China. EB-5 is supposed to be a way to jumpstart investment in remote rural areas, or distressed urban ones.

Hudson Yards, of course, is nobody’s idea of distressed. Located at the source of New York’s High Line, it’s the most expensive real-estate project in U.S. history. It could not possibly qualify as distressed under the terms of the program, or any understanding of the word. In order to buy EB-5 visas at the lower rate ($500,000), immigrant investors must put their money behind projects in areas with high unemployment—a proxy for need.

Manhattan’s West Side may not suffer for lack of opportunity, but, as Kimmelman notes, New York real estate is a realm for Kurosawa-esque visionaries. The Related Companies, the developer behind Hudson Yards, raked in at least $1.2 billion in EB-5 funds for this project. To qualify, Related needed a work-around to bypass the distressed-area requirements—a pass that New York authorities were happy to issue.
SOM / Shashcube GmbH
The future of architecture may, soon, be out of this world. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has released the conceptual design for the first full-time human habitat on the lunar surface, called “Moon Village.”

As architect, engineer, and designer of the master plan, SOM had to consider “problems that no one would think about on Earth, like radiation protection, pressure differentials, and how to provide breathable air,” said design partner Colin Koop. “The project presents a completely new challenge for the field of architectural design.”

The firm proposes locating a cluster of three- and four-story inflatable, interconnected modules, protected from by extreme temperatures, projectiles, dust, and solar radiation by a regolith-based shell. The buildings of the settlement would support science, industry and even tourism.

Located at the edge of Shackleton Crater, near the Moon’s South Pole, the site is exposed to near constant sunlight throughout the lunar year—a fact that would allow the Village to rely on solar power and give occupants access to ice deposits within the permanently shadowed depressions nearby.

The Moon Village concept supports the ESA’s goal of future space exploration beyond the year 2050, as well as NASA’s mission to “extend human presence deeper into space, and to the Moon, for sustainable long-term exploration and utilization.”