ULI Chicago News

Chicago Product Council Program Gives Tremendous Member Value


The Chicago Product Council Program is currently accepting applications for 2016.  The first year of the program ended just last month and members have raved about their Council experience.  Read more about the final Green Flight Council meeting and judge for yourself.  Applications for 2016 will be accepted through Friday, October 23, 2015. Don’t miss this exclusive members-only opportunity.  Learn more about the program and apply now

A Bird’s-Eye View of the Final 2015 Urban Development/Mixed-Use Green Flight Council Meeting
Chicago’s Product Council, UDMUC Green Flight, ended on a high note, literally. The Council members gathered on the 37th floor of Drinker Biddle’s offices at 191 N. Wacker to conclude the program with their fellow council members.

Product Council Chair, David Galowich of Madison Realty Group kicked off the group meeting by expressing great appreciation for members’ contributions to the successful 2015 year for the local Product Council and led the group through the program for the day.

The Council Members spent the morning with their peers in roundtable sessions uncovering the successes, challenges, trends and personal experiences in the following arenas.

Ranadip Bose, Senior Project Manager of SB Freidman led the table discussion on The City of Chicago Affordable Requirements Ordinance and the Transit Oriented Development Ordinance.  The group dug into how the ordinances impacted new development and shared ideas on managing development through new and existing requirements.

The working session also delved into current investment strategies among asset classes.  Moderators Alex Hlavacek, Vice President of Inland Institutional Capital Partners, and Anastacia Fratto, Land Acquisition DR Horton Homes, led the group in further discussion of development projects at this stage of the economic cycle. There was evident consensus expressed among members, although significant capital is available to invest, it is very competitive to make the numbers work on many new development deals. Some developers are getting creative in finding ways to decrease construction costs by implementing new technology in vertical construction.

Lance Ramella, Vice President of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, moderated a roundtable group to discuss the public pension crisis and fiscal condition of the state and city. Without a doubt, the council as a whole showed grave concern regarding the current economic state and how it will impact the future real estate market and the critical need for net employment growth.

For those that wanted to explore sustainable requirements, energy benchmarking and all things green, Sarah Jacobson, Senior Associate at Gensler spear headed this discussion and highlighted case studies submitted by Council members identifying motivating factors for these initiatives and the tipping point where additional costs for green can be affordable. The biggest driver for a developer to consider sustainable design features is utility.  If a design feature saves an owner or developer money or effort in the long run, it will be adopted.  There would be more value to the real estate development community if the City simplified and streamlined sustainable codes and ordinances rather than offering incentives to adopt them. Energy benchmarking can be a great tool to prove the value of sustainable design features.  There are two key aspects to this: first, making sure that measurements are accurate and provide good data. Second, publishing the data so that the development community can quantify the premium paid for sustainable design.

Council members concluded the day with a tour of the new real estate tech incubator, Elmspring, and an informative talk led by Thomas Bretz and Adam Freeman of Elmdale Partners.  Elmspring’s incredible program is setting the stage for new tech opportunities in Chicago.

“The highlight of the day for me was the opportunity to have roundtable discussions with real estate professionals from the for-profit, non-profit, and government worlds on issues of interest to all of us,” stated Rich Wallach, Senior Director of Community Development at IFF and Green Flight Council member.

Planning for the 2016 Chicago Product Council Program is already underway. The Green Flight Leadership is excited to discuss what programming will look like.  Applications for 2016 will be accepted through the end of the week.  APPLY NOW

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