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ULI Arizona’s 16th Annual Trends Days was a virtual program with its always-inspiring deep-dive content spread out over three mornings.
By Peter Madrid | MadridMedia
ULI Arizona’s 16th Annual Trends Day was a virtual program with its always-inspiring deep-dive content spread out over three mornings.
As always, the more than 50 industry experts from across the globe discussed the most current real estate trends, with a focus on what to expect in the future, where the best opportunities can be found, and how these components affect both public and private sector partners.
Day 1 began with author, educator and real estate investment strategist Dr. Peter Linneman sharing his “crystal ball” with Trends Day attendees.
“Where are we in the economy?” Dr. Linneman asked. “I like to think of it as a ‘butterfly economy. It is flying slowly and irregular. It will stop, go backward, and then proceed going forward. Recovery will continue as (COVID-19) vaccinations pick up. Which will allow life to really change. Already things are opening up. Still, we will have a distance to go.”
Where are we today?
“We’re still down 8 million to 9 million jobs,” Dr. Linneman said. “I don’t need to tell you how highly affected leisure, travel, entertainment and retail were. But there is pent up demand in the economy. Another month of butterfly!”
Where is there growth in the Valley?
“Phoenix’s western suburbs are leading the way as increasingly Phoenix serves as the warehouse center for Southern California. I see that to continue.”
The 2021 Fireside Chat topic was “The Long Game: Waging the War on Coronavirus.”
With most of the public focus on limiting the spread of COVID-19 and increasing our ability to get the vaccine, speaker Dr. Paul Keim, Executive Director, Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University, said the wildcard is the variants that are out there.
Day 2’s discussion, “Arizona’s Explosive Growth in Manufacturing” asked the question, why? It’s a once in a lifetime event in Arizona, attendees were told. Again, why? Because Arizona is becoming a major player in the semiconductor device industry. Arizona is poised to take advantage of the digital transformation. It has happened in the past year, not 5 years down the road as was predicted.
Day 3 began with a compelling discussion, “Leadership in Times of Transition.” Speakers were former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake and retired Arizona Senator Bob Worsley.
“The last election was divisive,” Sen. Worsley said. “How do leaders stay to principals in these times of disorder?”
“The answer is to look long-term,” Sen. Flake responded.
That response is apropos to the commercial real estate industry in Arizona as well.