By: Peter Madrid
Turning our challenges into opportunities is the best way forward, experts tell record crowd at 15th Annual Trends Day
The adage “there is strength in numbers” rang true at the 15th Annual Trends Day hosted by ULI Arizona. Figure this:
>> 47,000: ULI membership worldwide;
>> 41,000: ULI membership in the Americas;
>> 1,100+: Registered attendees Feb. 26 at the JW Marriott Phoenix/Desert Ridge;
“How great is it that we’re attracting members who are committed to our mission so we can change the world,” said Gwyneth Jones Cote, President, Americas, ULI. “That is compelling. We’re doing it through diversity. We’re broadening our reach to universities, not just industry professionals. It’s about pathways to inclusion – a paradigm for parity.”
For the past 15 years, Trends Day has featured an economic outlook. Experts have given their prediction for global, national and local economies. Economist Ali Wolf with Meyers Research LLC spoke of a global economy that is “resilient but vulnerable.”
“We know where we are,” Wolf acknowledged, “but what do we look at? What are the indicators? Consumer confidence? GDP? Debt? Why does it matter? It matters because we’re entering 2020 with momentum. Rates are low. A lot of people are being more proactive.”
Experts on the six main panels highlighted industry trends and looked to the future of their specific topic. The “Real Estate Through the Ages” panel was asked to replace the “Five C’s” that once defined Arizona with just one “C.” The responses were diverse.
>> Former Gov. Fife Symington: “California.” Businesses and residents are leaving the Golden State for the Grand Canyon State.
>> Board of Directors, Taylor Morrison, Anne Mariucci: “Calmer cycles.”
>> Co-Founder, DMB Associates, Drew Brown: “Convening. We’re still a pretty small fish. If we don’t pull together more, we won’t have the success we have been having.”
Mixed-use. Collaboration. P-3. Healthy buildings. “The Future of Commercial Development” covered a myriad of topics.
“Mixed-use is being demanded by the next generation and not being forced,” said Keri Silvyn, Partner/Owner, Lazarus & Silvyn P.C. in Tucson. “Our downtown in the last 8 years has really transformed. The trolley has brought connectivity with the University of Arizona.”
Even Platon, an internationally-acclaimed photographer and the keynote speaker, talked about connectivity, but on a global scale.
Our neighbors to the North and South were represented on the “How Global Trade Impacts Arizona Growth” panel.
“Why is Florida called the gateway to Americas,” asked Marco Lopez Jr., CEO of Intermestic Partners. “It should be Mexico.”
Wrapping up the 15th Annual ULI Arizona Trends Day was “Vision 2020: What it Means for Arizona.”
“It’s all about market cycles,” said Greg Bielli, President and CEO, Tejon Ranch Co. “And it’s all about making the biggest challenges our opportunities. We don’t want to be California. That is the hotbed for pushing things in our direction.
“We need leaders like the ones who made courageous decisions years ago,” Bielli added. “It takes leadership with insight.”
See speaker PowerPoint presentations below:
Economist Ali Wolf at Trends Day 2020
How Arizona Developers are Building For Future Job Growth
by Kathleen McCormick, March 16, 2020, UrbanLand