ULI Summary: Niche Property Classes

Freezing temperatures and the Urban Land Institute: the two will be forever linked in my memory.

That’s because last Thursday, very possibly the coldest day of my life (it was about 20 degrees below zero), I trekked to the Union League Club to cover a meeting of the Urban Land Institute’s Chicago chapter.

The topic: “Niche Property Classes: Are they faring better than Primary Real Estate Asset Classes?”

For the fourth time in as many months, I learned a wealth of information. When my fingers thawed upon returing to my office, I wrote this summary for the ULI, which touches on some of the insights shared by development experts in the niches of parking garages, medical offices and college housing.

You can also read three prior summaries I’ve written for the Urban Land Institute’s Chicago chapter, “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2009®,” “The Credit Crisis: How the Collapse of Credit Impacts the Economy and Commercial Real Estate,” and “River North: Past Plans, Future Opportunities.”

Media Manna: My Q & A With Joe Theismann

My kids’ bedtime stories are of the Biblical variety. Just last night, I enjoyed reading to them again about the manna–the sweet-tasting food from the heavens–that God provided to Moses and his beleaguered crew of nomads.

It’s the perfect metaphor for some of the assignments that I’ve been fortunate to receive over the years. In May, it happened when Wendy Cole, a senior editor at REALTOR magazine called.

A fellow Oak Parker whom I know from our time together at Time magazine (she on staff, me as a stringer), Wendy asked if I’d be interested in interviewing Joe Theismann for a Q & A to appear in an edition previewing the REALTORS Conference & Expo in Orlando.

Media Manna!

I started rattling off Joe’s football stats, how he changed his last name’s pronunication so it rhymed with “Heisman,” and other background details. Somewhere in there I gushed my reply to Wendy’s offer: “Yes!”

“Sounds like this is a good fit for you,” she understated with amusement.

I did some research, prepared about a dozen questions and, on May 20, enjoyed a 23-minute interview with Joe. I anticipated a bright, thoughtful, colorful encounter, and Joe was even more classy and insightful than I’d imagined he would be.

I typed up a long version of the Q & A for the REALTOR website, and below you can see the shorter version that appeared in print: