Urbanexus Update — Issue #54

Please scroll down for the weekly compilation of analysis, reporting and opinion about real estate and community development. Some links may lead to material that is behind a paywall.

Real estate investment

Private real-estate fund managers, sitting on record amounts of cash, are finding it increasingly difficult to spend all that money within the deadlines they promised investors.

Seattle troyblock
Seattle troyblock

A big deal in Seattle rebusinessonline.com

Real estate investment firm Ponte Gadea has acquired Troy Block, an 800,000-square-foot, Amazon-occupied office complex in Seattle. Although the price was not disclosed, The Puget Sound Business Journal was first to report it at $740 million. The full-block, two-building property is located at 300 Boren Avenue North in the South Lake Union district.



The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, on Tuesday reported a 4.3% annual gain in January, down from 4.6% in the previous month and a four-year low.



Somewhere between a branded hotel like Holiday Inn and a truly independent hotel lies the “soft-branded” hotel. These properties are pseudo-independent in that they don’t adhere to hotel brand standards but their owners can tap into the networks of established chains for resources like reservation software, loyalty programs and distribution channels

Metropolitan trends

Home buyers, often millennials, are again trekking to the distant reaches of cities in search of affordable housing, even if that means a long commute. The collapse of this market a decade ago tore through the U.S. economy and left many builders bankrupt. They’re hoping this time will be different.

Architecture and urban design


Taking readers behind architecture’s facades and finishes, this book explores how some of the most important buildings in the world were constructed. Specially commissioned isometric drawings present the essential structural elements of the world’s masterpiece buildings that are not visible to the naked eye.

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5ca0d34d153f2e079bc26055 jane 20street 20after

Changing streets with tactical suburbanismwww.pps.org

Tactical Suburbanism: Low-Density Ideas for High-Density Places highlights projects from around the country where locals are using their own resources to implement informal projects that transform their streets. This is very much like something from The Onion.



While smart and experienced home building operators, building trades, and entrenched partners continue to express push-back to a notion many of them feel they have seen before and have seen fail repeatedly — with reactions ranging from amused skepticism to outright cynicism — money, talent, and development are pouring in to bringing technology and data, ever less-expensive and more-powerful microprocessing and sensors, to solve building design, development, engineering, and construction’s challenge of bending its cost curve.

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20190330 fnd001

Flaws in Bitcoin make a lasting revival unlikelywww.economist.com

A report on the problems with Bitcoin from @TheEconomist. “BE MORE BRENDA,” said the ads for CoinCorner, a cryptocurrency exchange. They appeared on London’s Underground last summer, featuring a cheery pensioner who had, apparently, bought some Bitcoins in just ten minutes. It was bad advice.

Real estate leaders

Perez alvarado gilda
Perez alvarado gilda

Gilda Perez-Alvarado leading the Hospitality Division of JLL leadingvoicespodcast.com

In this episode of Leading Voices in Real Estate, Matt Slepin interviews Gilda Perez-Alvarado. Gilda was recently, in September 2018, named the CEO for JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group, Americas. In the interview, Gilda shares her career story — from growing up in Costa Rica, to hotel school at Cornell, then working across the globe on hotel transactions, and now her leadership in the business.

Around the world


Nearly one in three people living in West and Central Africa fear losing their homes and land in the next five years, according to a survey of 33 countries, making it the region where people feel most insecure about their property.

Striving to understand what shapes change across metropolitan regions and creates opportunities — and challenges — for equitable and sustainable development.