The Advisory Services Times-Dispatch, January 2012

The Advisory Services Times-Dispatch is a quarterly on-line newsletter for ULI’s premier outreach program. Established in 1947, the Advisory Services program has conducted over 600 panels around the world.

This installment of our newsletter includes links to more information about the last few panels completed by ULI Advisory Services; a summary and update of the $10,000 panel pilot incentive program, an announcement of the new Executive Program Series for Small-Scale Development Entrepreneurs offered by our Professional Development Program, a list of upcoming panels this Winter ; and an overview of the recently completed panel for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington DC. This issue also includes a focus on Michael Maxwell, recipient of the 2011 Robert O’Donnell Award at the LA Fall Meeting.

As always, if you have any comments or suggestions as to how we can improve this newsletter, please email me.

Tom Eitler, Vice President
ULI Advisory Services

Bring a national panel to your community! Participate in the District Council Panel Incentive Program

Late last year, Advisory Services launched its Panel Incentive Program that promotes partnership between District Councils and the national Advisory Services program. District Council members and staff who help secure a panel can receive up to $10,000 for their District Council. Bring a national panel to your community and receive $ for your District Council! For more details, please contact: Tom Eitler, Vice President of Advisory Services, via email or 202.624.7186.

Panel Focus: Martin Luther King Memorial Library, Washington DC

The Martin Luther King Memorial Library is located in downtown Washington DC and serves as the District of Columbia’s Central Library. Designed in 1968 by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe and MLK1completed in 1972 the building has had both a glorious and troubled past. A ULI Advisory Services Panel was assembled in November 2011 to help the DC Library System consider alternatives and provide strategic recommendations regarding several scenarios for redevelopment. Led by Los Angeles developer and ULI Governor Wayne Ratkovich, the panel recommends focused on the potential for additional floors and whether the library function should stay in the building or move to a new downtown location. The scenarios proposed by the DC Library System included the following:

● The central library remaining the sole occupant of a renovated building.

● The central library remaining in the building and sharing occupancy with one or more tenants to generate revenue for renovations and maintenance.

● The central library relocating to new, state-of-the-art quarters in the downtown area. The move would be funded by selling the Mies-designed building.

The panel noted that the first option appears to be infeasible as it does not address the expense of rehabilitating the existing building, which was independently estimated in 2006 at $200 million to $250 million.

Noting that Mies’s original design for the building could accommodate one or two additional stories, the panel estimated that such an expansion would create an additional 390,000 to 419,000 square feet of space, depending on whether the addition were set back from the current façade or built to occupy the entire footprint of the existing building.

If the Library were to share an expanded building, it could make 165,000 to 182,000 square feet available for one or more tenants, generating $4 million to $5.5 million annually to fund renovation and ongoing maintenance, the panel said. Tenants could access the upper floors of the building through their own lobby at the northeast corner of the building.

The third option, which would call for the Library’s relocation and the sale or ground lease of the existing building, would generate approximately $58 to $71 million, or possibly much more given the strong market demand for space in the District’s downtown. “This is probably the most financially viable option,” Getachew noted.

Architects working on the panel proposed creating interior light wells when the building is renovated. This would bring natural light to the additional stories and down into the existing second floor.

Panelists also proposed that, regardless of how the building is used in the future, some publicly accessible use be maintained on the ground level, where the Grand Hall and the Popular Library now reside. Changes to that space are inhibited by the building’s historic landmark status. In particular, they noted that the high visibility from outside the building be capitalized upon by using the space for art exhibitions or similar uses. Restaurant or other retail space could bring vitality and a greater sense of security to the building, panelists noted. Rooftop terraces are another possible amenity.

“You have a very valuable piece of real estate,” said Michael Reynolds, principal of The Concord Group, a real estate advisory firm. In the current market, he said, office space is the most valuable use and would generate the greatest revenue for the Library’s use. However, panelist Ayahlushim Getachew, senior vice president of Thomas Properties Group, told the audience that “in all scenarios, additional public resources will be required.” Click here to download the MLK Library Panel Presentation and Report. For more information, contact Tom Eitler.

Panel Focus – -Downtown Tampa, Florida

An ULI Advisory Services Panel with eight experts in the fields of real estate development, finance, transportation, design, and implementation spent October 9 – 14 studying the City of Tampa’s downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. Tampa was recently awarded a HUD Sustainability grant to look at connectivity and development in its urban core neighborhoods, and the panelists were charged with creating a framework around these issues for the more detailed planning activities that will take place under the auspices of the grant.
Tampa1Like many urban core areas in the United States, downtown Tampa suffered a decline as metropolitan growth patterns trended outward. Tampa’s population began to decline in the 1970s as population centers within unincorporated Hillsborough Country grew along with job centers outside of the central business district like Westshore and University North. Westshore in particular is enormous competition for downtown businesses – it is one of the largest job centers in Florida with 11 million square feet of office space containing nearly 4,000 business employing nearly 100,000 workers.

The Panel offered a variety of recommendations designed to grow the downtown and make the entire city and region stronger with an eye towards building on the investments the City has already made and creating opportunity out of the somewhat weaker market conditions many places around the country are experiencing. One critical recommendation was to develop, with citizen participation, a clear vision of Downtown Tampa and its relationship and connection to the near-downtown neighborhoods and have it formally adopt those plans. The Panel envisions downtown and surrounding urban core neighborhoods like West Tampa, Tampa Heights, and Ybor City as an set of unique, vibrant communities connected by greenways, transit, and strategic investments in redevelopment.

Another important item identified by the Panel was the competition of Tampa’s Riverwalk, a linear park connecting downtown and its cultural amenities to the river and other green space. Completion of this important path would create a regional focal point. Panelist Byron Koste said, “This asset, when complete will exemplify all that is good about Tampa. Getting to it needs to be safe, obvious, and enjoyable.”

After the Panel’s Friday presentation, Mayor Bob Buckhorn said, “The expertise that the ULI panel brought was invaluable. It gave us a fresh perspective grounded in reality and provided us with a blueprint for our urban development. I couldn’t be happier.”

For more information, contact Annie Best.

 Spotlight: Michael Maxwell, 2011 Robert O’Donnell Award

Michael Maxwell serves as the Interim Director Real Estate Program at the Huizenga School of Business, Nova Southeastern University and is Managing Partner, MAXWELL+ParMike Maxwelltners in Miami, Florida. In his dual roles, he is responsible for leading and building the Master of Science Real Estate Development Program at NSU into a top tier graduate real estate program. As the head of MAXWELL+Partners Mike leads the firm’s investment, development and advisory services in urban commercial redevelopment projects and work-outs in South Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Maxwell has overseen the development of nearly 2 million square feet of commercial, retail and logistics space, as new development and re-development of obsolete assets including military bases. Over his career he has developed niche market, resort and luxury hotels, medical clinics, offices and residential treatment facilities as well as redeveloped / worked out shopping centers, residential communities and office loan portfolios. His development work in historic buildings and commercial / business revitalization has won numerous awards.

Maxwell; joined ULI in 1999 and became a full member 2004.

He has served on 9 Panels charring a number, several project reviews and was a Rose Center faculty to the Mayor of Minneapolis in 2010. Maxwell makes time to serve on “at least one, preferably two panels yearly.” In one 12 month period in the mid 2000’s he served on 4 panels in a 14 month period.

“Serving on panels is an honor. ULI Panels are some of the most rewarding and creative work I am involved with each year. The issues and problems posed to panels are some of the most challenging facing our industry. I serve on panels for those reasons and for the opportunity to work collaboratively with the most talented and creative people in ULI.

“Being asked to serve on a panel is recognition from your peers that your work is known and valued. Panel service allows me to provide ideas that improve the lives of others.”

“The panel process is all about seeking another way to look and understand an issue. It is about climbing out of the box, looking at issues with set of fresh ideas and perspectives. Moreover, it is about creating a clear path forward to navigate around or over problems and solves them by applying creativity and innovation to the available resources of that market and local economy. “

“My favorite panels are those where our ideas made a difference. Vitruvian Park, Buffalo, Jordan Downs Redevelopment, Nantucket, and Pasco County have been exceptional experiences because the ideas and creativity of the panels were embraced as catalyzing influences.”

“Panels offer participants the opportunity to discuss and propose solutions to very most complex intellectual and business challenges in land use. Moreover, panels offer the opportunity to make a real difference.”

Panels are the face and intellect of ULI to the world outside of our membership. They are a central reason why ULI is well respected throughout the world.

Maxwell has been an active member of the ULI SE Florida / Caribbean District Council, serving 10 years on the Executive Committee as Vice Chair for Membership, Co-Vice Chair of the 2008 Fall Meeting in Miami Beach and Vice Chair for Academia as well as other leadership roles.

Maxwell is always up for the challenging panels and packs his enthusiasm for the process. He prepares for each panel by undertaking additional research and brings innovative catalytic ideas that create dramatic results. In Buffalo, NY to create value from a site that had a negative value exceeding $10 million he proposed a mixed-used development that reused the sites best features and used a Residual Beneficiary Trust to enable the sponsor to recover from their negative financial position and create substantial future value. In Los Angeles, he proposed specialized high schools based on a successful model in Miami that teach immediately employable skills in well-paying Los Angeles industries as the nucleus for the redevelopment of six 60 year old public housing projects in Watts.

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