Skip to content

NAIOP recap!

Today’s guest blog comes to us from NAIOP Washington, who sent us this thoughtful summary of the PLACE CAPITAL screening at the NAIOP breakfast meeting on January 15.  Thank you, Ed Scherer!

Summary of NAIOP Breakfast
January 15, 2014
Place Capital:  A Live Documentary Film About Cities
By Ed Scherer, Avidex Industries, LLC


Happy New Year!  The group that attended the NAIOP Breakfast were treated to a very unique program on January 15, 2014.  The film centered in on four cities that are redefining our traditional views of the Urban environment.

Glenn Amster introduced the program.  Glenn was President of the Chapter in 2013 and we give hearty thanks to him for his service.  Our new President, A-P Hurd introduced the presenters who shared their film created under the sponsorship of the UW Runstad Center Affiliate Fellows.  The presenters were:

·         Lisa Picard – EVP of Skanska Commercial Development USA
·         Gabriel Grant –  VP – HAL Real Estate Investments
·         Ken Yocom – Assistant Professor at UW
·         Kelly Hogg – Associate Project Manager at CBRE
·         Alvaro Jimenez – Financial Analyst – Security Properties
·         Eric Becker – Filmmaker

The genesis of the film project came from the simple question – “What makes good places”?  The film team concentrated on four cities:

·         Detroit
·         Berlin
·         Krakow, Poland
·         Fukushima, Japan

The issues in Detroit are well known – a manufacturing base that has dispersed to other locations leaving the building infrastructure of Detroit abandoned.  The film described the seeds of rebirth that is a testament to the human spirit.  Shared values, living and working contribute to the overall value increasing the capital of place.  Innovation (how to re-use old tires) and urban farming were pointed out as examples of how Detroit will come back.  There is a long way to go but the film captured the dedication of the people committed to bringing Detroit back to an exciting and vibrant place.  The deterioration was gradual, so will be the rebirth.  The theme from Detroit?  “Diversity = Resilience”

Berlin is one of the most interesting cities in the world.  In the last 70 years it has gone through wartime destruction, division with the Wall and three bankruptcies.  Through it all, Berlin has continued to lead and innovate.  Aspects that were highlighted in the film were that artists and creative thinkers are leading the recovery of Berlin.  The answer from Berlin about what makes good places is that open spaces foster community which fosters open communication.  The rise of Co-working, urban gardening and shared housing were pointed out as drivers for Berlin.  Ideas are the new currency and the reliance on Digital communication has brought about the need for more human interaction.  That human interaction is asserted to bring about the growth of place value.  The Berlin theme – “Spaces of possibility, spaces to pause and share ideas”.

As Fukushima struggles to overcome the three headed monster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear contamination, this community illustrates another theme of the film – “Community grows organically from the bottom up, not from the top down”.

Krakow, Poland boasts one of the oldest City Squares in the world, almost 800 years old.  Marketplaces were shown as an essential bridge to community marrying food and people.

The next generations of City dwellers will have tremendous impact on place capital.  It will be an exciting evolution and as NAIOP and community members, we have the opportunity to influence how our places retain and grow value.  The film presentation caused a number of NAIOP participants to look at things from a different viewpoint and we thank the presenters for their unique insights.