Author Archives: Sam Woodburn

Structural Engineering 101: Load Paths, Structural Systems, and Withstanding Earthquakes

On June 9th, ULI San Francisco hosted a sold-out seminar on high-rise building in the Bay Area entitled “Sink, Swim… or Tilt?” The talk was given by respected structural engineer Carl J. Wilford, P.E., S.E., Vice President of Thornton Tomasetti. Wilford’s 21 years of experience in structural and civil engineering were readily apparent as he broke down the different engineering techniques used to stabilize high-rise buildings in the event of an earthquake. Wilford began by listing the strengths and weaknesses of different materials that can be used in the construction … Read More

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Key Takeaways: Connie Moore on the BRE/Essex Merger

The merger between BRE Properties and Essex Property Trust in 2014 was one of the most high-profile transactions in the multifamily real estate industry and included more than 56,000 housing units across nearly 240 properties on the West Coast.  On May 23rd, Holland & Knight hosted a ULI San Francisco event featuring former CEO of BRE Properties Constance Moore.  Connie provided a look back into the merger between the two giants and described the various dimensions of the transaction such as how it came to be, the key people involved … Read More

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Lessons Learned: Ready or Not Renewables are Coming to Commercial Buildings

ULI members and the greater Bay Area real estate community had the unique opportunity to hear from several experts on the exciting renewable energy revolution happening in commercial real estate and the significant challenges ahead in implementing new regulations. The dynamic discussion was led by Joshua Kagan, Vice President of Business Development at CleanFund, who set the stage with the Chinese word wei ji, meaning “crisis,” referring to the climate change crisis facing the world today. With crisis comes opportunity; and, here in California, one way we’re seeing that opportunity is in … Read More

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1500 Mission: Enhancing Public and Private Partnerships

On Tuesday, February 7th, ULI San Francisco held a lunchtime presentation, at the offices of Holland & Knight, to discuss public-private partnerships.  The talk centered on recent collaboration between the City of San Francisco and development firm Related California, on the old Goodwill site at 1500 Mission. John Updike, the City of San Francisco’s Director of Property, and Matt Witte, a partner at Related California, presented details of the partnership to a full house of about 40 people. Mr. Witte and Mr. Updike discussed in detail the genesis of the … Read More

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Building Resilient Cities on a District Scale

As cities undergo some of the most rapid growth of the past 100 years, can neighborhood-scale innovations bridge the gap between our current urban infrastructure and the low carbon cities of the future? With this question in mind, ULI San Francisco held an event on January 26, 2017 at the offices of Mithun. Moderated by Sandy Mendler, Principal at Mithun, the panelists included Eric Corey Freed, Chief Community Officer at EcoDistricts, Lisa Fisher, Urban Planner and Sustainable City Team Lead at the San Francisco Planning Department, and Toral Patel, Stewardship … Read More

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A Discussion on the Santa Clara Square Master Plan

This event showcased the Irvine Company’s Santa Clara Square community, and began with a visit to the sixth floor viewing suite for a bird’s eye view of the project and sweeping views of the valley. The panel discussion started with an overview of Irvine Company’s holdings, the Santa Clara Square project and its formulation from Steven Kellenberg, Senior Vice President, Master Architect and Planner. The company has 8.5 million square feet of retail along with over 1,100 hotel rooms, 58,000 apartments and 45 million square feet of office. Here in … Read More

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John McNellis “Making It” Interview

To kick off the New Year, ULI San Francisco hosted John McNellis, of McNellis Partners, to discuss his recent book, “Making It in Real Estate: Starting Out as a Developer”.  Mr. McNellis co-founded McNellis Partners in 1982, and has been developing retail and mixed-use properties in the Bay Area since.  Mr. McNellis is also a monthly columnist for the Registry Magazine and guest lecturer for ULI, NAIOP and the ICSC. On January 10th, around 100 ULI members gathered on a rain filled night to hear Mr. McNellis discuss the practical … Read More

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Capital Markets: Gauging the Commercial Real Estate Debt Market

On October 5th ULI members gathered at Cushman and Wakefield’s Santana Row office in San Jose, for a discussion on capital markets and current conditions surrounding raising capital for commercial real estate projects. With regulatory complexity increasing post-recession and risk at the forefront of deals, dynamic investment strategies have become a necessity in today’s market. Moderator Mike Jameson, Managing Director at Prudential Mortgage Capital Company set the stage with some broad observations of the market before diving in to some more pointed questions for the panelists. The panelists, with decades … Read More

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Lessons Learned from “Going Out on Your Own”

On November 10th, ULI San Francisco convened a panel (Going Out on Your Own: Starting a Real Estate Business) of successful young real estate entrepreneurs to discuss how they decided to go out on their own and how they started their businesses. Ani Vartanian of Rubicon Point Partners interviewed Mike Halow of Premia Capital, an office building investor; Brian Milovich of Calvera Partners, an apartment investor; and Matt Baran of Baran Studio, an architect and developer. The panel shared their stories and described the process of leaving their previous employment, setting … Read More

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A History of the Lumina Development with Carl Shannon

Development in San Francisco requires tenacity, patience, and a palate for the unexpected. On the morning of September 13, 2016 Carl Shannon, Senior Managing Director with Tishman Speyer, spoke before a group of ULI members to tell the enthralling story of the Lumina development and its sister project the Infinity. A story that Carl began with an illustrative look at the history of Rincon Hill. Now anchored prominently next to the Bay Bridge, this neighborhood has a history as rich as it is complex. In the late 19th century the … Read More

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