Newsum at ULI: In Real Estate, Relationships Matter

Urban Land Institute chairman Jeremy Newsum urges owners to accept their involvement in the nation's economic downturn and better move forward by recognizing the need to operate properties as part of their larger neighborhoods.

Emphasizing real estate’s relationship to the community, Urban Land Institute chairman Jeremy Newsum urged owners to accept their involvement in the nation’s economic downturn and better move forward by recognizing the need to operate properties as part of their larger neighborhoods.

“I do take the view that actually everybody was to blame,” he stressed during a media preview yesterday of his opening remarks for the ULI Fall Meeting. But rather than dwelling on the past, he looks to this as a means to recover. “Accepting that we had a role and we failed is a critical part of moving on.”

To emerge, he said, real estate owners will need to take the lead rather than allowing financiers to do so, as has occurred in recent years. Operating expertise is critical, as is a long-term view. “I like to think that the era of funds has come to an end.” Flexibility and creativity are also necessary.

Finally, he urged owners not to think of their properties in a vacuum—rather, they should consider both how they fit into the larger community and their relationship to the “life” of the tenant.

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