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Arketekcher wins Best Architect in Westchester for 2022

July 2022

Westchester Magazine released its Readers’ Picks of the Best of Westchester for 2022 and Arketekcher took home the honor for Best Architect!

Read about all the winners in the July 2022 Issue

5 Takeaways from the 2022 ULI NY Real Estate Outlook

April 2022

On March 16, 2022, hundreds gathered in Midtown Manhattan for the first time in two years to hear from New York’s leading real estate professionals about their predictions for the year ahead. While there was plenty of reflecting about the unprecedented nature of the last two years, the tone was cautiously optimistic. If you missed this great event, here are the six main takeaways you should remember:

  1. Be cautious of volatility.
As if I need to tell you: volatility has plagued the market over the last two years and we should continue to expect it over the next. From the economy, to the pandemic, to the geopolitical climate, things can change very quickly. Meg Brod, Senior Managing Director at Rockefeller Group, encouraged focusing on macro-themes rather than micro-themes to drive decisions in the face of volatility. For example, the new retail is online shopping, and warehouses are a critical component to the supply change. This will continue to be despite external factors, so a smart investment may be in warehouses. Take bets on asset classes, locations and sectors, rather than smaller trends.

2. ESG Investment Criteria may add a new letter: R for Resilience
Charlie Rose, Managing Director at Invesco, observed that liquidity is up and banks are flush with cash and eager to invest in real estate. However, investors are looking beyond the typical “Environmental Social Governance'' criteria while evaluating investments and towards a new metric: resilience. As our climate changes, real estate investments face new risks that must be conceptualized and evaluated. For example, would an investor want to invest in a new building in the middle of a region increasingly affected by wildfires? Probably not. This is a relatively new consideration, and piecemeal frameworks for measuring resilience are only just beginning to emerge. One thing is certain, this trend demonstrates the importance of including resilience expertise at industry oversight level.

3. It IS the responsibility of companies to promote Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
Since the last in person Real Estate Outlook event, the United States has evolved its conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion. A lens has been turned on inequality across the entire country, and the real estate industry is no different. Don Peebles, Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, described the inequality of opportunity he sees everyday in the industry, and called on companies to be tireless about creating greater opportunity to right the scales of inequality. He remarked that companies who care about democracy and capitalism, better start being aggressively inclusive because both cannot exist without true equality. The session ended with a standing ovation, indicating, at least in theory, a pledge from the group to do just that.

4. Affordable Housing is more important now than ever, but the path there is unclear.
Rent prices in Manhattan are up an astonishing 33% from only one year ago, an increase that represents the most significant annual rent spike in recorded history. While this jump reflects the volatility of the time, it also spotlights the dire need for affordable housing. This demand could drive investment and development for the foreseeable future. Eric Clement, SVP & Fund Manager at RXR, explained how RXR has shifted focus away from commercial investment and towards multifamily projects because rents are so strong. However, with the looming expiration of the 421a tax abatement program, it is unclear how developers can help address the increasing need for affordable housing without directly subsidizing it themselves.

5. Flexibility & Convenience reigns as the biggest trend of the year
The themes of flexibility and convenience spanned across all conversations at the outlook. It appears that most companies may never return to the office full time, but instead, as Meg Brod observed, the magic number appears to be three days in the office per week. This is important to consider for both commercial and residential real estate. Now companies need less office space, and residences need more. The “nook” or home office space is extremely valuable now whereas it wasn’t before March 2020. Similarly, amenity spaces are extremely important too; Rockefeller Group is marketing specific "zoom rooms" and conference spaces in their multifamily developments to accommodate for the residents doubling their apartment as their office. The increased prioritization of flexibility and convenience will likely permeate through real estate for the foreseeable future.

Originally written by Madeline Clappin and published in the Urban Land Institute New York’s Quarterly Newsletter, April 2022.

NYC HPD New Design and Accessibility Standards

March 31, 2021

The Office of Development's Division of Building and Land Development Services (BLDS) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) have released a revamped set of Guidelines for Affordable Housing Developments for 2021.

Multifamily new construction, supportive housing, and senior housing developments seeking financial assistance from HPD must comply with the Design Guidelines.

Voluntary Inclusionary Housing (VIH) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) projects, not receiving public subsidies are not required to comply with the guidelines but are subject to zoning ZR 23-154 and the Accessibility Guide.

Need help navigating the requirements?  We are here to help.

Photo by Mike Cohea

Madeline Clappin Co-Authors Op-Ed in Providence Journal

July 3, 2020

In March, only a few days before the world came to a screeching halt, the City of Providence released a request for proposals. Months later, facing a global pandemic, an economic crisis and an explosive civil rights movement, it has become clear that a significant opportunity has landed at the city’s feet; a seemingly standard project to redesign and unify the downtown’s public spaces now seems remarkably prescient.

By beginning a meaningful process to create a new vision to unify the city’s public spaces, with significant funding in place, Providence has the opportunity to address a greater global question: how can cities’ public spaces reflect our rapidly changing world and become a tool for a more equitable future?

Read the entire piece in The Providence Journal.
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