Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Top Energy Star Cities in the USA

Energy Star - TOP US Cities

The EPA released its latest data highlighting the top 25 US cities with the most Energy Star Labeled Buildings.  The survey, which is based on 2009 data, shows Seattle dropped YOY from #10 down to #14.  Currently, Seattle has 69 Energy Star labeled buildings, equating to around 20.1 million square feet of floor space.  According to Energy Star estimates, this equates to roughly $15.4 million in cost savings.  

Topping the list this year is Los Angeles with a whopping 293 Energy Star labeled structures covering 76 million square feet of floor space.  Energy Star translates this data into cost savings of $93.9 million.  Note that Los Angeles also placed #1 in 2008.   

An interesting point is that the survey does not look at the ratio of Energy Star buildings to the total metro market building count - analyzing the data this way would change the rankings and possibly push Seattle higher up the list. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Book Released on History of SoDo

Dan Raley, local author and longtime reporter for the Seattle PI, recently published a book titled Tideflats to Tomorrow: The History of Seattle’s SoDo.

By highlighting South Downtown’s widely unknown past, author Dan Raley creates a riveting account of SoDo’s one hundred and fifteen year transformation from a “big salty puddle” to the bustling industrial center it is today. As for SoDo’s future, Raley looks to local developers like Greg Smith for insight.

“Developer Greg Smith envisions a section of SoDo becoming one of Seattle’s more progressive links to a future way of doing business. He has unveiled plans to create a “green” auto row along 6th Avenue South; […] He has met with alternative energy automakers in Silicon Valley. He has welcomed gas-saving electric bikes, motorcycles, and Segway scooters to join in this environment.” Quoting Smith, he continues: “We’re a progressive city, a ‘green city,’ and we should be leading the charge. We’re really the only place in the city that could do it. You can create tax revenue and it is win, win win. We have engineers who built the Dreamliner, the most fuel-efficient jet, and Pac-car, which builds fuel-efficient trucks. We have the brainpower here and we have the opportunity to create new industry in Seattle”(Raley, 121).

If you would like to purchase a copy of his book, click here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Second and Pike architect named one of 10 most innovative architecture firms in the world

Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects was recently honored as one of the 10 most innovative architecture firms in the world, receiving praise for their “down-to-earth and sustainable approach to design.” (Fast Company, March 2010.)

Tom Kundig and Jerry Garcia of Olson Kundig Architects have been working with Urban Visions’ owner Greg Smith to design a 35-story LEED certified apartment tower on the corner of Second Avenue and Pike Street. The project, which will house 340 units and a destination sky bar, is part of Smith’s vision to revitalize the Pike street corridor.

For more information, click here

Monday, March 8, 2010

ULI State of the Real Estate Market @ The Hard Rock

Urban Visions is sponsoring a '2010 State of the Real Estate Market' forum on March 25th from 4:30 to 6:30 PM in conjunction with ULI.  Panelists for this event at the new Hard Rock Cafe include Urban Visions founder Greg Smith, Nitze-Stagen CEO Frank Stagen, and Orion Real Estate Advisors founder Rick Sanders.  Registration prices vary based on age and affiliation, but include food plus two beverage tickets per person.  Given the panel's extensive background in commercial real estate coupled with three very dynamic personalities, we expect this will be a very entertaining event.   The ULI event summary is below.     Click Here To Register

ULI Seattle YLG - State of the Real Estate Market: Panel Discussion and Happy Hour at Hard Rock Cafe

Event Start Date: 03/25/2010 4:30 pm
Event End Date: 03/25/2010 6:30 pm


Hard Rock Cafe Seattle   
116 Pike St


Seattle, WA
ULI Seattle’s Young Leaders Group is pleased to host a timely panel on the state of the local real estate market at Seattle’s recently opened Hard Rock Café, located just a fish throw from Pike Place Market.  Join us for an enlightening discussion with Greg Smith (Founder/CEO of Urban Visions), Frank Stagen (CEO of Nitze-Stagen) and Richard Sanders (Founder of Orion Real Estate Advisors) sharing lessons learned from navigating through several real estate cycles.  How do you spot opportunities for distressed acquisitions in a down economy while dodging poor investments  When will capital begin flowing back into the local real estate sector  How are investors and owners restructuring loans and deals to adapt to this new economic environment

Attendees will also learn more about Seattle’s first Hard Rock Café location, with tours provided following the panel discussion. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the two-story, 14,000-square-foot Hard Rock Café features a live concert venue, rooftop terrace, Seattle-specific music memorabilia and Microsoft Surface interactive touch screens.  Enjoy appetizers and beverages in the state-of-the-art Hard Rock Café while asking local real estate veterans your own questions for what promises to be a one-of-a-kind event!

Thursday, March 25, 2010
4:30 - 6:30 PM
Hard Rock Café Seattle
116 Pike Street
Seattle, Washington

Greg Smith, Founder/CEO, Urban Visions

As a fifth-generation Seattleite, Greg is dedicated to preserving Seattle’s rich history and culture. By integrating sustainable development practices into his projects, Greg directly addresses density, traffic reduction, sprawl, and other activities which negatively impact the environment. Thanks to the success of his South Downtown Vision Project, Smith aided in the rezone of the City Center and South Downtown districts. With projects including Millennium Tower, IDX Tower, 5th and Madison, 901 Fifth, and the Reedo Building, Greg has established himself as a respected leader in sustainable real estate. 

Frank Stagen, CEO, Nitze-Stagen
In the past three decades, Frank has played a key role in the financial structuring of large real estate transactions. Since opening Nitze-Stagen’s Seattle office in 1987, he has helped lead the firm in its acquisitions of a number of properties that became showcases within the community.

Richard Sanders, Founder, Orion Real Estate Advisors

In 2000, Richard founded Orion Real Estate Advisors, the real estate affiliate of Graham & Dunn PC law firm, to provide real estate advisory to banking, corporate and real property owner clients. He has extensive experience resolving the real estate problem assets of financial institutions, and has over 32 years experience in the financial services industry.  Richard has restructured, repositioned and disposed of bank real estate troubled loans and REO assets totaling more than $4 billion.