Event Round-Up: USGBC CO Commercial Real Estate Forum, “Planes, Trains & Cranes – On Track with Green Development”
By: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP
Denver, CO – The U.S. Green Building Council Colorado (USGBC Colorado) in partnership with DLR Group hosted its third annual Commercial Real Estate Forum, “Planes, Trains & Cranes – On Track with Green Development,” at the Forney Museum of Transportation on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Approximately 80 attendees filled the open space forum at the museum consisting of a mix of owners, developers, brokers, contractors, architects, engineers and municipal leaders.
The panel of three was moderated by DLR Group’s National Business Development Leader, Elaine Kanelos. “Denver has been identified as one of the best cities to move to. Development along the A-line provides endless opportunities for companies to move offices and even headquarters to Denver. Real estate development along the A-line helps increase workplace development, which is what I am invested in,” said Kanelos.
- James D. Chrisman, senior vice president of Forest City Stapleton, Inc. – Chrisman is responsible for office, retail, industrial and multi-family development within Stapleton. Stapleton has led the charge on green building and a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood since 2001 when construction began in Northeast Denver.
- George Karayannis, vice president of CityNOW, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company – Also adding cranes to the development along the tracks, Panasonic’s new Enterprise Systems business headquarters will anchor a 400-acre transit-oriented development served by the 61st Street and Pena rail stop. The development will serve as a test-bed for smart and sustainable technologies, including a micro grid, a solar carport, community Wi-Fi, smart lighting, smart parking and public safety solutions.
- Sam Bailey, senior manager for Global Business Development in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development & International Trade – Bailey focuses on domestic and international business recruitment, retention, and expansion.
In regards to development trends, Bailey commented that the market is seeing more of a “talent-focused approach” in development and that larger companies are taking interest in transit-oriented development in Colorado. He announced that Agilent Technologies will be adding 170 full time jobs with a new $150 million facility in Frederick, Colorado based on the opportunity to build alongside the commuter rail route.
Chrisman noted that the RTD lines are “ahead of their time” and that Colorado has taken a pro-active approach to development laying the groundwork for future expansion.
Karayannis emphasized that the train connection from Denver International Airport to downtown was critical to Panasonic’s site selection. Panasonic sponsored a study by McKinsey and concluded that “Denver is a unicorn” in terms of opportunities for development and expansion.
In one of the closing comments, Bailey said, “We need to hold legislators accountable to make investments that are forward-thinking, beyond just their term limits.”
Photography by Brad Nicol Photography