Capstak's Weekly Wrap Up | July 7

by Capstak

1) Urban Land | Counselors of Real Estate Report Identifies Top Issues Facing Industry

With CMBS delinquency rates reaching a five-year-high and the Fed calling CRE valuations an “area of growing concern” the commercial real estate runway is beginning to look a little shorter. Urban Land Magazine highlighted the top issues currently facing the commercial real estate industry according to the Counselors of Real Estate.


  • Demographic shifts: Boomers are transitioning to an experience-oriented lifestyle and millennials won’t pick up their consumer habits for another 10 years.
  • Technology boom: Technology is impacting how data is collected, stored and used along with creating new tenant demands such as less parking and better connectivity.
  • Changing retail: Retail companies are trying to be less like Sears and more like Amazon. (Who can blame them?)
  • Infrastructure investment: There is an increased demand on private sector, state and municipality funding for infrastructure as federal funds become more limited.
  • Housing mismatch: Affordable starter homes are nowhere to be found in locations with strong job growth. And, developers are just now beginning to address the lack of construction.
  • Middle-class incomes: Media household incomes hover below inflation-adjusted levels from two decades ago.
  • Health and the built environment: Buildings are getting healthier and clinics, urgent-cares and surgery centers are replacing hospitals.


2) Curbed | Can sustainable stadiums be a better deal for cities and environment?

Sport stadiums are often looked at as a bad investment for cities, looking at you Vegas. But, Audi Field in Washington D.C. is trying to buck that trend. The stadium is incorporating an 884-kilowatt solar array, a storm water retention system and other energy and water efficient technologies to make this Major League Soccer stadium cost effective. These upgrades are estimated to save the franchise about $125,000 every year on utility bills. Installing these technologies also qualified Audi Field for $25 million in green funding from the Department of Energy and Environment.


3) VentureBeat | Reno entrepreneurs praise low costs, but cite capital and talent challenges

Capstak CEO, Heather Goldman, represented Reno technology at a recent VentureBeat event kicking off their Heartland Tech channel and the upcoming Blueprint event. Heather shared what it’s like to build a startup company outside of Silicon Valley, highlighting the differences in funding and talent opportunities. Heather went on to say, “If there was one thing I might have done sooner and better, it would have been to move to Reno earlier.”


4) Bloomberg | These U.S. States Still Haven’t Fully Recovered From Recession

Bloomberg reported that there are still five states who have not fully regained their level of gross domestic product since the recession. And, even with the economic diversification of technology and manufacturing, Nevada is still 5.3 percent below prerecession levels. Despite the 4.7 percent unemployment rate in Nevada, which is lower than the 5.1 percent going into the recession, Nevada is seeing many employers with much lower numbers. For example, in 2006 Q&D Construction employed 1,100 people, and now after many years of growth they currently have 600-employees. Does this mean Nevada is growing smarter and won’t be susceptible to a boom and bust, or is this highlighting the continued effort it will take to grow Nevada’s economy?


5) TechCrunch | Google shows off Blocks, a 3D modeling tool made for VR

This week, Google showed off their new 3D modeling tool built for Virtual Reality. Blocks, a free app for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, is simpler than many other virtual reality modeling tools. The app allows users, “To build simple polygonal objects quickly and export them into the AR of VR apps.” TechCrunch points out that this functionality makes the tool less intimidating to novices. Maybe this will be the starting point for the urban designers of the future.    

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