According to a report by the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, the gas station is looking at some major changes. The report says that electric cars are likely to reduce gasoline demand in the U.S. by 5 percent—and possibly by as much as 20 percent—by 2035. Oil companies are coming up with new ways to stay competitive, like mobile apps to speed the refueling process, services to deliver fuel directly to consumers and some are even thinking of getting into the ride-sharing game and operating fleets of shareable cars. One area where these companies can make an immediate impact is by providing access to alternative fuels. Shell is currently in the process of opening stations that provide fuels like hydrogen, liquefied natural gas and electric chargers at refueling stations.
Adam Horowitz is not only the founder of Lever Capital Partners, he's also the leading force behind the Real Estate Capital Alliance (RECA). We were given the exclusive opportunity to ask him the questions many haven't had the opportunity to. Adam’s work on complex structured real estate deals for some of the country's top owners and developers, as given him an interesting perspective on the future of commercial capital. He predicts that, “On the equity side, you'll see a handful of winners in the small equity crowdfunding space which might degrade some of the business for brokers who raise equity capital under $5 million. There will also be an emergence of direct lending that goes through a web platform where lenders bid on vanilla transactions such as multifamily agency loans.”
Any article you read about the decline in retail will point to one similar reason, e-commerce. Its true online sales are growing, but currently, online sales only account for 10 percent of total sales. According to an article in The Atlantic, bankruptcies of Borders, Blockbuster, Circuit City, and RadioShack all happened when competing online sales hit between 20 and 25 percent. Recent articles have claimed the retail decline cycle is at or near the bottom, but e-commerce sales are nowhere near done growing – which leaves a lot of speculation about what will happen to the brick and mortar retail world.
Harvard professor of architectural technology Ali Malkawi says, “In the U.S., most of our building stock has already been built.” Malkawi leads Harvard’s Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC), and he has a lofty goal of creating a new ultra-efficient building that requires almost zero energy. How is he attempting to reach this goal? By transforming a wooden home from the '20s into a model green design. Malikawi goes on to say, “We’re shattering the belief that you need to build new building to be efficient. We want to show how this can be replicated almost anywhere, and solve one of the world’s biggest energy problems, inefficient existing buildings.”
ICSC RECon is the biggest retail event of the year and draws the biggest players in commercial real estate to discuss the inner workings of the retail industry. Bisnow asked several conference attendees to divulge the hottest topics discussed. One of the views that stood out the most to us was from Cushman & Wakefield’s Director of Retail Research for America, Garrick Brown, who said, “While there's certainly been a lot of talk and concern about the current wave of closures, there also has been a clearer understanding that this retail reckoning is only impacting a few sectors. So, the focus has turned to what's growing and how centers that are being impacted by closures can best reposition themselves. There's been an awful lot of focus on food halls, which is the hottest growth sector, not just in the restaurant world but in the greater retail world in general.”