Does SD Have a Handle On Its Tech Sector?

By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Thursday, July 14, 2016


SAN DIEGO—With 18% growth in software-development jobs expected here in the next several months, according to moderator Tiffany English, principal with Ware Malcomb, San Diego is just beginning to realize how important its tech sector is to its viability as a region, speakers at CREW San Diego’s lunch event yesterday say. The panel talked about the drivers bringing tech companies to San Diego, which submarkets are drawing certain types of tech companies and whether startups will stay here once they themselves grow viable.


English asked the panel what distinguishes San Diego from other tech markets. Kayla Trautwein, senior portfolio manager for startup incubator EvoNexus, said for one thing, San Diego is a much more laid-back and community oriented than markets like L.A., Silicon Valley and New York. There’s a collaborative vibe, plus there are more engineering schools here than there are in Silicon Valley, which brings in young talent.


Star Hughes-Gorup, director of Hughes Marino, said San Diego’s lower cost of living compared to many other tech markets is another draw. “San Francisco is 48% more expensive than San Diego.” And while salaries are lower here, office space is extremely affordable, with San Diego coming in at one-third the rental rates of San Francisco—which just eclipsed New York as the most expensive office market in the country.


Stacey Pennington, founder and president of SLP Urban Planning, a developer of Makers Quarter in the East Village of Downtown San Diego, said Makers Quarter is helping to bring modern office space to Downtown, and tech startups are going for it. “The quality of life here is better than in other markets. We are open to collaboration, and people are drawn to that.” She mentioned Feets, a company that uses 3D printing to create a custom shoe that matches your foot, saying that this firm got its start at Fab Lab, a maker space Downtown. “The CEO had moved to Nashville and recently returned to San Diego because of the spirit of collaboration here.”


English asked the panelists which tech sectors are drawn to which San Diego submarkets. Hughes-Gorup said tech companies “like to cluster,” so sports tech is drawn to Carlsbad—where half of all San Diego’s action-sports jobs are; the I-15 corridor attracts telecom companies; Sorrento Valley brings in biotech; Torrey Pines draws life sciences; and UTC has a good mix of companies. She added that Downtown has seen the most growth from the tech sector of all the submarkets here, with companies seeking to move there for the collaboration and urban vibe.  Read More

Stacy Pennington (left) speak to how Maker Quarter is sensitive to he needs of various levels of tech companies.



CREW Golf Tourney Breaks Record

By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Friday, May 27, 2016


SAN DIEGO—The annual charity golf tournament at the Lomas Santa Fe Executive Golf Course has collected higher-than-ever sponsorship dollars, raffle and mulligan sales, delivering record-breaking donations to the CREW Network Foundation.


CREW San Diego’s annual charity golf tournament took place recently at the Lomas Santa Fe Executive Golf Course. For the past two years, the event collected higher-than-ever sponsorship dollars, raffle and mulligan sales, delivering record-breaking donations to the CREW Network Foundation. Golfers and sponsors are a line-up of who’s who in local commercial real estate development, design and construction.


CREW Network Foundation is the only foundation dedicating its resources solely toward advancing women in the commercial real estate industry. The foundation is committed to bringing more women into commercial real estate with programs that educate women and girls about the career opportunities available to them and creating mentoring relationships for those new to the industry through scholarships, industry research and career outreach. See photos from the golf tournament below.



Top 40 Under 40- Lauren Slatinsky

By John Roemer

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Slatinsky began her career as a commercial real estate professional right after graduating in communications studies from the University of San Diego. In fewer than 10 years, she has worked at some of the city's most notable firms. She was the business development manager at BNBuilders Inc. for more than four years. She also worked for Turner Construction Co.


In December, she was named to her current post at Pacific Building Group.  On the company's management team, she works with owners, managers, brokers and design teams, and oversees project budgets and marketing. She coordinates with the pre-construction and operations teams to provide owners with optimal pricing and scheduling. Her tasks focus on serving and growing the company's primary markets, which include corporate office, health care, life sciences and industrial.


"I build relationships," she said. Slatinsky was part of the team that won the approval to turn the Union-Tribune's former Mission Valley campus into a $200 million mixed-use residential tower, office building, parking garage and retail space.

"It was a technical challenge to convert an occupied space on an urban site," she said. "We put together a detailed proposal, keeping in mind the client's needs. The job required strategic thinking and an ability to align our values with those of the client."


Slatinsky's enthusiasm for the industry led her to serve as 2016 vice president for CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) San Diego. In that post, she recruits, mentors and educates college students about what the work entails. She also volunteers on committees at her children's schools, recently raising more than $14,000. Her additional volunteer experience includes work at Tables for Tots, the San Diego Food Bank, Surfrider Foundation beach cleanups, and Habitat for Humanity.



SD’s Millennials Want Food And Fitness

By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Friday, May 20, 2016


SAN DIEGO—In addition to reliable public transportation and transit from hubs to the beach, affordable housing and a sense of community, Millennials here seek satisfying food options, fitness facilities and showers in the workplace, say panelists at RealShare San Diego.


In addition to reliable public transportation and transit from hubs to the beach, affordable housing and a sense of community, Millennials here seek satisfying food options, fitness facilities and showers in the workplace, said panelists at RealShare San Diego Tuesday. Speakers on the panel “Creative Inspiration: How Millennials Are Changing the CRE Rules” said a good transportation system, housing that’s affordable on the salaries being offered and better ways to get from home or office to the beach were on their wish lists for San Diego.


Food and fitness amenities are desired by Millennials in practically all of the property sectors, so these do not come as a surprise. When moderator Carly Glova, president and executive recruiter for Building Careers LLC, asked the panelists what Millennials are looking for in a company, Jackie Greulich, student and career services manager for Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, said they seek diverse, green and innovative firms that embrace technology. “Millennials’ ability to use technology to be more efficient is astounding. They also want a performance review at least once a year, or they move on. If you have these things in place, you can ‘buy’ a Millennial for a longer period of time.”


Seth Shaw, chief revenue officer for Wrike, developer of online project-management software, said most Millennials are seeking a higher purpose, mastery and autonomy in the workplace, while John Martinez, designer for architecture firm Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, said they are seeing amenities that include a fitness room, a full community kitchen and outdoor amenities (outdoor kitchens, meeting areas and trails) because they’re still talking about work even when they’re enjoying these amenities.


Monique Williamson, curator for co-working-space firm DeskHub Inc., said Millennials want elements that promote community, including a beer fridge, full-service kitchen and a nap room. She added that co-working spaces are creating a safe place to exchange information in the business world. Greulich said the open environments that Millennials crave allow for collaboration between people who otherwise wouldn’t have spoken to each other because they were separated by walls, doors and closed offices.  Read More



There Is Still Liquidity For The Right Deals

By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Thursday, May 19, 2016


SAN DIEGO—The market is narrow and clearly defined, the CMBS lender pool is growing shallower and underwriting standards are strict, but there’s a lot of dry powder looking for deals, say panelists at RealShare San Diego..


The market is narrow and clearly defined, the CMBS lender pool is growing shallower and underwriting standards are strict, but there’s a lot of dry powder looking for deals, said panelists at RealShare San Diego Tuesday. The session “San Diego’s Capital Structure: Who’s Borrowing, Buying, Lending” revealed some interesting trends among today’s CRE lenders for this market.


Kelly Souza, SVP, manager—commercial real estate for Wells Fargo & Co., said, “It feels like there is far less liquidity in the construction-lending space, particularly in multifamily,” although San Diego has strong multifamily fundamentals in the Downtown market. “We are being highly selective, and spreads have widened dramatically in the last 90 days.”


Chad O’Connor, first VP capital markets for Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp., said, “We try to put people with lenders who can execute.” He added that you won’t get much more than 55% leverage from life-insurance companies, and some of the borrowing issues include pre-payment penalties and recourse.


Don Frankman, managing director and head of SBL originations for RED Mortgage Capital LLC, said the Fed has “mandated we concentrate on the small-loan sector.” He said small apartment units—some as small as 200 square feet—are growing in popularity, not just for Millennials, but also for Baby Boomers.


Bob Pendergast, managing director for JLL, said the buyer pool has shrunk and there is a disciplined underwriting strategy. “There is liquidity in the market, but the market is narrow and clearly defined. An A building will trade, but a B building will languish in the same market.”  Read More




What’s Driving Development In San Diego

By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


SAN DIEGO—The former American dream has been eclipsed by what Stacey Pennington calls ‘tactical urbanism’—a desire to connect, collaborate and live, work and play in a denser environment, even in development-resistant San Diego, say panelists at RealShare San Diego.


he former American dream has been eclipsed by what SLP Urban Planning’s principal and founder Stacey Pennington calls “tactical urbanism”—a desire to connect, collaborate and live, work and play in a denser environment, even in development-resistant San Diego, said speakers on the Power Panel during yesterday’s RealShare San Diego here. While Millennials are very much involved in this movement—and many say they are driving it—Baby Boomers are also caught up in it for different reasons.


“People want to trust the stories you’re creating,” said Pennington, to the question of what’s driving her company’s new developments (in her case, Makers Quarter, which is preparing to develop a 50,000-square-foot office project called Block D as part of its larger office-development plans). “There’s definitely a backlash to the volume of suburbia—huge closets so you can store the toilet paper you bought at Costco—both socially and culturally. They want to be part of a strong value structure.”


Size also came into play when discussing apartments. Luke Daniels, president of the Richman Group of California, said one project his firm is developing Downtown—F11, a seven-story, mixed-use project with 99 apartments—will offer a 40/10/50 mix of units: 40% small one-bedrooms, 10% large one-bedrooms and 50% two-bedrooms to reflect the needs of Millennials who are marrying, having families and remaining Downtown. “San Diego is the youngest city in California,” said Daniels. “There’s a higher propensity to rent; hence, the 50% two-bedrooms.” Daniels also said the three-bedroom apartment is an important food group as Millennials age up.


Kaitlin Arduino, EVP and partner at Murphy Development Co., said her company is “paying attention to Millennials” by offering outdoor elements in suburban industrial and tech/office space such as  Scripps Ranch Technology Park here. She said Millennials are looking to connect to nature at work, so Murphy offers roll-up doors, water features, indoor/outdoor meeting spaces and Wi-Fi throughout, with a nod to wellness and sustainability elements as well.  Read More




CREW Luncheon Talks Food Concepts In A New Era


Thursday, May 12, 2016


SAN DIEGO—David Cohn, president of Cohn Restaurant Group, and a speaker at Wednesday’s CREW event, says that the shelf life is of a great restaurant has changed. He also expressed concern over the ripple effect of the raising California's minimum wage to $15.

As most in the state already know, lawmakers and union leaders reached a tentative deal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15, a deal that David Cohn, president of Cohn Restaurant Group, said could have massive implications.


Stacy Pennington (left) speak to how Maker Quarter is sensitive to he needs of various levels of tech companies.

Cohn predicts that the results could lead to menu prices increasing a minimum of 30% over the next few years. “It is so easy to vote for that increase, but it is going to really raise your cost of entertainment and spark a new round of inflation that we haven’t seen since the 1970s,” he said.


Cohn also expressed concern over the shelf life of a great restaurant, which he said has gone from about 20 years closer to the 10-year range. He said it is important to constantly retweak things to stay relevant. “We are looking at that very carefully from a concept and a design standpoint. How flexible do we have to be?”


And synergy in a mixed-use facility it critical, explained fellow panelist Joe Haeussler, EVP and COO of McMillin Commercial. Haeussler pointed out that his firm is consistently focused on considering what is in the future instead of resting on the past in order to push the momentum forward. “Synergies are very important,” he said.  Read More




Tax Credits CA Investors Need To Know About

By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Friday, March 11, 2016


SAN DIEGO—from the ins and outs of 1031 Exchanges to cost segregation and other tax benefits, there are a few details and updates California real estate players may not be aware of, said two tax specialists at Thursday’s CREW San Diego lunch event here. Roughly 50 CREW members, including, attended the event at Balfour Beatty’s Scripps Ranch offices to learn more about the benefits and pitfalls of these tax tools.


Elizabeth Harris, assistant VP of Exeter 1031 Exchange Services, began by defining what a 1031 Exchange is—and what it isn’t. A 1031 Exchange refers to the tax-deferral strategy as defined in Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, which “allows you to exchange real or personal property that was held for rental or investment purposes, or that was used in your trade or business (‘relinquished property’), for other real or personal property that will also be held for rental or investment purposes, or that will be used in your trade or business (‘replacement property’),” said Harris. The exchange “enables you to defer the payment of your ordinary income, capital gain, depreciation reception and/or Medicare Surcharge (‘Obamacare’) income-tax liabilities.”


The key words in the definition are “held” and “rental or investment,” Harris explained. 1031 Exchanges do not apply to property that an investor is going to flip or develop, and it only applies to property that is being rented or used for investment purposes. According to Revenue Procedure 2008-16, which dictates the use of 1031 Exchanges on vacation homes, a property must be held for a minimum of 24 months before sold to qualify as a held investment, and it must be rented for a minimum of 14 days per year. It also cannot be used personally for more than 14 days per year or for more than 10% of the days it is rented per year.  Read More




Helping A Vulnerable Population Get Housing

By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


SAN DIEGO—Housing on Merit creates a bridge to permanent affordable housing for female veterans that are experiencing homelessness, executive director Jennifer Litwak tells Citing statistics from 2013, she says California has the largest veteran population in the nation—with approximately 1.86 million veterans, California has nearly 9% of the nation’s veterans and, according to the California Research Bureau, approximately 10% of California’s veterans are female. Female veterans are between two and four times as likely to be homeless as their nonveteran counterparts, Congressional Research Services reports, and 10% (compared to 15% of nonveterans) live below the poverty line. Also, the National Low Income Housing Coalition reported that female veteran headed households were more likely to be cost burdened. For example, 82% of female veteran headed households with extremely low incomes were cost burdened compared to 59% of married veteran households. spoke exclusively with Litwak about Housing on Merit, what it provides and how the industry can help. What does HOM do, and how does it involve the real estate community?


Litwak: HOM creates a bridge to permanent affordable housing to vulnerable populations in California; specifically, female veterans that are experiencing homelessness. In addition, HOM develops and manages affordable housing that couples facilities management with comprehensive growth and support programs. HOM works with residents to identify their community’s unique needs to create services and programs that address those needs and empower residents. What are the organization’s ultimate goals?


Litwak: HOM recognized the urgent need to reduce the number of female veterans experiencing homelessness in California. HOM collected information related to barriers, opportunities and trends in homelessness among female veterans in order to understand their needs, access to resources and gaps in funding sources. After completing this extensive research, HOM decided an innovative and affordable housing solution was needed to decrease reliance on traditional funding sources in order to create affordable housing at the lowest possible cost. HOM is currently working on creating affordable housing utilizing shipping containers that will be modified to provide 750 square feet self-contained dwelling units. This project is being supported entirely by private-sector dollars. Upon completion, from a technical, functional and cost perspective, this concept could become a landmark affordable-housing solution. What else should our readers know about HOM?


Litwak: In addition to our container housing program, HOM launched the Awards of Merit for Housing Assistance. The program provides funds to homeless female veterans in order to remove barriers to permanent housing. Numerous studies have shown that housing stability plays a central role in helping families and individuals obtain higher rates of employment and income growth than those with no housing aid. For this reason, Housing on Merit partnered with Manpower to enroll recipients of the Award of Merit for Housing Assistance in a three-week career-readiness and job-placement program. Once the recipients graduate through the program and secure job interviews, HOM’s partnership with Dress for Success allows the women to obtain professional attire. What can the real estate industry do to get involved in this cause?


Litwak: HOM will continue to award subsequent Awards of Merit for Housing Assistance, which are possible due to the individual contributions of people who care. Your donations help us ensure that formerly homeless female veterans maintain housing stability and fully integrate into their communities. Contributions are tax deductible since Housing on Merit is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Housing on Merit’s Tax ID# 45-2991692.  People can donate on our website at If people are interested in giving directly or being involved in the container housing project, they can contact me directly at or (619) 573-6785.

Paula is an example of one homeless female veteran who has been helped by Housing on Merit.



Experts weigh in on CRE's future

By: Crista Swan

Thursday, February 11, 2016


In January, I attended a couple of industry events where local experts talked about the state of various sectors of the commercial real estate market and provided market forecasts for 2016. I always find the observations and predictions of other professionals interesting and insightful and enjoy the opportunity to pass this information along to my colleagues.


Capital Markets


In mid-January, commercial real estate veterans Mark Gleiberman of MG Properties, Chad Carpenter of Reven Housing REIT, and Seth Grossman of Meridian Capital Group were featured on a panel discussing capital markets in the coming year. U.S. legislation has eased up rules, making it easier for foreign investment, with many such investors partnering with domestic investors. Canada is one of the strongest players, and the trend of foreign investment in the U.S. is likely to increase in the coming year. The increase in interest rates caused a stir with all investors, with short-term holders being more impacted if interest rates increase significantly. Deals need to have a cushion to be able to handle an increase in rates. The rate increase has also caused lenders to become more competitive against the biggest lenders. Owners will need to add value when purchasing properties, as they will no longer be able to just buy and hold a property without making any improvements or changes.




At the same conference, Casey Brown of Casey Brown Company and Mark Wayne of Cypress Office Properties discussed San Diego's office market. They mentioned that rents are moving above the $4 per square foot mark while there is a drop in free-rent incentives. While 2016 rent growth may taper off a bit, they still expect growth. UTC and downtown are leading the office market and both are "as good as it gets." The repositioning of the soon-to-be-former U-T building will mean "something special" for Mission Valley and will likely prompt other significant changes. The exception to the positive office market is the Sorrento submarket, which is experiencing challenges due to Qualcomm layoffs that have resulted in approximately 400,000 square feet of space being released into the market. Owners in the Sorrento area are getting competitive by dropping rents and offering free-rent incentives. However, the area will most likely recover quickly due to former Qualcomm'ers who are organizing their own entrepreneurial efforts. Many Class B spaces are outperforming Class A buildings because more companies are seeking spaces where they can have a creative work environment, which may include exposed ceilings and large, open spaces. Architects will continue to adopt the trend of more open space and connectivity, and this will continue to be popular as businesses focus on attracting and retaining talent as space design does make a difference to potential employees.  Read More


'CREW Who' Showcases Creative Office



By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Monday, February 8, 2016


SAN DIEGO—A sizable crowd including gathers for CREW San Diego’s networking event set in Cushman & Wakefield’s renovated UTC offices, which depict the creative-space phenomenon.


A crowd of more than 90 including gathered Thursday evening for CREW San Diego’s CREW Who networking event at Cushman & Wakefield’s renovated offices in the UTC submarket here. The cocktail party was designed specifically for networking, but it also showcased the brokerage’s fresh, modern space, which exemplifies the creative-office trend. Photos from the event are below.

Left to right: Wendy Hoier with Viking Commercial Construction, Jill Winchell with Jill Winchell Design, Catharine Hughes with Ware Malcomb Architects, Dawn Watson CPA with LevitZacks, Kim Stone with Ware Malcomb Architects and Era Burger with Global Industries Inc. enjoyed the networking event.

CREW San Diego’s 2016 president Jackie Isidore addresses the crowd, welcoming guests and introducing other board members present.

Toni McMahon with Fuscoe Engineering, Amy Morway with ID Studios and Keith Stone with Johnson & Jennings.

Lori Hagen-Hulitt with ID Studios, which renovated the C&W offices, and Adela Gonzalez with MS Paving.

A brightly colored couch and chairs make for a welcoming break or meeting area for C&W employees.

The new offices feature a philanthropy wall to show all the charitable organizations with which DTZ (parent company to C&W) is involved.



What Women in CRE Still Battle

By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Thursday, January 15, 2016


SAN DIEGO—From pre-conceived notions about women in the workplace to the salary gap and glass ceiling, women are making strides but still struggling with these issues, CREW San Diego’s 2016 president Jackie Isidore tells We spoke exclusively with Isidore, who is VP of marketing and business development for Johnson & Jennings General Contracting, before CREW San Diego’s kickoff event Thursday—a lunch panel on “Market-Leading Insights & Analysis for 2016,” led by Joe Quinlan, managing director and chief market strategist for US Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management, and Spencer Levy, Americas head of research for CBRE; stay tuned for coverage on this—to discuss CREW San Diego’s 2015 accomplishments, the year ahead for the organization and the issues and triumphs surrounding women in CRE. What were CREW San Diego’s greatest accomplishments in 2015?


Isidore: 2015 was another great year. CREW San Diego has actually been experiencing great growth for the past several years, which has brought new opportunities to our members. Two things that stand out are the number of nominations and awards we were able to get for our CREW San Diego members and the number of business transactions that were done through the members of CREW San Diego. The awards and nominations not only highlight the specific member, gaining them recognition, but also point out what a strong organization CREW San Diego is. On our part, this takes time and effort to identify the member, get the information and compile the nomination, but it’s huge for our membership. As for the business transactions, we’ve had $10-million and $15-million deals with five CREW members involved in the deal. This, to me, is the epitome of a successful chapter, and we look within the CREW network to change the San Diego landscape.


We also had another great year of successful education programs, great leadership events and special events including golf tournaments, winetasting and the summer social. Through these events, we raised a lot of money that was donated to the CREW Foundation, which provides scholarships to women interested in CRE at a college or graduate-degree level and funds research papers on the issues women are faced with in CRE.   Read More




Glass Half Full With US Economy

By Carrie Rossenfeld | San Diego

Friday, January 14, 2016


SAN DIEGO—Despite substantial headwinds, the overall and long-term picture for the US economy and the commercial real estate sector is positive, said speakers at CREW San Diego’s ‘Market-Leading Economic Insights & Analysis’ event here on Thursday. While recovery from the recession has been slow, and some might say true job growth has been anemic, the US is still one of the strongest economies in the world, and global investors still view it as a safe haven for commercial real estate investment.


Joseph Quinlan, managing director and chief market strategist for US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, said there are both headwinds and tailwinds affecting our economic growth that balance each other out. The fact that we will be able to grow our economy by 2% to 2.5% in 2016 is a great thing, but the fact that Donald Trump is still the forerunner for the Republican candidacy less than a year from the presidential election “says something about the mindset of the country”—namely, that a lot of people are fed up.


The US has an $18-trillion economy, but 2016 is not projected to be a great year economically since we’re still experiencing rolling recessions—particularly in the oil industry—and automation continues to stunt employment growth for white-collar jobs, said Quinlan. The stronger dollar has meant exporting has pulled back, but people are earning more and receiving tax cuts vis-à-vis lower oil prices. We’re seeing instability in the stock market and the S&P 500, but the unemployment rate continues to drop as wages rise modestly, and we will create roughly another two million jobs by the end of the year nationwide, said Quinlan. Labor participation is still very low, we’re losing high-wage jobs in the oil industry, there’s less pipeline building and less investment in this area, but we have a “phenomenally strong energy sector for the long term.”


In addition, the government is less of a headwind and more of a tailwind to growth since finances are better and there has been less austerity than in the recent past, said Quinlan. “US finances are improving, but as a result, legislators won’t make the hard decisions to drive the economy forward.”


Internationally speaking, the troublesome economy will be “fine in the long term, but in the near term will still be a headwind,” said Quinlan. “China is learning the painful lesson of being globally integrated in the financial sector.”


Ultimately, the US is still a magnet for foreign capital, while the rest of the world—particularly the Middle East—is a “mess,” said Quinlan.


He sees the Fed as out of step with the markets and said if it raises interest rates four times this year as it has proposed to do, “I will come back here and eat this podium. It won’t happen. They may raise it two or three times, but inflation is just not there yet.” He added that monetary policy is 98% communication and 2% action and Yellen is “failing.”


While the rest of the world is asking if we’re really going down the demagogic path of Donald Trump, “in the end, I’m more optimistic than paranoid about the US economy,” said Quinlan.  Read More



Quest to Find the Business of Architecture

By Natalie Dolce | National

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


SAN DIEGO—Growing up, CREW member Stacy Cannon, loved art and drawing and was always looking for something creative. Technically, the licensed architect in California and a senior associate in the Gensler San Diego office, could draw well, but struggled to create something new. “My left brain took over and had to make it look ‘right,’” she tells “When it came to selecting a college major I landed on architecture because I was good at math and science but craved that creative outlet.”


While in school, Cannon says that she learned to push the boundaries more and think creatively, but that is not where she shined. She wanted to know the “why.” The “Why are we doing this project?” and the “How is it used?” and “who is this for?” In the commentary below, Cannon dives into the business of architecture and her personal quest.


The views expressed below are the author’s own.


I kept hearing that “architects are not good business people.” There was a perception that because they are creative, they can’t make business decisions. That was my niche! I decided to get my MBA because I believed that it is not one or the other, that there is a “Business of Architecture.”  Good space can translate into good business. It was what I learned from my peers in the MBA program that was the most invaluable. I learned what motivated them and the “why” behind their business decisions.


What is the business case?


All projects are being done for a reason. The client has some business reason for seeking out a design professional. It may be as simple as a lease coming up or it may be a fundamental change in a business model or brand.  Architects have been trained to look for solutions in a different way.  It is up to us to help define the right question and create solutions that both improve the environment as well as support the business model.  A good architect understands their client’s business.  By understanding the business you can translate that into space that supports the business both aesthetically and functionally.    Read More

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