ULI/McCoy Symposium Looks at Issues Affecting Capital Markets and Real Estate

The ULI/McCoy Symposium on Real Estate Finance, hosted annually by ULI’s Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, exemplifies the Institute’s long-standing tradition of knowledge sharing. Held since 1994, the highly regarded event is an invitation-only forum that brings together 30 to 40 leading real estate finance and investment executives from around the globe to discuss key trends and issues affecting capital markets and the real estate industry. The symposium is endowed with a gift to the ULI Foundation from ULI Life Trustee Bowen H. “Buzz” McCoy, president of Buzz McCoy Associates Inc.

The December 2018 symposium opened with presentations from McCoy; Ken Rosen, chairman, Rosen Consulting Group; and ULI Global Board Member Roy H. March, chief executive officer, Eastdil Secured, laying the foundation for a highly interactive, day-long discussion among all attendees. The main takeaway: While the real estate industry appears to be nearing the end of the cycle, there are still opportunities available for investors. However, participants pointed to signs of trouble on the horizon, mainly due to oversupply in certain sectors such as shopping centers, senior and student housing, and self-storage.

In recapping part of the discussion for an article in Urban Land, Rosen, March, and McCoy offered the following thoughts:

“There was not a lot of worry [from participants in the symposium]—no sense of crisis or impending crisis,” said Rosen.

“You could curl up in a fetal position looking at where we are in the cycle,” said March. “But looking at what has caused a break in the cycle in the past, it has been about oversupply. We don’t have oversupply overall.”

“When things go sour, what you need more than anything else is patience,” said McCoy.

  • “What amazes me is the depth and resilience of the U.S. economy…it is still the strongest in the world.”

    – Bowen H. “Buzz” McCoy, ULI Life Trustee and Founder, ULI/McCoy Symposium

In addition to hosting the ULI/McCoy Symposium, the Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate also produces Small-Scale Deal Profiles, a new series that applies the Institute’s case study approach to better understand financing challenges that ULI members face in completing smaller projects. The profiles focus on projects with budgets ranging from $2 million to $25 million; are located in a secondary market or a primary market but outside the core growth area; and which address key issues such as sustainability, urban resilience, healthy places, and workforce housing.

Five Small-Scale Deal profiles were completer by the center in fiscal year 2019. They are as follows:

– Sun Crest Heights, a 44-unit workforce/affordable home development in Capital Heights, Maryland;

– Jolene’s First Cousin, a two-story retail and residential development in Portland, Oregon;

– AF Bornot Dye Works, a loft apartment and retail development in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;

– The Newton, a mixed-use retail, dining, office, and events development in Phoenix, Arizona; and

– The Owyhee, a mixed-use development in Boise, Idaho.

Find Small-Scale Deal profiles and other ULI case studies in Knowledge Finder.

Give to the Annual Fund or to the ULI Foundation to support capital markets research and related initiatives.


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