Dream Facility Becomes Reality

April 1, 2004
The recently completed Qwest Center Omaha is changing the Omaha skyline. As the largest public works project to-date in the state of Nebraska, Qwest Center Omaha provides up to 860,000 square feet of convention/arena, sports/entertainment, meeting, and exhibition space. With its adjacent parking garage, the project totals more than 1 million square feet. The tallest feature – the Arena – rises nearly 10 stories and is ideal for major sports and entertainment events, accommodating between 14,500 and 17,000 people with flexible seating. The one-of-a-kind design was created by a team of 10 specialty consultants led by DLR Group (the architect of record), Kiewit Construction Co., the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA), and the City of Omaha. Architectural Photography on ExhibitNow on display at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., is an exhibit of 100 black and white photographs by Gil Garcetti. His images celebrate the remarkable achievement of the steel ironworkers who assembled the steel frame and the finish ironworkers who applied the stainless steel skin to Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall. In summer of 2001, Garcetti drove past the concert hall construction site and was so taken by what he saw that he returned the next day to capture the acrobatics of the ironworkers. Garcetti’s photographs document the construction progress of the Frank O. Gehry-designed building. The exhibition will be on view on the first floor of the National Building Museum through Aug. 22, 2004. For more information, visit (www.nbm.org) or call (202) 272-2448. Seeking Successful Urban RetailGreat streets, alluring pedestrian areas, and easy-access parking can make a revitalized urban retail center a hit, say experts at the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Washington, D.C.The institute has published a new booklet, Ten Principles for Rebuilding Neighborhood Retail. The 23-page publication explores the misperceptions about the viability of urban neighborhoods, including inner-city neighborhoods, and offers ideas for filling the demand for retail development in areas that tend to be grossly under-served. It’s the latest in ULI’s Ten Principles series on redeveloping different segments of the market. The featured principles were determined through an intensive examination in June 2003 of three neighborhood shopping streets in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area. The evaluations were conducted by three teams, convened by ULI, of commercial developers, public planners, nonprofit developers, architects, economic consultants, and property advisors.Ten Principles for Rebuilding Neighborhood Retail is available in .pdf format at (research.uli.org/content/Reports/PolicyPapers/PUB_T21.pdf). ULI members and non-members may order hard copies in packets of 10 for $19.95. Call (800) 321-5011 or order online at (www.bookstore.uli.org). Strategic Planning Results in RedesignFollowing the creation of a Workplace Innovation Program in 1995, General Mills developed a strategic plan aligning facility needs and corporate values. The study conducted by Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA) Inc., Minneapolis, enabled the company to meet several business objectives. General Mills sought the services of HGA to help with the redesign of three floors in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Bell Tower facility as well. The desired result was to have each floor’s design support a unique, departmental feel or “neighborhood” identity. “We approached the renovation as three unique projects, yet we also knew that there would be similarities on each floor,” says HGA Vice President and Designer Tim Carl. The third floor was home to General Mills’ sales department, where work was focused around a number of brands. The Pillsbury marketing team worked on the sixth floor, and the seventh floor housed the Big G team that worked on brands including Cheerios, Wheaties, Chex, and Lucky Charms. HGA spoke to each department and designed spaces with several individual and universal goals in mind. Each group wanted the brands they worked with to be equally represented, their department’s vision to be part of the design, and different types of workspaces for both individual and group work to be present. Additionally, wayfinding was important, as well as the need to incorporate the parent brand, General Mills. The renovated floors have created a renewed sense of energy, as well as reduced occupancy costs, and increased productivity and employee satisfaction. GSA Reaps Architectural PraiseThe days of stark, institutional governmental design are over, thanks to the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Design Excellence Program.The program has improved the way the government selects architects and engineers for construction and major renovation projects by focusing on design talent and creativity across the country. As a result, the GSA recently won the 2004 Keystone Award from The American Architectural Foundation (AAF) in recognition of its strides in design excellence in public facilities.“Through its Design Excellence Program, the GSA is a leading voice for creating and preserving America’s architectural and artistic legacy,” says Harold L. Adams, chair of the AAF Board of Regents. “Promoting collaboration of our finest creative minds, it is helping to ensure that our children will inherit a built environment worthy of our greatest aspirations.”The American Architectural Foundation created the Keystone Award in 1998 to recognize outstanding design leadership from outside of the design professions. Past recipients of the award include the Honorable Richard M. Daley, mayor of Chicago; Rick Lowe, founding director of Project Row Houses, Houston; and the Honorable Joseph P. Riley Jr., mayor of Charleston, SC. Study Shows AEDs Double Survival of Cardiac Arrest VictimsCardiac Science Inc., a leading manufacturer of life-saving automated public access defibrillators (AEDs), recently announced the results from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute- and American Heart Association-sponsored study of automated defibrillators in public places. The study found that deploying AEDs and training citizens to use AEDs can double the chances of surviving cardiac arrest.The study also showed nearly double the survival rates for victims who were administered CPR and shocked by an AED, as compared to those who received only CPR. During the two-year study, 124 cardiac arrests occurred in public facilities where an AED was available – 31 percent of those persons survived vs. the 17 percent of the 86 arrests that occurred in venues where only conventional responses (CPR and a 911 call) were available. Grubb & Ellis Expands Presence in Two RegionsNorthbrook, IL-based integrated real estate services provider Grubb & Ellis Co. has tapped further into the Alabama and Idaho markets by adding two new companies to its affiliate network.Peebles & Cameron LLC of Mobile, AL, and Idaho Commercial Group of Boise, ID, will respectively operate as Grubb & Ellis/Peebles & Cameron and Grubb & Ellis/Idaho Commercial Group.Phil Royster, executive vice president of Grubb & Ellis Affiliates Inc., says client needs in both Alabama and Idaho have “increased substantially over the past several years,” leading the company to increase its presence in those states through its affiliate network. A Glimpse at “JIT” Real Estate There’s been a fundamental transformation in industrial property development. Manufacturers and distributors are shifting from a focus on bulk storage and warehousing of goods to operations that order and stock supplies on an “as-needed” basis. This new focus, which is heavily dependent on quick turn-around and delivery, has drastically altered the industrial segment’s real estate needs. A new publication from the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Land Institute (ULI), Just-in-Time Real Estate, examines how changes in logistics and distribution have begun to reshape commercial property development. Just-in-Time Real Estate covers the latest trends and their effect on the demand, design, and site selection proc-ess for commercial space near transportation terminals in the United States and overseas. The publication features expert analysis on the opportunities and challenges of developing near airports, rail terminals, ports, and distribution centers, as well as a look at how the public and private sectors are working together on best practices and solutions.Retail price for the book is $69.95, but ULI members save $10 off the cover price. To order, visit the ULI online bookstore at (www.bookstore.uli.org) or call (800) 321-5011. International Code Council Spring Meeting in MayThe International Code Council’s (ICC’s) Spring Meeting in Overland Park, KS, May 16-20, will feature the final action public hearings on proposed changes to the International Codes®. The hearings will mark the end of the first 18-month cycle in a 36-month code development period leading up to the publication of the 2006 editions of the I-Codes®. The hearings can be viewed live on the Internet, and code changes approved during these hearings will be published by the International Code Council in a 2004 Supplement to the 2003 I-Codes. An expo providing attendees with an opportunity to learn about the latest in building and construction technologies/products will precede the public hearings.Online registration is available at the ICC website (www.iccsafe.org/springmeeting). For more information, visit the International Code Council website; call (800) 214-4321, ext. 229; or e-mail ([email protected]). izzy’s Maxwell Chair Gets High Design MarksThe next time you settle yourself into izzydesign’s Maxwell chair, you might feel comforted to know that you’re sitting in something that recently received a nod from international design professionals.The intuitive, high-performance mesh task chair won a Good Design award for 2003 in the worldwide design competition held by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.Introduced in 2001, Maxwell was designed through a collaborative effort between Designworks-USA, the California-based international strategic design consultancy owned by BMW Group, and izzydesign, based in Grand Rapids, MI. The chair is influenced by the comfort, technology, and fluid style of automotive design.Maxwell’s simple, fluid lines combine with a high-strength, lightweight mesh seat and back; soft urethane armrests; and a silver-tone, five-star base. A single German-designed control mechanism manages three adjustment options: intuitive glide motion with VBS (variable back stop), seat height level, and back tension. The chair’s reclining motion provides constant visual and flexible reach zone to accommodate natural body movement in a work environment. A high-strength, patented fabric encapsulation process suspends material within the mold process to create a comfortable seating experience.Winning entries from The Good Design competition, including the Maxwell chair, will be exhibited at the Chicago Athe-naeum Museum between April 3 and June 13, 2004. They will then be installed into its Permanent Design Collection. Now Available! IREM’s Report on MoldThe Chicago-based Institute of Real Estate Management’s (IREM’s) Mold: What Every Professional Real Estate Manager Must Know report is now available for purchase. The report is second in a series of new publications from IREM called IREM Key Reports, each of which will provide an in-depth analysis of an important issue that is impacting the real estate management industry. The latest report provides information on mold issues property managers should and must be aware of to better protect themselves and their properties. It also provides data to help property managers understand exactly what mold is and how to detect it, prevent it, and eradicate it – including guidance on when and how to hire an outside professional. For additional information, or to purchase the report ($29.95 for IREM members and $35.95 for non-members, plus shipping, handling, and applicable sales tax), contact the IREM Customer Service Department at (800) 837-0706, ext. 4650. Office and Industrial Markets UpdateA new year hasn’t meant a new leaf for sluggish office and industrial leasing. While activity picked up slightly in the fourth quarter of last year, it remains depressed, according to a recent market report from Grubb & Ellis Co. Modest job creation in 2004 should help leasing activity increase slowly as the year progresses, says Bob Bach, national director of Market Analysis for Grubb & Ellis. Tenants should act now to get the best lease deals, Bach says, noting that effective rents in the most desirable buildings could begin to rebound as early as the second half of 2004. Why? Landlords, fortified by newly signed leases, will likely pull their most generous concessions off the table, he notes. The market will favor tenants for the next three years, but tenants should act in the first half of 2004 to be assured of getting their best deals. Study Gauges U.S. Companies’ Success in Improving Inventory Management ProLogis, a Denver-based global provider of distribution facilities and services, recently announced the release of a new study titled Inventory Turnover – Reaching for the Stars or Spinning Its Wheels? This study, conducted by Professors James Ginter and Bernard J. LaLonde of The Ohio State University’s (OSU’s) Supply Chain Management Research Group and funded by the ProLogis Research Group, measures how successful U.S. companies have been in improving inventory turnover rates over the 23 years between 1979 and 2001.Key findings include: Those large investments in supply chain management appear to have paid off. The study’s findings reveal statistically significant upward trends in the number of turns of total inventories in nine of the 14 industries.The results for finished-goods inventories, however, were anomalous. Only four of the 14 industries – apparel, building supplies, food products, and medical products – exhibited clear-cut improvements in their turnover of finished-goods inventories.The findings do indicate, however, that companies generally have had much more success in improving the turnover of their raw materials and work-in-proc-ess inventories.While the OSU study’s findings corroborate that U.S. companies have succeeded in reducing their overall inventory requirements relative to sales and increasing their turns of total inventories during the past 23 years, the findings also reveal that U.S. companies have been either unable or unwilling to manage their finished-goods inventories more efficiently.Indeed, in 10 of the 14 industries analyzed in their study, Professors Ginter and LaLonde found either no trend or a statistically significant downward trend in the turns of finished-goods inventories.

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