For those who work in and follow New York City real estate, architecture and design, last weekend's “City of Tomorrow” event at Manhattan's 92Y must have felt like one-stop shopping for information. Consisting of a variety of discussions, the two-day summit, which kicked off last Friday, was an opportunity for folks to learn about the newest trends and latest happenings surrounding the ever-growing and changing Big Apple real estate market. Aside from programs focusing on New York-centric and design topics as well as workshop programs with industry professionals, the Saturday portion of the event -- a collaboration between real estate PR firm Hundred Stories and 92Y --was devoted to real estate under the banner of “Real Estate Essentials: From Suburbia to the Second Avenue Subway.” Here were some the highlights from that day.
The day kicked off with “Buildings for 'Me,'” which was moderated by Curbed editor Amy Plitt and featured experts from Ollie; We Work, We Live; Cottonwood Management; and Imperial Companies. The discussion focused on the trend towards more communal living in apartment rental and condo properties in an effort to get people to meet, network and work together. Such attempts include communal kitchens, workout and cooking classes, and libraries. Each of the panelists gave examples of what they're doing in their respective businesses to engage their residents. One of the panelists said that they're really trying to activate the communal space and make it like an extension of the living room, while other speakers addressed the convenience factor to make the resident feel like they're being taken cared of, and to give residents organic living without hitting them over the head with it. Other subjects brought up during the talk included the costs associated with this lifestyle trend, and the use of technology to make residents aware of what's happening within their community (i.e, via apps, 1-800 numbers, emails). One member of the panel went so far as to say that this is the future of real estate.
Next up was the “Inclusive, Enhanced City” panel, which featured professionals from the Institute of Public Architecture, Reddymade Architecture and Design, Chashama, and SWA Balsley, Led by freelance journalist Ian Volner (The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest), the discussion concentrated on social responsibility in local development with the goal of enhancing life in the city. The panelists spoke about their programs; for instance Bonnie Goldblum of Chashama spoke about how her organization works with property managers to use their real estate as temporary spaces for artists, The panel delved into subjects ranging from the responsibility of the city to invest in communities, the private sector's involvement in developing public spaces, and affordable housing.