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The future of buildings

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The Central Penn Business Journal's annual Real Estate & Development Symposium was held Aug. 9 at the Hershey Lodge in Derry Township.
The Central Penn Business Journal's annual Real Estate & Development Symposium was held Aug. 9 at the Hershey Lodge in Derry Township. - (Photo / )
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The Central Penn Business Journal's annual Real Estate & Development Symposium was held Aug. 9 at the Hershey Lodge in Derry Township. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Central Penn Business Journal editor Joel Berg moderated two panel discussions. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Bob Hagarman, director of business development for BIG Wireless LLC, center, and Robin Zellers, right, president and broker of record for NAI CIR, led a panel on smart building technologies. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Wi-Fi has become a necessity today for most tenants, given the rise of mobile devices and greater bandwidth usage, but many building owners have not kept up with system upgrades to meet network demands. Technology changes rapidly, Hagarman said. "If you're trying to follow the technology curve, you will always be behind the game." - (Photo / Amy Spangler) A "smart" building is a relative term because every owner and tenant has a different perspective on what one should look like, they said. "It depends on your perspective and where you are on the real estate chain," Zellers said. However, a smart building is generally associated with higher efficiency, whether that's LED lighting or modern heating and cooling equipment, maybe wireless capabilities.  - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Jeff Peters of Re/Max Associates of Lancaster, center, and Brian Davison, associate broker at High Associates Ltd., led a panel on the regional consolidation of multiple-listing services for residential real estate under the new Bright MLS. The Bright system, which will be rolled out in Central Pennsylvania this fall, will include 43 groups from parts of six states and Washington, D.C., with membership of about 85,000 real estate professionals, including members of the four Realtor associations based in Central Pennsylvania. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Both said they see potential for Bright to include commercial and industrial real estate members and listings and to serve as an alternative to other data tools used by non-residential brokers. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Bright may not be comparable to what Uber did for the taxi business and change how real estate business is done, Davison said. But it could be a more affordable and faster option for home listings for most agents and brokers. It also should help appraisers get information more quickly, which should save time for lenders. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) A four-person panel discussed the potential of using the Urban Land Institute's program for technical assistance panels to assess local land use needs and projects. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) George Asimos, a real estate attorney and partner at Saul Ewing LLP started off the ULI panel discussion. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Brad Jones is president and CEO of Harristown Enterprises. ULI panels have been used in the midstate as a way to identify potential development projects on City Island, for example. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) The panel also included J. Marc Kurowski, principal at K&W Engineers. Technical assistance panels have been used to study transportation improvements in Harrisburg - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Leigh Twiford, chief administrator at Conexus Inc., serves on the Camp Hill Borough Council. She was instrumental in bring the ULI to Camp Hill for a technical assistance panel that recommended enhancement of the Market Street corridor to attract and retain merchants. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Keynote speaker Frank Dittenhafer II, president of Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects, offered his views on the future of buildings. The growth of e-commerce and mobile devices may mean less brick-and-mortar space, but there will be a strong need for spaces offering "authentic experiences," he said. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Future buildings will likely be more hybrid in nature and not serve single purposes, Dittenhafer said. Think about new or renovated public libraries with flexible spaces for different community uses. Despite dwindling congregations, churches also are being designed with more multipurpose areas. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Redevelopment trends in cities will likely begin to impact so-called "white elephant" buildings in the future, Dittenhafer said, as more developers see potential in historic and vintage buildings in need of big investments. However, rehabilitation will take savvy investors who can kint together a variety of funding sources, including tax credit programs, to bring them back into use. - (Photo / Amy Spangler)

 

The Central Penn Business Journal's annual Real Estate & Development Symposium was held Aug. 9 at the Hershey Lodge in Derry Township.

Smart building technologies, regional consolidation of multiple-listing services for residential real estate and the potential for the Urban Land Institute to help address local land use issues were the topics covered during the event's three panel discussions. Keynote speaker Frank E. Diffenhafer II, president of York-based Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects, spoke on the future of buildings. 

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