CRE experts from Tampa to Orlando converged in Lakeland earlier this month at a conference addressing the latest commercial real estate news and trends associated with the I-4 Corridor, including insights and analysis from top market gurus and tours of the area’s newest university.
Featured speaker at the I-4 Commercial Corridor Update was nationally recognized Brian D. Bailey, CCIM, Senior Technical Expert, Commercial Real Estate with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, who offered expertise and insight as it relates to Perspectives on the National and Local Economic Conditions, Commercial Real Estate Sector Risks and Challenges and Opportunities in the CRE Lending Sector. Bailey emphasized research showing the I-4 corridor is one of the best commercial real estate opportunities in the country.
In addition, the day-long event, held at Florida Polytechnic University, featured breakout sessions with focused discussions regarding: Downtown Development; I-4 Land; The Publix Story; EB-5 Crowd Funding & Capital Sources; Using Business Analyst; I-4 Industrial; Commercial Lending; Real Estate Auctions; Deal Making; and Using Arc GIS.
The I-4 Corridor Update was hosted by the CCIM Central District, West Coast District and Florida Chapter and sponsored by dozens of Central Florida businesses and organizations.
The event was chaired by Lakeland-based Gary M. Ralston of Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty, who identified the need for a forum offering networking with business and commercial leaders from Tampa to Orlando, as well as updates on the economic and business shifts happening in Polk County and along with I-4 Corridor.
Ralston, a nationally respected industry leader and CCIM instructor enjoyed showcasing the university environment of the venue, “It was appropriate that almost 300 commercial real estate industry participants gathered at the iconic Santiago Calatrava-designed Florida Polytechnic University building for a world-class learning and networking event. It truly was “going back to college” … but at the graduate level,” Ralston shared.
During the Forum’s Opening Session, University leaders shared that Florida Polytechnic University’s iconic Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building in Lakeland now ranks as one of the 16 “most breathtaking” buildings in the world, according to a survey of architects, placing it alongside iconic structures such as the Parthenon in Greece, the Empire State Building and Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater” residence.
CRE Leaders learned that Business Insider’s “Tech Insider” magazine surveyed 16 prominent architects, asking each to pick just one structure they fondly think of as “breathtaking.” Designed by internationally renowned architect Dr. Santiago Calatrava, the IST Building is the cornerstone of Florida Poly’s campus and the University’s main classroom and laboratory building. The 162,000-square-foot, white-domed building is a moveable and functional work of art, with a louvered roof system that adjusts with the sun’s angle, surrounded by a ring of curved metal pergolas that shade its outer terrace and walkways, explained University President Dr. Randy Avent.