Table Talk 

February 25, 2020
Written by: Marissa Bresnahan, Langehaumer Construction

Table Talk Event


The Ivy Room served as the venue for a dynamic set of group discussions on topics of interest in the current corporate real estate environment, including property taxes, co-working, and managerial skills.  While enjoying lunch, each table engaged in conversation on a different topic, led by a CREW member experienced in the subject of discussion.  The guests at each table had the opportunity to meet and exchange business cards, ideas, and questions, making for a productive lunch. 

The discussion topics were as follows:
  • Property Taxes – How the New Cook County Assessor Is Affecting Real Estate Transactions.  The impact of proposed assessments on commercial real estate in Northern Cook County and their effect on real estate transaction volume and what might be expected from the Board of Appeals. 
  • Co-Working – The Wave of the Future or a Flash in the Pan? What are landlords doing to respond to the demands for co-working space, how it has changed the older “office suites” model, will the market be controlled by the WeWorks of the world, or will landlords discover their own way to compete with the co-working giants?
  • Co-Living – A New Way to Live in the City? Are Millennials or the next wave of adults after them more interested in continuing the college experience, or will they want their own space? What co-living provides that a traditional apartment does not, and who is attracted to co-living spaces is now and in the future.
  • Hipsturbia and Demographic Shifts.  As millennials and Gen Z grow older and start families, will they start ditching Chicago for suburban communities? Will it happen only if the suburbs can match the coolness and walkability of the city? 
  • Diversity and Inclusion as Design Drivers.  Are gender-neutral bathrooms coming to all venues? What about ADA issues for those with mobility issues? Can supportive housing be designed on a scale that allows residents needing independence with supportive services to fit into a suburban or urban neighborhood? 
  • The Amazon Effect.  How has the shift to online shopping and next-day delivery for all types of goods, from clothing and books to groceries and home furnishings, changed the need for, location of, and design of industrial and retail spaces. 
  • The Shared Ride Industry.  How is it changing the need for parking in the urban core, traffic patterns, housing and work locations in the City and suburbia. Who is using shared rides and why? Will the trend accelerate or has it hit a plateau? Are there potential new users for shared rides?
  • Shelters to Shutters and the NIMBY Effect.  Can existing buildings be repurposed to provide affordable housing and supportive services for the homeless population? What types of supportive services and affordability will the neighbors accept? Where has it worked and where has it failed? What lessons can we learn? 
  • How to get on a Board of Directors. What does it take to serve on a board? What is expected of you, what skills do you need to brush up on, and how do you navigate the application process? 
  • Real Estate Technology.  Is the rapidly changing technological boom also affecting real estate? Are the apps that your building is providing really helpful in your fast pace life? What’s new on the horizon, and will it change the basics of real estate as we know it today?
  • The Art of Self-Promotion.  Have you recently had your annual review? Did it go as expected or was it a disappointment? 
  • Gender Bias.  How do you identify a bias and work through its challenges? Will gender bias become a diversity issue in today’s current push for diversity and inclusion? 
  • Managerial Skills.  What are these skills and how do you develop them to become a strong leader? Do your managers have these skills, and how can you help promote them in the workplace.?
  • Women Owned Businesses.  What are the benefits of becoming a certified Women Owned Business with the Small Business Administration? How do you promote your Women Owned Business?