Cooper Carry’s David Kitchens Speaks at National Association of Real Estate Editors Conference

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Panel Discussion Centered around The Workplace Debate: Downtown vs Suburbs

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On June 5, David Kitchens, a principal and director of Cooper Carry’s Alexandria, Va., office, joined other notable experts on a panel discussion about the future of work environments. The discussion took place at the 47th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference in Atlanta, hosted by the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE).

Kitchens joined John McColl of Cousins Properties, Robert Bach of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and David Demarest of Jones Lang LaSalle on a panel titled “The Workplace Debate”, which focused on the pros and cons of a workplace located in an urban city versus a workplace located in a suburban setting. Matt Hudgins, freelance writer for the New York Times, moderated the panel.

“Millennials and Generation Y want to live, work and play in the same area,” Kitchens said. “In Washington, D.C., we are seeing the urbanization of the suburbs right outside of the beltway. And nearly 85 percent of our projects are around current or planned transit stations.”

Kitchens also commented on mixed-use developments. “Great projects are the result of negotiating with planners, developers and the community,” he said. “The best mixed-use developments are negotiated, not regulated.”

The panel also discussed the importance of location to the success of retail, as well as the growing trend of micro apartments. Kitchens was able to shed some light on the topic of micro apartments, since the firm’s New York office recently participated in a “call for designs” initiated by Mayor Bloomberg. The micro apartment building concept is being tested in Manhattan as a means to provide a more affordable housing alternative in a very expensive rental market. According to Kitchens, the micro units designed by Cooper Carry would begin at about $2,000 per month.

Kitchens has more than 29 years of experience with Cooper Carry, and has led mixed-use design efforts on a variety of award-winning projects including Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Fla., and Bethesda Row in Bethesda, Md. Mizner park is cited by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Smart Growth” initiative as a prime example of how suburban communities can create vital downtowns by redeveloping abandoned shopping centers. According to the EPA, prior to the development of Mizner Park, there were 73 housing units downtown, and office rents were the lowest in Palm Beach County.

By 2002, there were 689 housing units downtown with another 900 under construction, and office rents were the highest in all of south Florida. All this translated into a 14-fold increase in assessed property values in the area from 1990 to 2002, improving the city's tax base. Currently, Kitchens is working on a project with the Chevy Chase Land Company that will transform a 1950s suburban neighborhood into a vibrant mixed-use transit-oriented community along the planned Purple Line within the Washington D.C. Capital Beltway.

ABOUT COOPER CARRY - Cooper Carry provides architecture, planning, landscape architecture, interior design, environmental graphic design, and sustainability consulting services. Founded in 1960, the firm specializes in the design of corporate, education, government, hospitality, mixed-use, office, residential, retail, science + technology, and transit projects. The firm has designed projects in 45 states and globally in the Caribbean, Middle East, and Central America. Engaging a fundamental design philosophy centered on the concept that environments should connect people to people and people to place, the firm promotes the philosophy of “connective architecture.” Designers understand the local market and the specific cultural and physical contexts in which the building will serve those who interact with it while conceiving memorable spaces, inside and out. Listening to the client and gaining a deep understanding of the market and site prior to commencing design, Cooper Carry balances passionate creativity with client service. They expand vision and add value to every project and its community. For more information visit http://www.coopercarry.com.

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Hadley Creekmuir
The Wilbert Group
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