Chris Rising, 49, has witnessed the evolution of the office market firsthand. As a former lawyer and assistant to brokerage legend John C. Cushman, before co-founding Rising Realty Partners with his father Nelson Rising, a noted developer of the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, among other properties, he has watched as technology radically impacted office space and design. Since 2011, Rising Realty has played a major role in shaping development in downtown Los Angeles.
Over a relatively short period of time, artificial intelligence and complementary technologies once thought of as only possible on “The Jetsons,” have become commonplace in our modern office environment. These major leaps in technological advancement have made our workplaces more efficient, connected, and even environmentally friendly in some cases. However, such advanced systems require clear and fast channels of data transmission to work at optimal levels.
The Watercourt at California Plaza, home to the long-running Grand Performances concert and live event series, is poised for a makeover that will leave the sunken space with much less of its namesake substance.
As part of Rising’s environmental impact strategy and commitment, our DTLA portfolio participated in the Green Janitor Education Program, a statewide program developed by Building Skills Partnership to reduce the carbon footprint of green commercial buildings. The program addresses the operations and maintenance practices of certified green buildings, specifically the energy management and green cleaning practices in commercial buildings, by providing vocational training for janitorial staff.
By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. We’ve talked previously about how millennials are changing the CRE landscape and the evolution of the modern office, but what do millennials want out of their office environments? The research may surprise you. Let’s look at what we’ve learned and how Rising is staying ahead of the trends.
I host a podcast called The Real Market. I started this podcast as a way to bring the real estate conference panels to your headphones - on your time, wherever you wanted. I interview some of the biggest names in the real estate industry - brokers, architects, investors, and developers to learn what they do, how they do it, and what drives their success. We talk about the latest trends across regional markets, capital flows, both national and global, and explore technology's role in shaping all of them.
Economic metrics indicate that the economy is “on fire” with the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. Headlines read: “Trump tax breaks giving companies more profits!”. The data shows the fundamentals of the economy are strong overall. In actuality, our view is more like an old cheeky television ad: things are “good, but not great”.
Last month, Rising Realty Partners granted us a tour of The Trust Building, a historic building now in the midst of a full restoration in Downtown Los Angeles.
Completed in 1928 at 433 S. Spring Street, the 11-story structure will offer 338,000 square feet of rentable space atop ground-floor retail upon completion later this year. Originally known as the Title Insurance and Trust Building, it is being redesigned by a team that includes Gensler and Architectural Resources Group to make the vintage property appeal to modern tenants.
Chris Rising is co-founder and president of Rising Realty Partners, a real estate operator and investor based in Downtown Los Angeles. Since relaunching in late 2011, the firm has played a big role in shaping DTLA’s development. Rising Realty Partners is best known for buying the historic PacMutual building for $60 million, spending $25 million to renovate it and ultimately selling it for $200 million — a record Downtown sale at the time. Last year, the firm paired with Colony NorthStar in the purchase of One California Plaza for $460 million. Rising is currently working on a renovation of the 320,000-square-foot former Title Insurance Building at 433 South Spring Street.
In recent months, the Los Angeles area has seen a dramatic increase in the number of electric scooters (e-scooters) on the roads, particularly on the Westside in the neighborhoods of Venice and Santa Monica. We should expect to see more e-scooters in other parts of LA now that the Transportation Committee has approved guidelines for dockless electric scooter companies to operate within city limits, especially in DTLA. We also believe cities with thriving urban cores like Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, and Long Beach will soon see an influx.
Massive mixed-use projects like Metropolis and Angels Landing are helping to transform Downtown Los Angeles, but the neighborhood is still “adolescent at best. It’s not even driving yet,” according to one prominent new development broker.
At Rising, we embrace technology that allows us to work smarter, not harder. In this digital age, so long as there’s an internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world. We see the effects of that in the workplace as offices evolve more into flexible meetup spaces for collaboration and presentations, compared to the traditional 9-5, fixed routine of having to ‘go to work’. While telecommuting can certainly complement a company’s existing culture and cast a wider net in attracting candidates, too much of it can actually do the opposite. If a company relies solely on telecommuting employees, there is no company culture – and ultimately every company needs cultures to succeed.
We recently shared a few cities that are on our radar as great investment opportunities. All of them are in the Western U.S. and as we head into Q2, I can tell you that Rising is still bullish on many parts of the Western U.S. market. As our company expands and we seek markets beyond DTLA, the Western U.S. continues to offer incredible opportunities. In order to properly assess the changing real estate market, we have to look at what’s happening in these Western cities in terms of demographics.
At Rising, we are always monitoring market trends and cultural shifts in the workplace. By having our finger on the pulse, we’re able to understand, predict, and ultimately exceed the needs of our tenants. That said, we know that millennials are the largest workforce this country has ever seen, and they are continuously redefining modern work culture as we know it. While it may sound trite, the modern workforce has different priorities than previous generations.
Connect Real Estate Los Angeles featured a jam-packed afternoon of conversations, networking and presentations. More than 500 gathered at the Hotel Indigo in DTLA and heard from commercial real estate leaders and economists about the trends driving decisions in Los Angeles.
In December, Congress passed the most comprehensive change in the tax code since 1986. While we do not yet know for sure how those changes will affect commercial real estate, the general consensus here at Rising is that the overall impact will be positive. We may see corporations utilize the extra cash from their tax cuts for built-to-suit developments or new headquarters, or grow their employee base and expand their leased space. This means there could be slightly more demand from the tenant side in both the capital and leasing markets.