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ULI spring 2013 conference to showcase San Diego

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San Diego is a great case study in how innovation and commercial real estate intersect. Thousands of real estate pros will descend on our city in May for the annual Urban Land Institute Spring Conference to get a close-up look at the innovative approach San Diego has taken to planning and development. Entitled “Innovate Real Estate,” the three-day conference will run May 15-17 and feature local and national speakers on a wide range of topics centered around the theme of innovation.

“Being asked to host a major conference for ULI is quite a feather in our cap,” said Tony Pauker, chair of the San Diego/Tijuana ULI District Council. “It takes a large amount of volunteers, and the national ULI leadership knows that San Diego is up for the task.”

An executive committee comprised of local leaders began planning the conference nearly a year ago. Newland Real Estate Group executives Vicki Mullins, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Bob McLeod, chairman and chief executive officer, are co-chairing the local arrangements committee and Doug Wilson, chairman/CEO, of Douglas Wilson Companies is heading the sponsorship committee.

More than 3,500 attendees are expected, ranging from developers and architects to public officials and investors.

“One of the most exciting aspects of the conference are the mobile workshops and special interest tours that we have planned,” said Mary Lydon, executive director of ULI San Diego/Tijuana District Council. “These programs will take conference attendees into the diverse communities of San Diego and see firsthand some of the most notable and forward-thinking commercial real estate projects we have to offer.”

One mobile workshop will travel to Liberty Station and Civita to examine the reuse of property and the evolution of urban master planning. Another will visit several residential, hospitality and mixed-use projects near downtown San Diego and North Park to see how an entrepreneur can find niche success where larger firms may not be active.

Special interest tours are planned for Balboa Park, Tijuana, local breweries, the University of California, San Diego, the downtown waterfront and San Diego Bay, which will feature a ride on the America’s Cup Stars and Stripes catamaran.

In all, seven mobile workshops and six special interest tours are planned with destinations throughout the county.

The San Diego Hilton Bay Front hotel will serve as the conference’s base. The conference will offer multiple general and break out educational sessions, town hall meetings, key note speakers, receptions and dinners for participants to attend. Many off-site, private events are planned at restaurants and entertainment venues throughout the downtown and coastal areas.

“We are excited to showcase ‘America’s Finest City’ and our great region for ULI members traveling from around the globe to see everything San Diego has to offer,” Pauker said. “This is an incredible opportunity to market the San Diego and Tijuana area to the leading real estate professionals in the world.”

Lydon also said the conference presents tremendous networking opportunities. ULI’s conferences are attended by high level professionals who have an interest not only in education but also developing new business contacts. “Undoubtedly many deals have germinated at our conferences,” she said.

For more information about the conference, visit ulispring.org/

-Warren is president of TW2 Marketing.

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