The generations are moving us in all kinds of directions, and commercial real estate is showing the effects in office design, residential development, even the surge of warehouses and their multipurpose uses.


One question panelists at the Business Record’s Commercial Real Estate Forum will be asked is one for the ages.


The event will be held from 7 to 9 a.m. April 25 at Hilton Garden Inn Des Moines/Urbandale. The panelists are Jake Christensen, president, Christensen Development; Niki DePhillips, senior vice president of store development, Kum & Go; Adam Kaduce, senior vice president, R&R Realty Group; Laura Rowley, president, Rough Meadow Digital Media; and Kris Saddoris, vice president of multifamily development, Hubbell Realty Co.


What is one trend as it relates to generational changes that will affect real estate and development?


“One of the biggest generational changes impacting real estate and development today is the overall aging of our population. The impact of a slowing birth rate, the aging of the baby boomer generation and a higher life expectancy has led to an overall increase in the median age in the U.S. annually since 2010. As the 60+ age group grows bigger and quicker, it also has become the fastest-growing percentage of rental households. The U.S. has gained more senior renter households in the past decade than either Gen X or Gen Y. We know that growth trend is also echoed in the Greater Des Moines market and will continue to be a significant supply and demand driver in our industry. Seniors today value the same mobility that we know is one of the key reasons consumers rent.”

  • Kris Saddoris, vice president of multifamily development, Hubbell Realty Co.


“The biggest trend we’ll see is real estate becoming more adaptable. In fact, we already see this trend in the way work and life have become increasingly blurred. Break rooms have become cafes, coffeepots sit next to kegerators and the open, customizable office spaces of the tech industry have become common across sectors. Another force driving the trend of adaptability is innovation. With desktop computers and paper files largely things of the past, employees of 2019 are far more mobile and require less space than their predecessors. This has led to offices being designed with flexibility and collaboration in mind. But this trend in adaptability won’t stop at individual office spaces. When architects and developers of the future design office buildings, they will do so with alternative uses front of mind. Ultimately, the growing trend of adaptability will empower creativity, increase efficiency and make future redevelopment far easier.”

  • Adam Kaduce, senior vice president, R&R Realty Group


“Millennials as a generation are more diverse, more invested in experiences than purchases, and keenly interested in personal self-expression and authenticity. Retail centers could evolve to become ‘values centers’ that curate unique offerings and experiences that cannot be found online: Local designers, restaurateurs, craft brewers and artists; group showrooms rotating different physical and virtual offerings; and community space for speakers, classes, events, themed festivals and other social gatherings.”

  • Laura Rowley, president, Rough Meadow Digital Media


One of the generational shifts that is occurring is the longer active lifestyle of people into their 60s, 70s and beyond. The expectations of retirees will continue to be elevated and the days of traditional nursing home-type living will continue to decline. Today’s active seniors want amenities close to their home as part of a resort-like setting, or they want access to amenities in an urban setting. In either case, real estate development will be impacted. Development will need to continue to adapt to deliver housing options that allow for access to medical care, entertainment, continuing education and overall fun. This will all have to be accomplished regardless of mobility limitations, age or need of assistance.”

  • Jake Christensen, president, Christensen Development