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December 19, 2017

Pantone’s Color of the Year

“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

No, this isn’t Carl Sagan waxing philosophical about the universe in 1980.

This is from Pantone’s announcement of 2018’s color of the year, “Ultra Violet 18-3838.” Something of a surprise because of its bold assertiveness, the blue-heavy purple — it’s been suggested — may point toward our national need to compromise on a red-state/blue-state basis. Or maybe our collective conscience really does love Barney! Either way, you’ll probably be seeing headphones in the color soon, and shouldn’t be surprised to see purple latte foam at Starbucks.

color of the year ultra violet 2018

In seriousness, purples can serve as outstanding design elements, especially for luxury brands. It’s long been considered to embody royalty, which could be a reason W Hotels uses it and other rich colors to create a brand language that reinforces the premier hospitality chain’s value proposition.

W hotel entrance in Bellevue, Washington
W hotel entrance in Bellevue, Washington

Whatever it means, we love it and you can be sure to see colors like this incorporated into L&P client websites, social posts, collateral, nurturing campaigns, and merchandise in 2018. In fact, while we don’t use this exact Pantone color for our client Santa Rita Ranch, we debuted a purple very close to this on the color wheel for its website — more than five years ago.

SRR Homepage

SRR Get inspired

Were L&P and Santa Rita Ranch ahead of our time too, did we get inspired, or were we merely channeling our inner Prince?

December 12, 2017

Why the Future of Urban Mixed Use is Really a Return to the Past

Renee at The Urban Land Institute’s Fall Conference in LA

At Lewis & Partners, we understand the importance of staying involved in the industries where our clients earn their bread and butter. If we can see, feel, and understand the trends in real estate and urban development, we can serve clients’ interests so much better.

At the ULI Fall conference in LA, L&P principal Renee Lewis organized a council discussion on the “blurred lines” trend at the forefront of the best mixed-use developments, which are projects that blend residential, commercial, cultural, and entertainment functions.

Mixed use also happens to be how humans lived for thousands of years, before suburban sprawl and zoning regulations artificially segmented lives with bold, heavy lines of work / home / play / eat. These are lines that in reality have always been, and should always be, blurred. Visit almost any European village and take a walk through the streets, and you’ll see apartments above shop floors, all just down the street from government offices — with butcher shops, bakeries, and cafés next to homes. So in a sense, it’s easy to understand where the demand for these projects came in the United States: the bold lines made life miserable.

Why the Future of Urban Mixed Use is Really a Return to the Past
Traditional mixed-use development: residential and retail, a pedestrian-friendly street in Bitola, Macedonia

Blurred Lines

Several of the best real-estate developers and consultants in the United States have begun to perfect the complexity of mixed-use projects in a way that not only works within the boundaries of the projects, but also integrates into the fabric of the cities in which they’re located. Brookfield Property Partners’ Bert Dezzutti joined Renee for her Blurred Lines panel discussion, as did Ryan Simonetti, CEO and Co-Founder of Convene and Christophe Farber, founder of MFI consulting. Bert, Ryan, and Christophe play key roles in making large-scale projects work.

Making it Stick

Christophe brings a critical set of skills to downtown LA’s Grand Central Market. In the past, much of the challenge in mixed-use has been in getting stuff to stick, as it were. A developer may want to meet the needs of people who want to come in and buy flowers on the way home from work, or of someone who wants to just stop in at lunch for some avocado toast, of someone who needs a full grocery store run, or of someone who may walk over in the evening for a nice meal with the best wines. But just going out and getting vendors to sign a lease is one thing. It won’t work unless each of these individuals and businesses has a well thought out business plan. Christophe helps developers and specific retailers form and evolve their own business plans so as to capture the new normals of experiential retail, with an emphasis on top-notch food and beverage. In short, he is expert at making sure all these providers can stay. Christophe adroitly manages providers and vendors in a much deeper way than has been done in the past, so a developer like Brookfield doesn’t have to. Vendor turnover in a place like LA’s Grand Central Market is much lower than it is elsewhere.

We’ll take a look at other ways that innovators in mixed-use are changing their cities (including Houston) in the future, but this provides a taste of how involvement with the Urban Land Institute helps L&P understand our clients’ businesses.

Grand Central Market’s “Living Room”
Grand Central Market’s “Living Room”