While technological innovation in the REIT industry has been on the upswing for some time, the last few years have really accelerated that trend as companies have sought to meet the rapidly changing demands and expectations of their tenants and stakeholders that have been shaped in the wake of the pandemic.
To capture that drive to innovate, we are launching a new column in this issue, REITech. It is intended to show how the industry is using technology to stay at the forefront of new trends that enhance the tenant experience.
In this inaugural column, we spotlight the various ways that Prologis Ventures, a venture capital arm of Prologis, Inc., (NYSE: PLD) is helping to ease pain points faced by its customers in today’s fast-paced logistics industry.
If you know of an interesting example of technology at work in the REIT industry today, please contact me to be considered for a future column.
The search for innovative ways to solve problems or simply make life better for the communities in which REITs operate is not restricted to the utilization of technology though, as this issue’s DNA of ESG column shows. Here you can read about Weyerhaeuser’s (NYSE: WY) partnership with Oregon-based Operation Tiny Home, which is aiming to address veteran homelessness and housing instability by building tiny homes that veterans and their service dogs can share. Weyerhaeuser is already thinking about other ways in which tiny homes can be used to help population groups, including those displaced by natural disasters, get back on their feet.
As the article points out, tiny homes are not meant for everyone, but they do offer an innovative solution for the growing problem of homelessness.
Innovative design is on display elsewhere in this issue in our Shaping Communities column. Here you can read about a unique partnership between JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS) and Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a leading educational institution for the deaf and hard of hearing. What sets this project apart from other developments is the use of “DeafSpace” guidelines, developed by Gallaudet and architect Hansel Bauman. The guidelines address the five major touch points between deaf experiences and the built environment: space and proximity, sensory reach, mobility and proximity, light and color, and acoustics. The story underlines the adaptability, creativity, and sensitivity that our member REITs exhibit in their development projects. I hope you enjoy this article, and the rest of the content in this issue.