Ep. 136 Brian Willis & Gerry Tierney: Learn How Transit & Technology Changes Will Affect Your Property!

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automated transitTechnology is rapidly changing the way we look at the future. Innovations like automated transit are quickly nearing practical realities. In Tampa Bay, we’re seeing advancements in automated transit already, with the area being positioned as a proving ground for automated systems. Automation and other technologies will bring major changes to existing infrastructure.

No industry will be affected by these impending technologies more than real estate. From multifamily to retail, emerging technologies like automated transit will require an entire rethinking of real estate design and development. Urban planners, architects and developers need to consider these effects and start planning accordingly.

This episode, we discuss these changes on a local and national level. We look at what game-changing technologies are emerging and what urban planners and developers are doing to address these changes now.

Meet Our Guests

Tampa Bay sustainable transitBrian Willis is real estate attorney with Shumaker Loop & Kendrick. He is a leading advocate for integrated and sustainable transit in Tampa. Brian brings on-the-ground knowledge of the cutting-edge technologies here in Florida and how Tampa Bay is taking steps to integrate them into current real estate design and development.


real estate designGerry Tierney is an Associate Principal at Perkins + Will. Based out of San Fransisco, Gerry is a leading force for automated transit and mobility and adapting real estate design to suit these changing needs. He serves as the Co-Director of Smart Mobility Lab and has Collaborated with both UCLA – Berkeley and MIT in sustainability research.

Technologies Impacting Real Estate

  • Automated transit / autonomous vehicles
    • Autonomy integrating in public transit by 2020s
    • Subscription-based autonomous car ownership coming down the line

Future-proofing Current Real Estate Design

Urban planners, architects and developers needs to consider how current layout and designs will play into emerging technologies.

  • Adaptive Use
    • Big-box retail stores
    • Shopping malls
    • Existing parking structures
      • Vertical Parking vs. Horizontal
      • In-fill
      • Mechanized parking
  • Urban Design & Planning
    • Current developments built to accommodate automated transit
    • Changes to grid structure and street layouts
    • Rethinking asset classes
      • Industrial
      • Office
      • Multifamily
      • Retail


  • Contact Gerry at gerry.tierney@perkinswill.com or (415) 546-2933
  • Contact Brian at (813) 221-7165 or on Twitter @BrianWillisTPA



Ep. 54 Rob Gidel – Tips on How to Help Prevent an Attorney from Killing Your Real Estate Deal

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651Enlisting the counsel of an attorney is a necessary part of any real estate deal. Whether for general investment oversight or to oversee specific terms of the deal, an understanding of the integral legal stipulations is essential to any real estate deal. An attorney’s involvement has a tremendous influence on the outcome of any real estate deal. Often, the counsel provided by attorneys has the power to sway a deal towards a negative or positive outcome for all parties involved. An overly aggressive attorney or one not specialized in real estate law has the potential to ruin good deals. For novice and beginner investors especially, it can be intimidating to negotiate with attorneys in a real estate deal. Investors and attorneys need to enter into a real estate deal with an open, cooperative attitude to ensure a successful transaction for all parties.

Robert Gidel, Jr. is a real estate attorney with just this mindset. He believes that an attorney should serve as an adviser to their client and not commandeer the transaction. Robert knows that communication is the key to a successful real estate transaction. This episode, Robert shares tips to help investors, sellers, brokers and attorneys get the best out of a real estate deal.

  • Effective Communication
    • Prevents extraneous fees, missed deadlines, cancelled deals
    • All parties should remain open and up-front
  • Possible Risk vs. Plausible Risk
    • Attorneys often draft generic risk-assessments on properties. Investors should know how to identify plausible problems apart from possible problems
    • Have real estate brokers involved in risk-assessment discussions
    • Allow attorney to understand specific intentions for investment
  • Attorneys in Negotiations
    • Several approaches: collaborative, adversarial and competitive
    • Collaborative is most effective in terms of cost and time
    • Attorneys should approach negotiations from a holistic perspective; they should represent their client but understand other party’s perspective
  • Extent of Attorney Engagement
    • Always outline attorney’s involvement with deal explicitly with Engagement Letters
  • Tips
    • Always retain attorneys specialized in certain aspects of real estate transactions. Ill-prepared or under-certified attorneys may delay or prevent deals
    • Clients should have attorneys provide up-front estimates for fees based off past experiences

To find out more about Robert and the services his firm, Gardner Brewer Martinez-Monfort offers, visit the company website