Real estate developers pay attention to influential lifestyle changes

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The rise of 24/7 connectivity is among the most influential lifestyle changes impacting commercial leasing and urban planning. More employers are opting for hoteling, smaller office space for rotating employees to “drop in” occasionally. The rest of the time, those workers are connected to the office from elsewhere at the times that are most convenient to them.

Additionally, for those living in major cities, a common complaint is that banks are gobbling up all the prime real estate.  Well that’s about to change according to this new Price Waterhouse Cooper report.

Banks have reduced staffing by more than half (from 13 employees per branch in 2004 to fewer than six today). In heavily banked markets, PwC expects at least 20% fewer branches by 2020, a trend that will likely continue to accelerate.

Bricks-and-mortar retailing is also under pressure but the in-store experience remains vital. Expect to see more smaller stores, with fresh, organic and ready-to-serve options, augmenting superstores with their staples and breadth of product.

Read more below on the impact fully driverless cars will have on transforming the urban landscape.

Fully driverless, automatic cars are expected to appear on roads as early as 2017, and to be an everyday sight by 2025. It’s expected that self-driving cars will eliminate many multi-car households, helping reduce the number of massive parking lots and garages and freeing up land for other uses. Further, we may see a dwindling need for manufacturing facilities, automobile showrooms and car lots.  According to a study released last month by Barclays, driverless cars will reduce U.S. auto sales by 40 percent over the next 25 years and force General Motors and Ford to cut North American production by more than half.

People’s lives and their interactions with the world continue to change, and urban planning, development, utilities and other industries are striving to catch up. We can anticipate a continuing transformation of the cities of the future and their familiar array of infrastructure.

R. Byron Carlock Jr. is a principal and the national real estate practice leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He can be reached at Byron.carlock.jr@us.pwc.com.

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