March 31, 1998 will stand as a sad, sad day indeed for those of us who devote our lives to the commercial property markets. It is on that date the London Docklands Development Corp. (LDDC) closed its doors for good. By the very same U.K. parliamentary act that formed its foundations many years ago, its budgetary clock finally just ran out. The End.
The good news is what LDDC has left behind for posterity - a legacy of successful property land use and design that may never be matched in our lifetimes. The hundreds of once-blighted docklands on the River Thames have been transformed into a thriving mini-metropolis, with a central financial core (Canary Wharf) and tens of thousands of London residents who now call Docklands home.
Here's to the many people I met there, jolly-good friends each and every one. May they find equally challenging careers apart from LDDC.
Now, you may be asking yourself why you should care about a big development so far from the shores of good old American soil. The answer lies in the continual shifting tide of new development that is taking place worldwide and the continued mergers and acquisitions activity in our industrious industry. Ask yourself how many of your friends have been working in the same place for the last five years. I'll bet you count low.
The fact of the matter is that in the commercial real estate industry today, bigger gets bigger, but along the way there is much displacement of workers, a phenomenon no one seems to be focusing on for the moment (please don't let those deals get in the way). It used to be called "turnover." Today, human resources calls it "displacement," etc. But no matter, it's still a dramatic upheaval that often forces life changes.
Now I'm not saying all displacement is bad. Quite the contrary, if buildings can be managed more efficiently with fewer people, so be it. And if there are just too many managing directors for a company's own good, then move 'em on out.
But if you've tried to hire anyone lately, it's just plain tough. This is the tightest labor market I've seen in my 37+ years, and most job-seekers today have at least two offers in hand at any given time.
Fortunately for us at National Real Estate Investor, they've kicked me upstairs rather than out the door. But I've spent the last four months looking for just the right person to be our editor. Starting next month, you'll be seeing the name Tony Wilbert a lot more in these pages, primarily because he's our new editor. He comes to us with a terrific background in real estate reporting from right here in our own backyard.
I also applaud Melanie Gibbs and Tracy Heath for their continued hard work and quality performance. Randy Henry has been instrumental in getting our Continuum and Multifamily Monitor supplements off the ground. Kelly Angell has done a great job as our online editor, and a special welcome to Carol Badaracco in her new role on our special supplements.
Thank you all.