Sunday, April 19, 2015
Jonathan D. Miller

Executive Bio

A marketing communication strategist who turned to real estate analysis, Jonathan D. Miller is a foremost interpreter of 21st citistate futures – cities and suburbs alike – seen through the lens of lifestyles and market realities.

For more than 20 years (1992-2013), Miller authored Emerging Trends in Real Estate, the leading commercial real estate industry outlook report, published annually by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).  He has lectures frequently on trends in real estate, including the future of America's major 24-hour urban centers and sprawling suburbs. He also has been author of ULI’s annual forecasts on infrastructure and its What’s Next? series of forecasts. On a weekly basis, he writes the Trendczar blog for GlobeStreet.com, the real estate news website.

Outside his published forecasting work, Miller is a prominent communications/institutional investor-marketing strategist and partner in Miller Ryan LLC, helping corporate clients develop and execute branding and communications programs. He led the re-branding of GMAC Commercial Mortgage to Capmark Financial Group Inc. and he was part of the management team that helped build Equitable Real Estate Investment Management, Inc. (subsequently Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc.) into the leading real estate advisor to pension funds and other real institutional investors. He joined the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S. in 1981, moving to Equitable Real Estate in 1984 as head of Corporate/Marketing Communications. In the 1980's he managed relations for several of the country's most prominent real estate developments including New York's Trump Tower and the Equitable Center. 

Earlier in his career, Miller was a reporter for Gannett Newspapers. He is a member of the Citistates Group and a board member of NYC Outward Bound Schools and the Center for Employment Opportunities.

  • Private Equity Firms: The Curse of Success

    Blackstone’s $14 billion acquisition of GE’s real estate holdings highlights again the concentration of institutional property assets among a relative handful of global private equity players, who mostly trade among themselves, driving up prices. 

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  • Water Crisis

    About 15 years ago, I was out in Phoenix and a local was telling me about the unlimited supply of water available from regional aquifers. I had been questioning how the city could maintain all its vernal golf courses in the middle of cactus filled deserts, let alone the rampant suburban development stretching to the horizons. …

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  • Potholed Thinking: What's More or Less

    More and Less The monthly jobs report tells a familiar story—the unemployment rate heads down, lots of new low wage jobs are created, the overall labor force has not grown appreciably as more baby boomers retire, and the small minority of people at the high end of the education scale (with graduate degrees) have the greatest opportunity to secure most of the wage gains, while everyone else treads water or loses ground… Employees of Wal-Mart,…

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  • The Real Threat To Malls

    America’s malls could be terrorist targets… That’s according to the head of U.S. Homeland Security… And this is supposed to be news as we approach 14 years after 9-11? Of course, Secretary Jeh Johnson was trying to make a point to a recalcitrant Congress that his agency needs to be funded to protect the country properly. Throwing a little scare into Americans might get their representatives to act. In particular, the warning signaled--watch out at…

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  • Productivity Without Wage Gains

    It’s always something, isn’t it? Now, the strong dollar restrains economic growth… Exports are off, imports are up… The trade gap widens... Savings from lower gasoline and heating prices offers some offset, but since a majority of Americans have little cushion in their bank accounts or retirement plans with many living pay check to pay check, spending is better but not off the charts.  After lagging in the post-recession malaise, car sales finally spurt. But…

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  • What is a Secondary Market?

    You know we are in the mature part of the cycle when institutional investors start hashing over just what is a secondary market. What they are really concerned about and trying to rationalize is buying assets in higher risk markets with suspect tenant depth and limited exit strategies if times go bad. And oh by the way that’s just about everywhere outside the leading 24-hour cities. It’s just a matter of degree of how risky…

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  • The Perennial Question: When Will Interest Rates Increase?

    It’s a new year (BTW a very Happy New Year to you) and the markets face the same question confronting them and us since recovery began.

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  • Convenience at a Price

    All the new apartment construction in-and-around the convention center in Washington DC is another example of sterile neighborhood development sweeping through our cities in a rush to create profitable 24-hour environments.

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  • Don't Get Greedy

    So to answer definitively the “What should I do now?” investment question previously posed, I say it’s time to hold with the caveat—sell anything sketchy or past its prime. I don’t think it’s a great time to buy and the always narrow development window is closing.

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  • "What Should I Do?"

    Some recent private chit-chat heard among a group of prominent real estate dealmakers: “Land prices are out of reach.” “I’m struggling with low yields.” “Opportunities are harder to find.” “You can’t make the numbers work on (building) condos.” “Not buying existing core assets.” “Spread compression is too much.” “It’s insane pricing on industrial.” “Underwriting is loosening.” “It’s a tremendous time to borrow.” “Debt has never been cheaper. “We’re seeing limited or no call protection--loans will come back to you.” …

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