Trend Czar

About the Author

Jonathan D. Miller

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, 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.

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Exactly! High-speed rail, small city center to major city center for all of them. As in Europe, the rail moves people cheaper, more conveniently and faster than flying. Taxes pay, as they do for roads and airports.
Posted by comment_user_455080 | Wednesday, March 04 2009 at 11:30PM ET
The same things can be said about most every port in the south, both air and seaports. Savannah has I-95 and Atlanta nearby. Jacksonville has I-95 and I-10 and a large city to feed. Both have a strong quality of life. Then there is Charleston, or Norfolk, or Kansas City with it's link to Mexico. Let's throw up a high speed rail line for all those cities. I'm still not sure who will use these lines or what kind of cargo will be running on them, or the biggest question, who will pay for them?
Posted by comment_user_455079 | Wednesday, March 04 2009 at 10:54PM ET
Nice article, and spot-on. Mobile is precisely the kind of community that gives a great economic return on an investment in high-speed rail. Its port (the U.S.´s 11th largest), unparalleled logistics infrastructure and new container terminal serve growing regional steel, auto, health care, high tech and aerospace industries. I-65 connects it to the Great Lakes and I-10 to the Atlantic and Pacific. It offers an optimal blend of commercial opportunity and quality of life to attract and nurture the kind of vibrant and cosmopolitan culture that sustains this country´s only competitive advantage - entrepreneurism. It´s not about today; it´s about tomorrow and 30 years from now.
Posted by comment_user_455080 | Wednesday, March 04 2009 at 6:13PM ET
I agree that prospects for the South look better than those of the Midwest or Northeast, but what exactly is a high speed rail line through Mobile going to offer the surrounding area of Mobile? The cost would be enormous. Who will foot the bill? Who will ride the train? Autoworkers? Unlikely, there is plenty of land to build new homes next door to all the new industry. Outsourcing of jobs from the Midwest and Northeast to the South will continue, and likely pick up in pace, over the next 10 years, however, there is no utopia created by high speed rail lines and condos in downtowns just because developers throw them up and ULI leaders sing their praises. What Mobile and other southern cities need is better local infastructure and better, more intelligent, government leaders that force smarter growth. Sprawl, in and of itself, is not the problem, not everyone wants a condo downtown overlooking the city, some people actually want to live in a suburb. So, leaders need to find better ways to plan to allow for this growth in the South. Running a high speed line from Atlanta to Houston with a stop in Mobile might make a ULI zealot, or consultant for that matter, overjoyed, but really, we could spend the billions elsewhere and create much more liveable, sprawling communities.
Posted by comment_user_455079 | Tuesday, March 03 2009 at 7:08PM ET