USC Hosts Discussion on Reinventing California’s Communities Following the Pandemic

Stepping up to the plate for small businesses and food entrepreneurs Stepping up to the plate for small businesses and food entrepreneurs

Two leading voices in the creation of mixed-use communities within California remain bullish about the future of California and its ability to innovate -- both during and following the pandemic.

University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate, a nationally renowned real estate research center and think tank, hosted its latest “Lusk Perspectives” conversation on July 23 with FivePoint Chairman and CEO Emile Haddad and Related California Chairman and CEO Bill Witte. Haddad serves as chair of the advisory board at the Lusk Center, and Witte is vice-chair.

Lusk Center Director Richard Green started the discussion by asking Haddad and Witte to share their views on the pandemic. He segued into questions on whether COVID-19 is prompting Haddad and Witte to rethink the planning and design of key elements within their mixed-use communities – such as the delivery of healthcare, food and beverage offerings, office and retail spaces, and affordable housing.

Haddad noted how technology is already disrupting healthcare and that COVID-19 simply accelerated the advancement of emerging areas such as telemedicine. He also expressed how people’s behavior is the true catalyst for how communities will function in the future, not the design of the structures themselves.

For example, people’s inherent desire to socialize and collaborate within an office environment will still be essential in the wake of the pandemic, but the traditional employment model of working 9-5 is a thing of the past.

As for California’s future, Haddad said: “I have always been, and will always be, bullish on California. It is a place that will always be a place of innovation.”

To view the video, click here.