Friday, February 7, 2020

Events, Events, and More Events

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With a fresh year ahead, many organizations host events in January and February to educate their members and the public on the year behind and trends in front. I was privileged to attend three such gatherings recently - the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the city of Corona Economic Development, and a lunch and learn hosted by Clarion Construction. All three - although widely different in their content - were exceptional! What follows is a brief takeaway from each.

CSCMP. “The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals(CSCMP) is the leading global association for supply chain management professionals. They have been helping their members and their companies since 1963. Nine thousand members worldwide receive unparalleled networking opportunities, cutting-edge research, and online and on-site professional educational opportunities.”

Focused this time upon career opportunities, culture, scholarship, and networking among the attendees - we were treated to comments by a representative from FedEx, Living Spaces Furniture, and AWESOME. Supply chain management, which was virtually non-existent twenty years ago as a career, a collegiate major, and largely dominated by men now boasts a wide range of jobs, multiple advanced degrees and a diverse base of players.

City of Corona Economic Development. Discussed were Opportunity Zones. Larry Kosmont of Kosmont Companies and Blake Christian from HCVT schooled us on the ups, downs, ins and outs of Opportunity Zones. My hope was a bullet point understanding would result from the time invested. The reality was more confusion than before! OZs - as they are called - contain more mystery than the Wizard of Oz. Follow the yellow brick road indeed! Simply, Opportunity Zones are an effort to spur investment in economically challenged areas by providing capital gain tax deferral. Great in concept. Much more difficult in practice. California claims 879 Opportunity Zones throughout the state with 27 in Orange County and 108 in the IE. Viewed by municipalities as a means to stir business growth - some cities are overlaying OZs with Enhanced Infrastructure Finance Districts (EIFDs). Coupled - investment is encouraged and cities benefit from the incremental property values.

Clarion Construction. “For over a quarter of a century, Clarion Construction, Inc. has provided comprehensive construction services to only one market segment, the cold storage, food manufacturing and food distribution industry.”

Cold storage is an area of the commercial real estate trade that few professionals understand. The session was devoted to education. In attendance were a wide range of industry representatives - property owners, developers, and brokers. Freezer cooler space once housed in centralized warehouses adjacent to grocery story corporate headquarters - cold has expanded regionally and locally as “same day” demand has flourished. Cold is defined as any temperature controlled warehousing from ambient to 40 degrees below zero. Clearly, with each comes nuance. Probably most interesting were the steps needed to insure the ground underneath a building doesn’t freeze. The slab is removed, soil excavated, subterranean piping installed, thermal barriers assembled, and rebar and concrete replaced. Boom! A chamber suitable for Ben and Jerry’s results.

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at or 714.564.7104. His website is

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