Category: LOCUS

Reminder: Nominate an outstanding real estate developer for the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Awards

Know a real estate developer or investor who is creating great, walkable places and has displayed exemplary public leadership to advance smart growth development? Nominate them for the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Awards.

The LOCUS Leadership Awards recognize real estate developers or investors who has demonstrated exemplary commitment to public leadership and development practice for walkable, sustainable development. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase and reward a game-changing developer who is influencing the future of real estate. The 2013 Awards went to HRI Properties, Inc. and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. The 2012 Award went to Forest City Enterprises as well as Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Warner.

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Discounted registration for 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit now available for young professionals

LOCUS Summit 543One of the participants of the 2013 LOCUS Leadership Summit.

LOCUS is offering an exclusive opportunity to young professionals in the real estate development industry under 35. For a limited time, young professionals can register for the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit—taking place on June 17 and 18 in Washington, DC—for the reduced rate of $175 (general registration is $450). This is a limited time offer and prices will go up May 6, 2014. Use code YNGDEV when you register for the Summit to take advantage of this great opportunity.

LOCUS, a program of Smart Growth America, is a national network of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable urban development in America’s metropolitan areas. The discounted rate for young professionals has been made possible by the 2014 Summit sponsors, who believe the future of sustainable, walkable urban development is in the hands of young developers.

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Initial speakers announced for the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit

locus-summit-2014-speakers
The 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit is right around the corner! We are pleased to announce the addition of several exciting speakers to the Summit’s agenda.

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Early bird rates for the 2014 Leadership Summit end next week!

2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit
Are you thinking about registering for the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit? Register today to take advantage of our lowest rates!

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Summit registration includes two full days of programming, including “R.E.A.L. Talks: Reimaging Communities and Community Revitalization”; “Off-the-Record” sessions that will address controversial smart growth development issues; federal, state and regional policy briefings; policy roundtables about turning local practice into federal policy; and much more. Learn more about the 2014 Summit program >>

The LOCUS Leadership Summit is a chance for real estate developers, investors, members of Congress and Washington’s thought leaders to come together to discuss cutting edge design, planning, finance and management ideas you won’t find anywhere else. Registration rates go up on April 1 so register today for our all-time lowest rates.

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Developers see new opportunities at the intersection of brownfields redevelopment and public health

Harbor Oaks Shopping Center, Clearwater, FL.On the left: A former car dealership in Clearwater, FL became a designated brownfield after the dealership closed. On the right: Today the site is home to the Harbor Oaks shopping center, complete with a new grocery store for the community.

You might be familiar with the concept of brownfields—vacant sites that are known or suspected to be contaminated and which must be remediated before they can be reused. A related, but less well-known concept is healthfields, which turn former brownfields into community health facilities. Healthfields are gaining wide support within regulatory and policy circles, and their popularity opens up new opportunities for real estate developers in these fields.

In many markets today brownfields are unfortunately common enough that land-use-related companies have evolved to specialize in brownfields redevelopment. These companies—including real estate developers, law firms and engineering firms, among others—have learned to navigate the complex regime of rules, procedures and standards that govern the redevelopment of brownfield sites. These companies have also become experts in the web of federal, state and local programs available for brownfields redevelopment, which are often what make brownfield site redevelopment financially feasible.

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Representative Camp releases his proposal for tax reform. What does it mean for smart growth?

Yesterday Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced his proposal for comprehensive tax reform—and it has big implications for real estate and smart growth.

Each year Americans take billions of dollars worth of income tax deductions related to real estate. Things like the mortgage interest deduction and property tax deduction can represent big savings for a household—so big that they can influence taxpayers’ decisions about the type of home they buy. Even more credits are available to real estate developers, who can get tax breaks to help pay for things like redevelopment or the construction of low-income housing.

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House tax reform proposal a mixed bag on urban development issues

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) took the first step toward comprehensive tax reform yesterday and introduced a proposal that would have a mixed impact on communities’ efforts to grow in smart, economically efficient ways. Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, and Chris Leinberger, President of LOCUS, issued this joint statement in response:

“Above all, we’re glad Congress is finally tackling comprehensive tax reform. Hundreds of billions are currently spent through the tax code on housing and community development and much of this could be spent better than it is today. For anyone who wants to see these incentives achieve their maximum effect—helping Americans access good affordable housing choices in safe, stable, thriving communities, tax reform is a must.


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How could the next federal transportation bill better support smart growth real estate development?

Sound Transit in Seattle, WA was made possible in part by federal transportation funding. Photo by Flickr user Sean Marshall.

Real estate developers everywhere are familiar with the federal programs and regulations involved with building transit-oriented development. With the federal surface transportation bill due to expire early this fall, how could these programs and regulations be improved?

We want to hear from you. Join LOCUS for a conference call on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:00 PM EST to discuss federal transportation programs as they relate to smart growth development and how these programs can better support walkable, sustainable development.

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