Category: LOCUS

Congress takes a stand for neighborhoods with transit

Have you ever caught a bus right outside your office? Taken the subway to a ball game? Or ridden the light rail to go to the grocery store?

If you have, you know how convenient and inviting transit-oriented development can be.

This strategy—of building neighborhoods with homes, shops and offices near public transportation—can create significant economic development, generate new tax revenue for towns and cities, and lower housing and transportation costs for families. But these projects come with complex infrastructure challenges, and as a result need more than just bank support.

A new bill introduced today in Congress would help make transit-oriented development projects more financially feasible.

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What the GROW AMERICA Act would mean for smart growth and community development

Yesterday the Obama Administration sent Congress its proposal for a four-year federal transportation bill—the GROW AMERICA Act. The current bill, MAP-21, is set to expire at the end of September, and the new bill has implications for highway and rail construction as well as economic development programs like TIGER grants. How would these proposals impact community development and smart growth?

The good news
The bill includes several promising policies for smart growth advocates.

First and foremost, it would require cities and states to consider all modes of travel when designing federally funded roads, provisions very similar to those proposed in the Safe Streets Act. This strategy gets the most out of federally funded projects, makes sure a given project best meets a community’s needs, and supports neighborhoods with a wide range of transportation choices—all things that Smart Growth America supports.

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LOCUS to unveil new rankings of walkable urban places in America

walkable-post

LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors along with The George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate & Urban Analysis will release an updated report ranking the 30 metropolitan areas with the most walkable urban places in the country at the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit.

This new ranking is an updated version of a 2007 survey by the Brooking Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program comparing the economic performance of metropolitan areas that have the most walkable urban places based on selected commercial real estate metrics. The ranking will highlight which metropolitan areas are transitioning away from sprawl, which are in the process of transition, and those that are continuing to sprawl outward.

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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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