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.
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.
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.
From left: Christopher Coes, Hal Fairbanks of HRI Industries, Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Geoff Anderson at the 2013 LOCUS Leadership Awards ceremony.
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.
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.
Real estate developers and investors interested in building walkable neighborhoods are invited to participate in the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit: Closing the next [Smart Growth] deal.
The 2014 Summit will take place on June 17-18, 2014 in Washington, DC. Real estate developers, investors, members of Congress and Washington’s thought leaders will come together to discuss cutting edge design, planning, finance and management ideas you won’t find anywhere else.
This month we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight? The work of LOCUS, our coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors.
Thousands of people live and work in the walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods built by LOCUS developers. And since its inception, LOCUS has advocated for state and federal policies that support a diverse array of development strategies.
This month, we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight? Our recommendations for how Congress could improve how it supports real estate while saving billions of dollars at the same time.
The federal government spends approximately $450 billion each year on programs that influence the private real estate market. From loan guarantees to commercial tax credits, these programs span multiple agencies and were created at different times for different purposes over the past several decades. Perhaps as a result, there are problems with these programs.
LOCUS talks about new development in Somerville and state policy change at two events in Massachusetts
The City of Somerville, MA collected ideas from residents for new development around forthcoming Green Line stations at a public meeting. Photo by Interactive Somerville via Flickr.
In November LOCUS joined two events in Massachusetts to connect real estate developers there with both local and state officials, and to discuss the policy changes needed to facilitate walkable, sustainable development throughout Massachusetts.
Photos from the 2013 LOCUS Leadership Summit.
The 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit will take place June 17-18, 2014 in Washington DC. The LOCUS Leadership Summit is the premiere conference where smart growth deals get done. Real estate developers and investors who are interested in advancing walkable, sustainable communities are invited to join us for two days of business networking, dealmaking and insight into the latest smart growth innovations.