Tag: Developers

Subdivisions go urban as housing market changes

Changing demographics and shifting consumer demands have deeply impacted the real estate market, causing developers to put a greater emphasis than ever before on the creation of smart growth neighborhoods within easy distance to jobs, shops and schools. From millenials …

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Many commuters are trading a backyard for a train station

LOCUS President Chris Leinberger recently sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss the rising popularity of living near public transit.

Suburban Swap: Trading a Backyard for a Train Station [Wall Street Journal - May 1, 2012]

Tom and Pat Kelly spent 22 years living what many people consider the American dream: They owned a four-bedroom home with a pool and a big yard in Turnersville, N.J. They traded that in to live near a train station.

With two of their three children living on their own, the couple no longer wanted to spend time raking leaves, shoveling snow and doing other maintenance their large home required. So they moved to LumberYard, a mixed-use condominium development near their son’s and daughter’s homes and within walking distance of the local train station.

Now, instead of spending two or more hours commuting daily in his red Volkswagen Beetle, Mr. Kelly, 56, hops on the Patco high-speed train line and gets to his Philadelphia law-firm job across the Delaware River in about a half-hour. “It’s just a much more enjoyable life,” he says.

LumberYard is a transit-oriented development, or TOD, one of a growing number of mixed-use developments that combine town houses or condominiums with retail shops, hotels and other businesses—all perched near a train station.

Transit oriented development—a term some credit to urban planner Peter Calthorpe—started to take off in the mid-1990s. But, the financial crisis slowed TOD projects along with other residential developments, says Christopher Leinberger, a Washington, D.C. urban land-use strategist and partner in developer Arcadia Land Co. Now, developers say they are dusting off old plans and starting new ones.

Read more: Suburban Swap: Trading a Backyard for a Train Station [Wall Street Journal - May 1, 2012]

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Smart growth news – November 28

The Death of the Fringe Suburb
New York Times (Op-Ed), November 25, 2011
Simply put, there has been a profound structural shift — a reversal of what took place in the 1950s, when drivable suburbs boomed and flourished as center cities emptied and withered.

HUD Awards Bring ‘Bittersweet’ End to Sustainability Program
Streetsblog, November 23, 2011
“The communities selected to receive these grants have a great opportunity to put their plans for smarter development and economic revitalization into action,” said Geoffrey Anderson of Smart Growth America in an email. “These grants are bittersweet, however, since they come just days after Congress passed legislation that did not include specific funding for another round of HUD grants next year.”

How should we design the cities of our dreams?
Salon, November 27, 2011
This is the first story in a new series called Dream City, which will explore the way we’re designing our cities of the future, cities in which we want to live, right now. Two more stories will follow this week. Tomorrow, we’ll examine the way cities are growing with creative use of their waterfronts. And on Tuesday, we’ll look at the growing trend of removing freeways from downtown to create new pedestrian spaces.

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LOCUS members gather for 2011 annual summer meeting and advocacy day

Members of LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, representing some of the leading transit-oriented development companies in America, gathered in Washington, DC on June 15 and 16 to meet with each other and visit representatives on Capitol Hill.

LOCUS members met representatives from nearly 40 Congressional offices to discuss how federal transportation investments can better support one of the fastest-growing segments of America’s housing and real estate market: walkable, mixed-use development.

If you or your organization are interested in advocating for sustainable real estate at the federal level, consider joining LOCUS today. Learn more >>

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New LOCUS resources now available

LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors and Smart Growth America are pleased to announce new resources now available for LOCUS members and advocates interested in responsible real estate policy.

LOCUS is a network of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable development in America’s towns and cities. By providing members of Congress with expert advice on current consumer demand and the many benefits smart growth strategies, LOCUS members can help more communities across the country develop in ways that are sustainable for the environment and the economy.

Visit the new LOCUS section of this site for information about LOCUS’ steering committee, the issues we work on, upcoming events and additional resources and publications.

If your company or organization is interested in joining the fastest growing network of smart growth real estate developers and investors, click here to learn more about becoming a LOCUS member today.

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New study by National Association of Realtors finds consumers want smart growth amenities

According to a report released today by the National Association of Realtors, Americans favor walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods over neighborhoods that require more driving between home, work and recreation. 77 percent of respondents said they would look for neighborhoods with abundant sidewalks and other pedestrian-friendly features when considering buying a home. 50 percent would like to see improvements to existing public transportation rather than initiatives to build new roads and developments.

“Our members don’t just sell homes, they sell neighborhoods,” NAR President Ron Phipps said in a statement. “REALTORS® understand that different home buyers are looking for all kinds of neighborhood settings and that many home buyers want walkable, transit-accessible communities.”

The fact that home buyers want smart growth neighborhoods isn’t a new idea. LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors is a network of professionals who use smart growth strategies to create the neighborhoods consumers are demanding. Chris Leinberger, President of LOCUS, said in a statement, “NAR’s survey reveals what many real estate developers are seeing across the country: smart growth strategies are the best way to meet market demand for walkable neighborhoods with shorter commutes, diverse housing options and transportation choices. Demographic shifts in the United States along with the changing consumer preferences highlighted in NAR’s survey illustrate that consumers want neighborhoods with more walkable housing and transportation choices.

“Despite these emerging trends, federal policy often prevents real estate developers from meeting market demands for smart growth neighborhoods. LOCUS members are working with Congress to remove this red tape to help developers rebuild local economies with the strong neighborhoods Americans want to live in.”

Download the new study from the National Association of Realtors
NAR Study Finds Americans Prefer Smart Growth Communities [MarketWire, 4/4/11]

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