Tag: Responsible real estate

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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Diverse development helps neighborhoods in greater DC and beyond


Washington, DC’s Yards Park in the Capital Riverfront neighborhood. Photo via Flickr.

Office renters, apartment seekers and shoppers are all vital parts of creating a great, economically resilient neighborhood. What development strategies attract these people? As Christopher B. Leinberger’s new research explains, walkable streets and transit choices are increasingly important in Washington DC and across the country.

Leinberger, President of LOCUS and Research Professor at The George Washington University School of Business, sat down with the Washington Post recently to discuss his most recent research, “The WalkUP Wake-Up Call,” and the future of development in the Washington DC region.

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“The Death of the Fringe Suburb” and the next wave of real estate development

This past weekend, Christopher Leinberger wrote a provocative op-ed in the New York Times about why exurban America – which has been hard hit by foreclosures in recent years – won’t rebound, even if the economy does.

Leinberger, who is President of Smart Growth America’s project LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, went on to explain why the future is so dim for these places, and what Americans are looking for instead.

High home values and low vacancy rates in the country’s city centers and inner suburbs mean that Americans want to live in mixed-income, pedestrian-friendly areas that “support the knowledge economy, promote environmental sustainability and create jobs.” Outer fringe areas are failing to offer these features – and they will fail in the marketplace as a result.

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National association releases smart growth course for real estate professionals

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) officially launched a new course offering at their mid-year meeting last week. “Smart Growth for the 21st Century” is designed to bring real estate professionals up to speed on the basics of smart growth – what it is, why home buyers want it, and how it can build their business. The four-hour course is now available to Realtors® associations nationwide.

“Our Smart Growth Program Advisory Group asked us to create this tool to help our membership lead conversations about their communities’ futures,” explained Joe Molinaro, the Managing Director for Smart Growth and Housing Opportunity at NAR. “Realtors® are deeply rooted in and knowledgeable about the places where they live and work. They are in a position to make a strong case for smart growth.”

The course uses the ten smart growth principles to explain how different elements of community design and public policy work together to create the communities demanded by a growing market sector. The course also lays out economic arguments for smart growth and engages participants with opportunities to practice explaining and promoting smart growth approaches based on their community’s needs.

A recent NAR poll found that the majority of Americans define their ideal community as including a mix of houses, places to walk, and amenities within walking distance or a brief drive. These ideal communities included cities (preferred by 19 percent of respondents), mixed-use suburbs (28 percent), and small towns (18 percent). According to Mr. Molinaro, developing a national course that could address each of these contexts was a priority for the Advisory Group. Course instructors are trained to tailor the materials and exercises to the specific needs of different communities, using case studies and examples that are especially relevant to the hosts’ geography, community size and market conditions.

Robert Johnston, Vice President of the Anne Arundel County Association of Realtors in Maryland, attended the first training and said, “I really appreciated the balanced perspective. So many times those discussions are one sided, and not realistic. This course is really grounded in the realities of the market.” NAR also provides interested Realtor® associations with a list of instructors and an application to apply for an NAR Smart Growth Action Grant to help defray the course implementation costs.

For more information visit www.realtor.org.

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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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