Urban Fold

Slow Response to Changing World From Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry has been slow to realize the development world is changing, according to Scott Polikov who writes that "the fundamentals of the 'bedroom community' economy have collapsed."

"America's 60-year development pattern has broken down, like an exhausted 1950 Chevy rusting at roadside. But the building and real estate industry is only slowly awakening to the new reality."

"We all knew the pattern, popularized after World War II and mostly triumphant since. A smart builder discovers and buys an inexpensive piece of cornfield or pasture. Up go single-family houses, or, more recently, many townhomes. Proximity to stores, offices, other conveniences (except perhaps schools) is irrelevant: everyone will be driving anyway. The successful sales prove it."

"No longer. Almost overnight, the ground rules for development have been eviscerated. Sure, real estate calculations of cash flow and value are still being made. And yes, local planning and zoning commissions are continuing to hold meetings until midnight to decide whether to approve zoning for the proverbial townhouse project down the street from a single-family enclave."

"But, have you recently heard of a developer securing a construction loan for virtually any kind of standard real estate residential development?"

Full Story: $$/Sustainability Matched: New Economics of Place

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