In D.C., an Attempt at Crowdsourcing Real Estate Shows Promise

Emily Badger writes of the traditional process by which developers identify what kinds of new development a neighborhood needs (i.e. by not asking anyone in said neighborhood), and a web tool in unveiled in December aimed at changing this.

According to Dan Miller, a developer with WestMill Capital in Washington, D.C., the present state of affairs has not always been the case, "Real estate development a long time ago was done by a family, or a person who generally had some sense of being in the community. They built something that they wanted, that they cared about, that they tended to own for a long time. It wasn't always corporate development."

As Badger reports, Miller and WestMill are piloting a web-based program they think can bring a local voice to figuring out what a neighborhood wants, and not what the market can give them. "The site, Popularise, is currently asking what potential customers want to see inside a property WestMill owns, a 4,250-square foot building on Washington's eclectic H Street Northeast, that had previously been an underutilized convenience store."

"If the real-estate crowdsourcing concept proves workable, Miller and his colleagues envision expanding it – to other neighborhoods and other real-estate developers, other cities and even other parts of the planning process."

Within the next two months, WestMill intends to announce the tenant of the H Street space.

Full Story: Why Don't Real Estate Developers Just Ask Us What We Want?

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Rome grey gold tie

Tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00