Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

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.
March 12, 2012, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

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:
Published on Thursday, March 8, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email