So what can the private sector do to invest in infill neighorhoods in cities and towns when public sector legislation favors sprawl?
Find out if City Hall is ‘cool’.
1. If you’re in one of those cities that is legislated for sprawl (ie disallows mixed-use, higher densities, low parking ratios and tax reinvestment back into the project’s infrastructure) – find another city to invest in. You’ll have a very low ROI, if any, otherwise.
2. If you’re in one of those cities that is thinking about legislating for infill, based on the principles above (and Wednesday’s blog), focus on building strong relationships with the mayor and economic development agencies – they have the power and authority to change legislation, as well as sprawl-oriented planning department priorities.
3. Build a virtual community of tenants that are committed to moving into the proposed infill neighborhood. They are the city’s most lucrative customers, and have much more economic and emotional influence compared to a single real estate investor.