The Not-So-Obvious Connection Between Stadiums and Community

The Not-So-Obvious Connection Between Stadiums and Community

1 year ago 0 0 485

I admit it. I am a skeptic when it comes to the community-building aspect of sports stadiums—and I am not alone. This issue is particularly relevant in Atlanta with the recent openings of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and SunTrust Park and the soon-to-be completed renovation of Philips Arena, all done with public financial assistance.  In this blog, I focus on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium because it is the most expensive and prominent. Here’s my question: How can a huge building, that looks like either the Lunar Lander or an alien landing zone (think big hole in the roof) and that is used less than 100 days per year, help revitalize a struggling community? Wasn’t this supposed to happen before with Turner Field and the Georgia Dome? Don’t get me wrong. I support public-private partnerships and these revitalization efforts, but in general, I do not see the connection. With that said, I do think the

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Using Historic Tax Credits to Increase Profit

1 year ago 0 0 521

In every community across the country, enterprising developers are scooping up historic structures as investment properties. These old mills, factories and turn-of-the-century buildings exude character – and have a lot of potential for modern day uses. Whether it’s a new retail center, residential property, office space, hospitality property or government complex, existing, historic structures are popular options for development projects. Historic restoration projects repurpose aging and unusable buildings and structures for today’s uses, often creating new urban centers out of dilapidated and unsafe eyesores. They capitalize on a community’s nostalgia for the original structure, which typically boasts inimitable personality features and context within the neighborhood. These intangible assets increase community buy-in for a historic renovation project, which promises to preserve the integrity of a structure while making it usably modern or functional for the current population. An excellent example of this is Ponce City Market (PCM). Originally the Sears Building

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Old Malls, New Opportunities?

1 year ago 0 0 620

Lately, it seems that one retailer after another is announcing massive store closings or potential bankruptcy. It’s no secret that Macy’s is closing stores, Sears is contemplating bankruptcy and JCPenney’s is struggling. But what happens when a mall anchor closes or the mall itself dies? It affects everyone. Dying malls, especially in small towns where they are the central economic hub, impact the community that live and shop at the mall; the employees that work at the mall; the small tenants that rely on the larger anchors’ foot traffic; the properties surrounding the mall; the investors and developers that own the mall; and the lenders that hold loans on the mall. A dying mall can absolutely create an economic hole in the center of a small town or suburb that once relied on its vibrancy for tax income and as a social gathering place. Last year, in my blog “How

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Georgia State University Spurs Downtown Atlanta Development

1 year ago 0 0 748

Georgia State University (GSU) has been experiencing unprecedented growth. It’s recent acquisition of Georgia Piedmont College has boosted the student population from 36,000 to 50,000. And as we know, with any population growth comes development. A recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article states, “And during the past two decades, roughly since Atlanta’s 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, the school’s evolution has been accompanied and exemplified by sustained growth of GSU facilities in Atlanta’s core.” Let’s take a look at the impact GSU’s population and development growth has had in downtown Atlanta. The growth impacts many different real estate types, including: Student Housing Student housing is a major component of GSU’s facilities growth. The same Atlanta Business Chronicle article notes that GSU recently added 1,152 with the opening of Piedmont Central in August 2016, located on the corner of Piedmont and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue. Private developers are active in GSU student housing

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How Public-Private Relationships in Real Estate Development Are Growing

2 years ago 0 0 1242

My previous blog post considered why public-private relationships in real estate development are being more widely utilized and are creating more investment opportunities. Let’s continue that discussion… THE WHY Here’s a quick recap of why I think this is happening: Emergence of high density-mixed use product Growing project size Need for public financing (both for community impact developments and supporting infrastructure) While the public sector has become more involved in the actual developments, it also has offered financial incentives to private interest to encourage certain types of developments in certain places. I’ll call these THE WHAT Community improvement districts (CIDs) Tax allocation districts (TADs) Special public interest districts (SPIs) Opportunity Zones Bond financing Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) In Community Improvement Districts (CIDs), jurisdictions allow businesses in established districts to self-tax in order to make internal improvements. Often property owners pay a fee to participate in the district, and district members,

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The PUBLIC-Private Relationship in Real Estate Development

2 years ago 0 0 1382

Zoning and Permitting. Eminent Domain. In the past, that was about the extent of local jurisdictions’ involvement in private development. But my how times have changed. THE WHY There are three main reasons the public involvement in public-private relationship is growing: (1) the emergence of high density-mixed use product; (2) project size; and (3) the need for public financing. Zoning Changes Traditionally, developers would buy the land or property and do whatever they wanted. Government or public involvement in the process was limited to zoning and variance permitting, and, in some cases, exercising its right of eminent domain and contribution to infrastructure. Historically, zoning districts were restricted to one type of use (i.e. office or industrial).There was very little mixed use product. With rare exception, zoning did not take into account putting all uses up in the same place and at the same time. If changes were required, public hearings

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