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Real Estate Development Plan

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The real estate development plan has created mixed feelings among community members both because of the development proposal itself and the way in which the plan came to light in the community.

  • Over the past three months, a major for-profit real estate developer has announced plans for redevelopment of the area.
  • While the developer's parents grew up in the area, the developer is now wealthy, and lives in an affluent suburb far from his parents' former neighborhood.
  • He is White, and the community is 95% African-American and Hispanic.
  • Using various companies that he owns, he has been quietly purchasing available property inexpensively over the past five years.
  • His method of property purchase has made it difficult for anyone to trace the real estate purchases back to one development company or person.
  • His strategy has, however, allowed him to purchase the properties as inexpensively as possible.
  • After local housing advocates exposed the "real" company behind the real estate transactions through local media, the developer finally and publically presented to the neighborhood residents and the city a complete redevelopment plan
  • The goal of the plan is to improve the neighborhood in seven sectors:
    • economic development
    • education and energy
    • transportation
    • environment
    • health
    • maintain the heritage
  • The plan calls for a complete overhaul of the physical structure in the community including the addition of four million square feet of new office buildings and stores, 25,000 new permanent jobs, 12,000 new homes for all income levels, bicycle and walking paths, new parks, new streets and sewers, rehabilitation of several public schools in the area, a new power grid (i.e., system by which electrical power is distributed in an area) with wind turbines, and rain gardens.
  • The plan calls for razing the brick factory, remediating the site for contaminants, and building new homes on the site.
  • The proposed concept is to surround several large employers with shops, homes, and other amenities of a well-functioning, "livable," and walkable neighborhood.
  • Redevelopment of the community will lead to restored order and hope, increased employment of the residents, and stabilization of the area.
  • The dense, walkable community will enable older adult residents to live independently for a longer period of time than typical suburban communities.
  • Process goal: Think through and list the problems one might anticipate with increased need for client services and shelter.To be successful, this plan will require significant amounts of public funds to be invested in multiple ways, including tax increment financing (TIF) and tax credits.
  • Local officials must support the plan to obtain the needed approvals for the redevelopment and the financing.

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