Browse Tag: smart growth

NAR Workforce Housing Forum: Baltimore’s Miller’s Court

A slide from Donald Manekin's presentation on Miller's Court development in BaltimoreCommercial developer Donald Manekin wanted to see how commercial real estate could have a social return as well as an economic return.  To get there, he set about redeveloping long-vacant, functionally obsolescent historical structures into “vibrant facilities that would benefit end-users and the communities that surround them”.

In his recent presentation to NAR’s Workforce Housing Forum, Donald went into deep detail on his Miller’s Court development, where the urban community of Baltimore faced the problem of recruiting teachers for its schools, but had little in the way of smart, sustainable multifamily development that would attract the educated tenants needed to fill those roles and ultimately become Baltimore homeowners and property taxpayers.  Using an 1877-built tin can factory structure darkened from 1992 to 2007.

Manekin’s presentation slides, including deep detail on the financing of the Miller’s Court project, is now available at NAR’s Workforce Housing site.  You can browse the slides while you follow along with the audio of the presentation – we’ve also posted a live recording of the session, which you can listen to here:




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NAR Smart Growth Grants: Get Smart About Commercial Property In Your Community

NAR Database Growth 2007

Smart Growth is important stuff.  The commercial property market and the land use decisions that go with it loom very large in the balance of a community’s economic health.  Growth needs to be managed intelligently to maintain that balance, and that takes experts in commercial property engaging the community at large, shaping that balance among stakeholders.

The range of member benefits to REALTORS® now includes grants in support of Smart Growth efforts in your community.  Each year, the Smart Growth Action Grant Program makes available $120,000 to state and local REALTOR® associations to support engagement with communities toward effecting public policy intelligently.   How do you get started with Smart Growth?  Let’s first look at how it works in multifamily.

Smart Growth in Multifamily

If you’re in the multifamily market, download and read NAR’s White Paper on Short-Term Rental Housing Restrictions.  Commissioned by NAR and conducted by Robinson & Cole, LLP, this report discusses three often-used regulation techniques and provides commercial real estate practitioners with ways to counter them in the public policy discussion.  In addition, the report highlights “best practices” approaches to short-term rental housing that can guide engagement with local government.

Explore the Smart Growth Action Grants

Raising the profile of commercial REALTORS® in the conversation about land use is a main goal of NAR’s Smart Growth Action Grants. Members of state and local REALTORS® associations can take advantage of three levels of support, ranging from sponsorship of educational programs and speakers to seed funding that enables a local association’s initial efforts to guide their community’s Smart Growth, to support in-depth projects with multiple funding sources, including Charettes.

What’s a Charette?

Think of a Charette as a extended sit-down with all of the community stakeholders.  Property owners, commercial practitioners, government, volunteers, and others are invited to a multi-day collaborative process over the issues of land use.  As communities develop transit links, population evolutions and other social and economic effects, it makes sense to be the expert voice sounding the call for a huddle about these complex issues. A NAR Smart Growth grant can help make that process a reality in your market.

Commercial practitioners are invited to explore the full range of NAR Smart Growth Program resources, including toolkits for transit, infrastructure and schools.