Urban Myths in Land Development

Much of what stands in the way of making a good project great are Land Development Myths. We pride ourselves in helping every project break through these myths, thus creating a project with the highest return on investment. Real estate is evolving, trends of 10 years ago are no longer valid. We design for what people will want to buy 5 years into the future. This is responsible growth that yields the greatest financial rewards.

Really making the most of your Project

Why? We've spent several decades building out in the suburbs. Now our family size is shrinking... and our commute time is growing
This Low-density sprawl takes an enormous toll on our natural resources of air, water, and land.
This Low density increases congestion by making us drive further to get basic necessities.
This Low density increases risks to children who must walk further to schools.
This Low density increases infrastructure costs by requiring more water, sewer, utility lines, more streets, more maintenance.
This Low density increases taxes to cover the cost of all that maintenance.
This Low density increases housing costs making homes less affordable to the work force.
This Low density weakens the food supply by putting pressure on farms and their water supply.
This Low density creates urban sprawl putting pressure on open spaces rather than keeping the city in the city.
Low density requires more water to build, more water to fill the expansive water lines and more water for large parcels of grass.
The Fact is low density suburban living is not a sustainable plan, it is too costly.

MYTH The market for urban infill housing is weak.
FACT A back-to-the-city trend is emerging in the housing market of many cities.
The 20 something's of the Echo Boomer Generation prefer Urban living over the commuting suburban single family lifestyle. The needs are real. Retiring Baby Boomers are moving to more social environments.
Source: ULI.org lifestyletrends 2013

MYTH Higher-density development overburdens public schools and other public services and requires more infrastructure support systems.
FACT The nature of who lives in higher-density housing—fewer families with children—puts less demand on schools and other public services than low-density housing. Moreover, the compact nature of higher-density development requires less extensive infrastructure to support it. By concentrating the use of infrastructure municipalities have more of a tax base to spend on less miles of water lines, sewer lines, and street systems. The net result is increased efficiencies.
Source: NMHC tabulations of 1999 American Housing Survey (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Bureau of the Census and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1999).

MYTH Higher-density developments lower property values in surrounding areas.
FACT No discernible difference exists in the appreciation rate of properties located near higher-density development and those that are not. Some research even shows that higher-density development can increase property values.
Source: NAHB computations based on data in the American Housing Survey: 1985, 1987, 1995, 1997, and 2004. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Bureau of the Census and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, various years).

MYTH No one in suburban areas wants Higher-density
FACT Our population is changing and becoming increasingly diverse. Many of these households now prefer higher-density housing, even in suburban locations.
Respond to “The New Population” – The average family size is shrinking: 36% of all families are single parent households, 27% are single person households, 13% are empty nesters and, 16% are couples without children. All of these families need smaller homes.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, March 2003
The response is to build smaller homes on smaller lots.

MYTH Higher-density development creates more regional traffic congestion and parking problems than low-density development.
FACT Higher-density development generates less traffic than low-density development per unit; it makes walking and public transit more feasible and creates opportunities for shared parking. Lower-density development creates more regional traffic congestion.
Source: Institute of Traffic Engineers, Trip Generation, 6th Edition, Volume 1 of 3 (Washington, D.C.: ITE, 1997), pp. 262, 299, 342.

MYTH Higher density development is environmentally more destructive than lower-density development.
FACT Low-density development increases air and water pollution and destroys natural areas by paving and urbanizing greater swaths of land.
Lower-density development is environmentally more destructive than higher-density development.
Low-density sprawl takes an enormous toll on our air, water, and land. Low density increases, congestion, consumes more natural resources, it requires more water, increases infrastructure costs, increases taxes and puts more pressure on farmland to be developed, The United States is now losing a staggering 2 million acres of land a year to haphazard, sprawling development.”
Source: American Farmland Trust, Farmland Information Center, National Statistics Sheet

MYTH Higher density housing is only for lower income households
FACT People of all income groups choose higher-density housing. 43 percent of renters say they rent by choice and not out of necessity, and households making more than $50,000 a year have been the fastest-growing segment of the rental market for the past three years. 55% of Baby boomers headed towards retirement are looking to downsize into multi family developments.
Source: National Housing Council ; University of Utah

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