ARTICLES

VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Delays to development projects cost everybody money

Here's a common scenario: A developer gets approval on zoning and planning permits to build a business on a piece of property. The business has signed an agreement to either lease or buy the building once it's completed. The owner of the business then begins making plans to open the new facility. The developer, meanwhile, goes to work to prepare the property for construction, which includes everything from figuring out the utilities, access road, curbs, sidewalks and landscaping. Working with...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: An open letter to the commercial lending community

Dear lenders: Perhaps you have seen the recent headlines that declared suburban Indianapolis among the best places in the country to live and raise a family. Perhaps you've also taken note that there are a lot of things happening in our communities. Big projects abound in the Indi anapolis area, including Lucas Oil Stadium and the Midfield Terminal at Indianapolis International Airport. People are so excited about the new stadium they lined up for hours trying to get a tour...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: An open letter to the commercial lending community

Dear lenders: Perhaps you have seen the recent headlines that declared suburban Indianapolis among the best places in the country to live and raise a family. Perhaps you've also taken note that there are a lot of things happening in our communities. Big projects abound in the Indi anapolis area, including Lucas Oil Stadium and the Midfield Terminal at Indianapolis International Airport. People are so excited about the new stadium they lined up for hours trying to get a tour...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: As business property taxes rise, who really pays the bill?

All Indiana counties revised property tax bills as a result of an outcry by thousands of homeowners who fought back when they saw their 2007 tax reassessments and bills. Assessors had to go back to work and try again. So, they did. The new bills are out, and while it may be good news for homeowners, you can bet commercial property owners aren't turning cartwheels in the parking lot. The average assessment for commercial properties (where you shop, work and...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Protestors shouldn't control community development

N e i g h b o r h o o d activists in Pittsburgh are fighting a development that would bring a grocery store, job training center, youth programs and other social services to the area of the Pittsburgh Penguins' $290 million arena. The Pittsburgh group was planning a march in protest. Is retail and commercial development next to a sports arena a bad idea? A Cambridge, Mass., neighborhood group was opposed to the development of three townhomes, arguing...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Everybody's busy playing the real estate blame game

There's a game that takes place in most families with young children. You may be familiar with it. It's easy. Mom's cherished (insert any household item here) develops a large chip. Mom sees the chip. Mom begins the interrogation: Who did this? "Not me," says Johnny. and Wall Street. After all, they're the ones that loaned the money. It was too easy to get a loan, the critics say. People were buying homes and building developments with high-priced coffee shops...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: So, you really want to be a real estate developer ...

Real estate developers have a secret: We're not evil. OK ... we're not all evil This runs contrary to the perception that some people seem determined to promote. They opine that "good development" is an oxymoron. Development is a humbling business. It turns out that a lot of people know a lot more about the right way to do development than we do, and they're not shy about letting us and everyone else know this, in public meetings, private conversations,...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Coming to the defense of 'sprawl' in the suburbs

Since World War II, strong public policies and economic conditions have led to booming homeownership in America, and rapid expansion of a great highway transportation system has accelerated our country's suburbanization. We all know the story; we are participants. In the 1960s, it was often referred to as the American Dream. Although never specifically defined, the American Dream always included having a family, a reliable (maybe even cool) car, a nice home of one's own, and the freedom to work,...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Low-impact development likely to make a big impact

Every time Indiana experiences one of its summer cloudbursts, the rainfall sets into motion one of a real estate development's most expensive and least appreciated systems. As rain hits the ground, it quickly collects into wellengineered courses to swales and gutters, through pipes and culverts and into detention ponds. Flowing around, over and through the land that once absorbed it, the water is efficiently collected and conveyed off the site. In other words, gather it up and drain it off....
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