Our approach to the redevelopment/renewal process is based not a state statute, which outlines and provides the legal mechanism for a municipality to undertake a redevelopment initiative, but on the broader promise of what redevelopment is intended to accomplish: to renew and restart a community.
Scores of successful redevelopments have risen since passage of the Housing Act in 1949. At the same time, the redevelopment landscape is littered with failed projects, dashed hopes and scars of failed redevelopment efforts. For every failure like the Columbus Homes in Newark, there are successes like Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
Whenever community and elected leaders consider a redevelopment project, it sparks intense community debate. There is no shortage of answers, along with disappointment and disillusionment, during the long, complicated process toward reaching a common consensus. Municipalities are tasked with numerous essential services, from safe streets to good schools. But often, the most complicated challenge it faces is revitalizing a troubled neighborhood or declining business district.
The redevelopment process is a complex, multi-disciplinary effort that requires cooperation from many disparate groups with various goals and agendas. Moreover, most municipalities work with limited resources or mismatched skill sets, which limit their ability to sustain focus on redevelopment initiatives. At Grid Real Estate, we understand this process and the promises and pitfalls intimately, though 35 years’ experience at the leading edge of numerous redevelopment efforts. As advisors, we can assist local governments and community groups as they maneuver the complicated redevelopment process and help them reach a clear consensus on the necessary milestones and goals needed to embark upon any community renewal.
Project entitlement and Community Public Private Partnerships (CPP)
All real estate development is negotiated development. That has been a reality of the development business since Jane Jacobs organized her neighbors on Hudson Street to defeat Robert Moses in the Greenwich Village showdown in the 1960s. The reality today is most redevelopment efforts are a tri-party agreement between the community, the public sector and the private sector entrepreneur, with the community being first among equals.
These CPP partnerships are a necessary reality to move forward with any project today. The issues facing all the partners are complicated and intertwined. Working effectively to move a project or entitlement forward requires an understanding of all the issues facing the project and partners. Working through these issues requires a unique set of skills and experience. At Grid Real Estate, our experience as real estate professionals, planners, redevelopers and community advocates places us in a unique position for acting as the connecting bridge between these partners.