Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Commercial markets/ population to single family ratios?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    5,502

    Commercial markets/ population to single family ratios?

    Well, I'll preface this question by stating it has be a looooong time since I have been asked to review our land use mix in relation to commercial needs. Our last review happened in 1997, and they basically just extrapolated the existing commercial building s.f. and land areas out based on a set s.f. per capita, and then figuring out future growth scenarios. While we could keep doing this every few years, there really isn't a 'reality check' involved here. Because who is to say that the ratio of commerial s.f. per capita was adequate in 1997.

    I have to update our Municipal Development Plan (aka General Plan/Comprehensive Plan) for a new annexation area. Council has directed me to make sure we meet a 80/20 residential/non-residential tax assessment split. This is totally unachievable, because our population will not support the amount of commercial development that it would take to meet the 80/20. But what I will need to do is explain what the current population could support, based on typical commercial standards.

    Back in the day, ULI was the place to go to find out typical market standards for commercial development. Is this still the case? Like how many people within an area does it take to support a regional shopping mall, a big box development, etc. Or even, what is the typical amount of commercial floor area per capita in your average suburb?

    Any idea on where I should start with my research?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Wildono's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Running with the Proverbial Dark Lord
    Posts
    92

    ULI and UWEX

    ULI is still a (if not the) resource - an updated Dollars & Cents of Shopping Centers should probably be released soon.

    Also, the Univ. of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension has a Center for Community & Economic Development website that is most excellent for market analysis tools.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    The question is how much of the regional market you hope to capture. If you have a greater pull factor then you will want to up the square footage, or if it is less, then you may want to be below average. I would probably do a convoluted assessment of the market potential and local capture and work that back though average sales per square foot by retail or service class to come up with a total. To estimate the land area needed, I'd use a factor of 6-8 for suburban areas and maybe 2-3 for urban.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4

    SF of Commercial Development

    You can buy a retail demand study from Claritas, which will tell you how much the popultaion spends, and the level of retail sales which presently occurs. This will tell you the retail gap, which you can convert into square footage using available sales per square foot figures.

    Or, you could hire an experienced, pricey consultant like me!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    5,502
    Wow, thanks so much for the replies. It took so long to get one that I kind of forgot about this thread!

    We had some analyses done in 1997 that I just updated last week, so I think we know how much land we actually need in the City to accommodate future growth.

    The problem here is that our Economic Development guys have pulled a number out of their bums that they want a 80 res/ 20 non-res assessment split in the city, and now Council has latched onto that and told me to make it happen in my next comprehensive plan update. We have an affluent bedroom community with no real industrial (think commercial service), and only enough commercial to serve our little suburb (50k pop) itself and some of the surrounding country residential.

    With the help of assessment services, we've tracked res and non-res growth back to 1970, and there were years where non-res outpaced residential. But the big problem here is that with the recent oil boom and now the housing shortage, all of the residential property values are skyrocketing and the commercial properties are lagging behind. The bottom line is that we will never meet that 80/20 assessment split, unless the oil sands stop producing, the population makes a mass exodus and the housing market crashes. And that is looking less and less likely every day.

    I guess I just have to deliver the bad news to Council that I can't do what they want me to do, not even close. And let them know that their economic development goals are totally unrealistic. As soon as I do though, they'll ask "so what is realistic"? And I guess that's when I say they need a specialist to come in... because I sure as hell don't know the answer to that one. If they want it that bad, they can do it right and hire a real analyst. Otherwise they will keep chasing this unachievable 80/20 dream.

  6. #6

    Split

    The type of non-residential should be considered. Office development might fit the bill, since it's higher value and lower traffic than traditional retail

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 17
    Last post: 24 Apr 2008, 8:54 AM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last post: 11 Dec 2006, 2:57 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last post: 18 Sep 2006, 1:05 PM
  4. Replies: 21
    Last post: 24 May 2005, 8:38 PM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last post: 04 Jul 2001, 8:41 AM