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Thread: You… the real estate developer?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    You… the real estate developer?

    In other sections of this forum board, there have been discussions about the planner/ developer relationship. I personally have been looking the idea of switching careers into the development realm, and I think that there are many aspects of planning that would be very valuable in the development industry.

    So that leads the question of do you think that you could be a developer? If so, would you do more new development, subdivision/ residential, commercial, or would you specialize in rehabilitation?
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    In other sections of this forum board, there have been discussions about the planner/ developer relationship. I personally have been looking the idea of switching careers into the development realm, and I think that there are many aspects of planning that would be very valuable in the development industry.

    So that leads the question of do you think that you could be a developer? If so, would you do more new development, subdivision/ residential, commercial, or would you specialize in rehabilitation?
    I've toyed with the idea of purchasing run-down properties in a village for either rehab or redevelopment as a side project. Just a concept at this point - I haven't even begun to run the numbers.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Commercial = most bang for the buck IMO.

    Right now at least. Quickest approvals as well.

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I think I could do it without too much trouble. I don't know that I have the business mind for it, but I could make a decent go. Areas I would be interested in:
    • infill affordable housing, like town & row houses, maybe condos if the market is there.
    • rehabing 3-4 story downtown buildings as vertical mixed use
    • redeveloping brownfield sites

    Infill is really my interest. I find the complexities challenging and think an infill product is more interesting and valuable in the end.

    I wouldn't want to do anything too over-the-top huge and would really prefer to target smaller towns in the 50k-100k population range.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    I would love to - and will eventually. I will definitely focus on infill - not necessarily revitalizing areas, but concentrating on underutilized sections of towns/cities/megalopolises. You won't find me touching any greenland - not because I think that all greenland development is wrong - just because I feel that there are SO many opportunities for infill - and in most places that I would want to live, infill developments sell for a HUGE premium. It's a headache to get them done, but that's mostly what I do now anyway. And really, I think that with the changing demographics and increasing congestion in many areas of the country, infill will continue to be the most profitable for the savvy developers that can balance the needs/wants/temper-tantrums of cities, neighborhoods, and NIMBYs.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    • redeveloping brownfield sites
    Hello Phase 1 and phase 2 environmental analysis! That is one of the problems with some of the redevelopment projects of historic manufacturing buildings. Back then they used all sorts of good chemicals and dumped them on the property or into the river.

    There is one place that once made paint… I don’t think anyone will touch it with a 10 foot pole because of the possible pollution problems.

    Personally, I am addicted historic commercial architecture and dense urban areas. So, I would want to specialize in redevelopment of older historic multi story structures in downtowns, updating them to today’s standards and to permit for mixed uses. Additionally, in vacant lots next to historic buildings, I would also specialize in in-fill development that would look historic but work as a modern building.

    One thing that I would make sure to do is use the old woodwork, interior glass, and other important character building elements. I would also try to preserve some of unique elements such as old mechanical water pumps, pocket doors, and atriums.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    There is one place that once made paint… I don’t think anyone will touch it with a 10 foot pole because of the possible pollution problems.
    As soon as the land becomes valuable enough, the cleanup will happen. Lennar Corp has spent hundreds of millions (as well as hundreds of millions to buy the properties) helping the government clean up several Superfund sites out here in exchange for development rights.

    The amazing sites are the ones that are still owned by the company (or an entity that has taken on liability for the company) that originally polluted the site. There is one site here that is worth at least $30 million for the land - and several offers have been made to buy the land with the expectation that the buyer would be responsible for all cleanup costs - but the owner will not sell out of fear of lawsuits that could come if all of the pollutants are made public. Their plan is to simply hold onto the land until everyone who might have worked there is gone - the plant has been closed for decades.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I work for one now and I would like to continue on this tangent as it encompasses affordable housing mixed with market rate housing and retail.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    If I ever had the start-up money (I'm entering lala land now) I would love to be a developer. Only, my developments would be infill stuff, with alleys and greenbelts and if I were to build the homes they would all be craftsmen, with a mixture of exterior materials.

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    Cyburbian
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by cch View post
    (I'm entering lala land now)
    we've been expecting you

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    but not a real green dress, that's cruel...

    If I had oodles of cash, which I don't , but if I did, I would buy this farm in my town and turn it into a locally distributed organic garden and locate a Waldorf education center for children and the elderly on the property and on the other side of the property, build some tourist cabins for income, by the road, convert one of the barns to a tea shop - I think the return would be about 10 years - I have the site plan all in my head as I drive by it every damn day -

    my hubby would run the farm and oversee the Waldorf center and I would open the little tea shop by the road and coordinate the cabin rentals

    ~~~~~heavy sigh~~~~~

    argh - I hate this thread, now I have to get back to work?

    but for now, I am helping my brother do some bio-diesel plants in Pennsylvania

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I would certainly and would very much like to be a developer.

    I would focus on infill in stable, but overlooked neighborhoods/cities building from SF houses, townhouses, to small (2-20 unit) apartment buildings.

    For long term investment side, I would hold some of apartment buildings as rental and management them, plus buy strategically placed and sized existing only res. apartment and mixed use apartment buildings and rehab and hold as necessary.

    I would also try some quick house flipping - buying places needing some work but having trouble selling.

    I've actually got my eye on a recently vacant lot in my very desireable urban suburb for a small 2 attached houses development. Just have to wait for the baby to get a little older, run some numbers, and find some interested investors.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    In other sections of this forum board, there have been discussions about the planner/ developer relationship. I personally have been looking the idea of switching careers into the development realm, and I think that there are many aspects of planning that would be very valuable in the development industry.

    So that leads the question of do you think that you could be a developer? If so, would you do more new development, subdivision/ residential, commercial, or would you specialize in rehabilitation?
    Thats an easy one.

    You start with what you love to do on the scale you can afford. Then, because the majority of your projects will call for those types of deals you won't want to do, you will do them for the money as cut throat and cheaply as possible. You will find out that developers DON'T necessarilly have deep pockets. Simply put, you will become "ONE OF THEM" that you hate. Sure you will do the project types you love when you can get the work. Maybe 10 or 15 years down the road you will have made a name for yourself, and will work full time on doing your initial desired goal.

    In the mean time, get ready to jump the fence and join the ranks of the blazenly EVIL!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  14. #14
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Couldnt do it- dont have the killer business instinct to do it- much too sweet and nice
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia View post
    You will find out that developers DON'T necessarilly have deep pockets.
    That's certainly true where I work. We are shopping for a third partner since we've done all the grunt work over the past four years and having gotten the final approvals and all the property acquired or set for acquisition shortly. We've shopped extensively for public funding as well and gotten a surprising amount (at least to me).
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    No way no how. Not in FL at least. It involves too much wheeling and dealing and lying thru your teeth about how great your development is and ignoring how many animals you are going to kill. Nor could I be a rep/consultant for one. It's being a total whore in this state.

    M'skis do not take this wrong... but based on your goals and the right climate this seems to be just up your alley. You have the determination to accomplish things so development on some level (esp. the historic or redevelopment area) would probably be a good career choice. (In other words, being a public sector career planner just won't get you where you want to be!)

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    No way no how. Not in FL at least. It involves too much wheeling and dealing and lying thru your teeth about how great your development is and ignoring how many animals you are going to kill. Nor could I be a rep/consultant for one. It's being a total whore in this state.
    Right on, Sister! You are sooooo correct about being a developer in Florida. You forgot about the under the table contributions. BTW, can I get a waiver for that too?

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