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Thread: Incentives for developers

  1. #1

    Incentives for developers

    In all your vast experiences, what have been some incentives offered to developers to build condos in your city? I know it is a whole new ballgame with the downturn in the housing market. Please direct me to another thread if this has already been discussed.

  2. #2
    Dec 2001
    Mr. Cool Ice
    10 year tax abatements

    Moderator note:
    Come on, Jeff. Put some more effort into it. This is a low content post and needs more elaboration.


  3. #3
    Nov 2005
    In the Peach State
    Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) is a common financing mechanism used to spur redevelopment or preferred development in an area. It can work quite well, although I have notices a recent backlash in public opinion on its use. There is lots of information on this board and on the web about it.

    You could also reduce fees for preferred projects. Reduce the cost of permitting, tap fees, impact fees, etc to induce preferred growth. I would be leery about legal issues surrounding the reduction of impact fees, but I have heard of some areas doing it.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Apr 2004
    Tri-Cities, Washington
    Blog entries
    While we are on this issue... are there any good literary resources regarding offering Incentives of any kind?

    I would like to be directed to some reading material to help in my volunteer work for the creation of a Downtown Redevelopment Plan.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone

  5. #5


    TIF is basically what we are using. The problem is we almost rely solely on TIF and we are not the local government. We are a non profit economic development agency that does all the planning and development for the ciy. In IL, they have Enterprise Zones, but I believe they are at their max allowed under law. Any other suggestions?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Apr 2006
    Promoting synergies...
    Michigan does not offer much in the way of incentives unless they are for low/mod families. Are you trying to develop virgin land, brownfield or an adaptive reuse of an existing structure?

    I some preliminary work on a condo development in Michigan and even with a Cool Cities grant, DDA TIF dollars and a free building we could still not get the project to pencil for a reasonable price per square foot.

    In DC the city had income affordable housing requirements for all its PUDs which made the projects not profitable. So the city put up cash from its general fund to offset the affordable housing requirements.

    Have you looked at free land and infrastructure improvements? Another option is you could try to have civic minded companies agree to purchase some of the condos for their out of state guests.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Oct 2005
    You should make sure your ordinance allows for condo developments or isn't overly restrictive of that kind of development. If you have impact fees or other up front fees there could be waivers or reductions of these to help entice that type of development.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    It is possible to be very creative in the ways in which you may incentivize development. In fact, in communities where TIF is restricted to public improvements, creativity is the key.

    Several projects I have been involved in have used sale or granting of city-owned property as a means to promote development. This has included righ-of-way vacation, transfer of property acquired through tax foreclosure, or utilization of parking lots or the air rights over structures.

    Cities have access to state and federal grant dollars that can be used to support the development through activities such as environmental remediation, transportation enhancements, or public utility construction.

    Let's not forget planning. We have done numerous plans for communities, intended to promote development by communicating the city's concept. In the best of these, we have included the market analysis and a fiscal analysis of the development proposal. Of course, this sometimes shows that the project is not feasible. This may point the the extent of an incentive that would be needed from the community. Alternatively, if the analysis shows that a project can be profitable, it is much easier to recruit a developer.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian DrumLineKid's avatar
    Feb 2007
    The Castle Aaaargh
    Several years ago, NYS tried to encourage economic development by creating/encouraging an inventory of "shovel-ready" sites for industrial use (they even created shovel lapel pins). They asked each town/city to look at their inventory of sites and get mast of the approvals done before actively marketing the site. Perhaps the Planning Coimmission wouldn't do they approval without a site plan, but the community couls get the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) out of the way.

    If condos make a good idea in a particular spot, pre-approve the spot. Then market it. In our state there is a push by our state Housing Authority for "worker housing", look for something to play from.


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