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Thread: Developers with planners on staff?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
    Aug 2001
    SERA Architects-Portland

    Developers with planners on staff?

    Well, my lay off has gone less than swimmingly to be sure! This sucks, plain and simple. But on to my thought...

    With two new reports coming out of Northern Colorado that our economy is approaching or surpassing 1988 record lows, and especially in the housing and construction market, I don't see many of the local planning firms hiring any designers in the near future. I am thinking about approaching about some of the larger developers in the area about creating a position for a planner on their staff, rather than hiring a planning firm. Many of these developers already come to private practice firms with their design ideas firmly planted, but need us to draw it, hopefully improve it and get it pushed through the City or County channels.

    Does this sound reasonable to anyone or am I stretching under the pressure of being unemployed?

    Also, any suggestions on approaching this in a cover letter, mostly written to CEOs that I have not met?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Mar 2002
    The development firms here and law firms have all started laying off their planners.
    This is where I had hoped to jump to as the ship sinks here but no luck
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  3. #3
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting
    having lived through the high 80's when lots of my friends in Landscape Architecture and planning went to work for the big developers, I watched them get laid off one by one in 1989 - planners are the first to go in the developer world

    that's not to say you shouldn't try - but go for a super large company that develops worldwide and be okay with traveling

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    There are many, many people / companies already providing these services in the Denver area, and like PlannerGirl said, the big development firms are laying off planning and other staff. When I had my own business I did not bother to compete on most work in that part of Colorado, given the strength of the competition and the relationships they already had with the "gatekeeper" staff in the communities around there.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5

    Dec 2007
    Front Range, CO
    Vacant days ahead on the Front Range. Engineering firms hired last year/early this year for the filling of the holes in the public sector. The GF has a career-making job and continues to have big money thrown at her to get things done, else I'd be outta here.

    You can try to create a position for yourself, and good luck to you, and IME it is as Cardinal says. Watch your favorite private job board for the rare opening in the large private firms, and deal with the flood of resumes to get yourself to the front of the pack. Go git 'em.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    This is odd and different than what i have been told.

    I have been told that our firm has been able to weather past downturns as we have been the last ones fired and the first ones hired back by the development community. The reason for this, the approvals process here is so long and arduous and the sunk costs so high that if they are solvent the developers keep us working so that when the economy turns they have shovel ready land.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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