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Poof!! Planner into Developer

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
I liked this thread, and this one. Along the same lines....

After lunch, staring at my desk appearing to work, I was actually thinking if I had won $100 million I would turn developer. I was thinking about what kind of projects I would try. Since planners have general disdain for developers and their “icky” projects, what would a planner do? Put money to ideas and test the waters!! Here are a couple:

Dream within the dream: I would like to try something like a mixed-use high-density project. This is Phoenix so it would be rare, and transit is almost nil.

Reality within the dream: I would buy old income properties (power centers, strip malls) that need help, remodel/update them, turn them over, and hang on to the best ones. A redeveloper if you will. There are also a couple of historic properties I would go after for restoration.

No chance I would ever work to build a new subdivision.

Poof, you have the cash, what do you develop/redevelop? Do you become the developer you hated and go for max cash return and develop crap?
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
I would buy the neighborhood I grew up in, tear down the McMansions, and rebuild the ranches. Then buy up the small neighborhood shopping areas (one of which I recently read is to be torn down). These are in very desirable locations, and have always been 100% occupied with long-running, successful businesses. Some moron just thinks they need to be new-millenium 35'-high one-story stucco monstrosities.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,463
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29
I would be thinking "small scale" to a certain extent.


There are few vacant lots scattered around central Vacaville, where I live. I would go into partnership with a local builder who has developed a niche of infill development, and we would transform these lots into a nice range of infill cottages. Plus, I would work with the City of Vacaville to build a larger project of mixed-use townhouses right next to downtown-the land has already been cleared for redevelopment.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
25
convert a few streets of old two family wood frame flats (old trolley districts) into "hip" one families and add rear alleys.
 

donk

Cyburbian
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6,970
Points
30
I'd buy a few of the original mansions in town, gut the wood work from the interiors and sell it in markets that appreciate it. I know of one that just sold for $150k that has at least 300-400K of wood work in side of it.

I'd also buy a few of the older stone buildings in town and redo them into apartments/mixed use buildings.

Finally, there is one property in town that I would buy and turn it into the worst trailer park this side of sunnyvale. ;) Screw the jacka$$ Dr's and a few other expletives who live in the adjacent neighbourhoods.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
I'd like to try my hand at very small scale mixed use development.

Revitalizing a rural hamlet would be about the right scale.

(A hamlet in New York state is defined as any unincorporated settlement. Traditionally, a hamlet is smaller than a village, but even a community of some size that remains unincorporated is still a hamlet. The New York state definition of a hamlet, then, is much the same as that in any other state of the US. A hamlet does not have a local government.)
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
I'd like to start out with a small business in a building I would buy and rehab, and then slowly work my way up the ladder, as I invest in more properties until I finally have enough money to start the mother of all my projects, Rumpy's Rampage.
-I was also thinking of getting involved in local politics just to change the status quo and make things right again.
 

Bangorian

Member
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198
Points
7
I would spend as much money as possible in the local area un-doing what was done in the 60's.
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
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1,361
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23
My contributions to The Big Easy

I would renovate blighted residential and commercial properties and offer those properties to first-time homebuyers and entrepreneurs at very minimal costs.

I would also redevelop large brownfield sites with mixed use communities that would contain green space.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,494
Points
41
We have an old City dump -- now a brownfield -- on about 30 acres, outside the flood levee. If I had carte blanche, I'd redevelop it as a minor league ballpark (probably midwest summer league or Independent Northern League), then let the local little leagues use it whenever that season is over. Put in some nice amenities and link it to the planned River Greenway.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I would buy some of the buildings in areas that have shown potential but have not really had the shot in the arm that they need. I would rehab them and work to get housing, restaurants, bars, and retail.

Then i'd hop in my BMW and go home to my huge downtown condo built in an old factory. ;)
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I would probably restore some old cinemas... you know... the one screen dealies with the art deco interior. My childhood theatre in Los Angeles, the La Reina (below) is now a Gap clothing store. :(

 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
Repo Man said:
Then i'd hop in my BMW and go home to my huge downtown condo built in an old factory. ;)
Classic! I tried to convince my wife that we could buy an old warehouse downtown near a gowing arts area and do this. Have an apartment inside the wharehouse, Clive Cussler/Dirk Pitt style. She firmly said no.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
I've always complained that here there's too much to do and no money to do it...
So if I were a Developer; I'd build numerous buildings to fill out several vacant lots that are in our downtown, and restoration for several main street buildings.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
ludes98 said:
Classic! I tried to convince my wife that we could buy an old warehouse downtown near a gowing arts area and do this. Have an apartment inside the wharehouse, Clive Cussler/Dirk Pitt style. She firmly said no.
I'd totally dig living in a warehouse loft. Well, if we didn't have kids.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,946
Points
40
ludes98 said:
Clive Cussler/Dirk Pitt style.
A fantasy home of mine as well! Awaiting the arrival of the latest Pitt novel at Christmas (mom already slipped and told me it's coming). ;)
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
NHPlanner said:
A fantasy home of mine as well! Awaiting the arrival of the latest Pitt novel at Christmas (mom already slipped and told me it's coming). ;)
You are lucky, the book I am waiting for does not come out until after the holidays. ("Lost" Heinlein book from the 1950's, have already preordered it)

I too would be into loft living, my house as it is right now is very loft like (size and layout).
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
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1,433
Points
25
nerudite said:
I'd totally dig living in a warehouse loft. Well, if we didn't have kids.
if i were a kid...i'd totally dig a loft apartment...as long as it was big and had some interesting things for the imagination...think about the movie BIG...rockin' fun place!
 
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Unfortunately $100 million is not enough money to do what I really want to at this present moment - get the light rail line built in N.O......need about $400-500 million for that. So, with the $100 million, I would develop/redevelop much of the land surrounding the proposed light rail corridor. Whether it gets built or not, the area could certainly use investment.
 

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
Planderella said:
Unfortunately $100 million is not enough money to do what I really want to at this present moment - get the light rail line built in N.O......need about $400-500 million for that. So, with the $100 million, I would develop/redevelop much of the land surrounding the proposed light rail corridor. Whether it gets built or not, the area could certainly use investment.
What line are you talking about? Only proposal that I have heard of is from the airport to the cbd, and those estimates run around 15 million.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I would love to live in a warehouse loft too, but they are so damn expensive here in Milwaukee....way out of a planners range. For the proce of a 3br loft you can get a huge old house.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Another "loftie" here. As I've mentioned, one of my interests is old brick factories. Too many of the larger lofts, though, in the Bay Area, have been condoized, with associations and CC&Rs that interfere with my other hobby, my mixed pack of three dogs.
 
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5,352
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31
ilikefish0 said:
What line are you talking about? Only proposal that I have heard of is from the airport to the cbd, and those estimates run around 15 million.
That's the one, but those estimates are not correct. I know because I've been knee-deep in this project for the past two years.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
Planderella said:
Unfortunately $100 million is not enough money to do what I really want to at this present moment - get the light rail line built in N.O......need about $400-500 million for that. So, with the $100 million, I would develop/redevelop much of the land surrounding the proposed light rail corridor. Whether it gets built or not, the area could certainly use investment.
Well you are a peach of a developer...private financing a public rail project. How much will tickets cost to ride your train? ;)

I know, I know, open ended, I gotta stop doing that...;)
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
Great thread! I've actually thought about what I'd do if I won the lottery. I guess $100 million is a good start to:

- purchase and protect parcels of open space, woodland habitats, etc.
- develop walking and biking trails to create a regional network of trails
- restore historic buildings for residential and commercial uses

I also like SGB's idea about revitalizing a rural hamlet. I'd like to use some of the money to develop a foundation, or a matching grants program, for community revitalization projects.
 
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