Wiley H. Bates High School in Annapolis, Maryland, a cultural landmark that sat vacant for more than 20 years, has been reinvented as Wiley H. Bates Heritage Park, a development incorporating housing for low-income seniors, community services for seniors and young people, and a museum of the school and its community. Bates School, which opened in 1933, was the city’s first freestanding secondary school for African Americans and was named after a local man who was born into slavery and later became one of Annapolis’s wealthiest citizens.
South Campus Gateway is a visionary collaboration between the Ohio State University, the city of Columbus, and neighborhood stakeholders in an effort to transform a 7.5-acre (3 ha) tract that straddles the university campus and a distressed, low-income neighborhood. Developed by the not-for-profit Campus Partners, the $150 million dynamic mixed-use development is the signature project in the organization’s decade-long planning effort to revitalize the University District area. Using a complex layering of financing, the project comprises 184 apartments, 98,000 square feet (9,105 m2) of office space, and 249,000 square feet (23,133 m2) of retail stores, including an eight-screen cinema, a dozen restaurants, a university bookstore, and an organic grocery.
In just a dozen years, Daniel Island, a 4,000-acre (1,619 ha) site at the northern end of Charleston Harbor has been transformed from a private hunting retreat to a master-planned community. In the process, it has become an important center for the region and a national model for smart growth.
At the project’s inception in 1995, the region’s newly opened I-526 beltway passed through Daniel Island, presenting a unique suburban infill opportunity that would enable the city to grow without contributing to sprawl. On its way to becoming a small town—the community is 50 percent complete as of early 2007—Daniel Island already has nearly 2,000 residences and a town center with shops, restaurants, and other conveniences; extensive recreation amenities; and many businesses, schools, churches, and two professional sports facilities. At buildout in 2015, the community is expected to contain approximately 6,000 residences and 3 million square feet (278,709 m2) of commercial space.
Allentown, Pennsylvania, went from a multimillion-dollar city budget deficit to a multimillion-dollar surplus. While other Pennsylvania cities were seeing real revitalization in recent decades, Allentown (the biggest city in the Lehigh Valley) saw lethargic economic growth after broad deindustrialization. The state designated a Neighborhood Improvement Plan in Allentown which, in conjunction with private developers, set forth a plan for economic vitality. It resulted in 4,000 new jobs in the urban core and a billion dollars of new development. Allentown is now the fastest-growing city in Pennsylvania with particularly promising job growth in its urban core.
After the village of Orland Park, Illinois, invested $35 million in public infrastructure and land assembly, the real estate market collapsed and quashed anticipated development that would bring taxes to reimburse the village investment. When a new partner proposed a mixed-use project but could not obtain sufficient conventional financing, the village took the very risky step of providing a loan that completed the financial package. The village now has a viable center which achieved its initial goals and it has plans to repay the public investment.
Greenville, South Carolina, took an opportunity to dramatically enhance its downtown area by opening up and preserving its waterfalls, creating pedestrian-focused places in the heart of the central business district. Changes in the local economy and labor market resulted in downtown disinvestment in Greenville. Over the course of about 30 years, city and state governments worked with private businesses to create a new vision for downtown Greenville that would reestablish the city as an attractive place to be with a viable business center. Economic development and rising land values have allowed residents and workers to now use spaces that were once viewed as eyesores and unsafe.
Red Oak Park is an urban infill residential community in Boulder, Colorado, that concentrates on making affordable housing available by rehabilitating a deteriorated mobile home park. The 59 single-family detached, duplex, and triplex units on a 3.85 acre (1.6 ha) site are permanently affordable and primarily rented to the former mobile home park residents. The project includes 21 single-family detached units and 38 duplex and triplex units. Construction began in June 2010 and the community was completed in August 2011.
Using a creative financing structure, the new homes were built sustainably to house residents earning between 30-50% of the area median income. The development incorporates sustainable and energy-efficient principles with socially conscious and community-oriented housing.
Like many communities, the city of Sugar Land, Texas, uses available municipal financing tools to enable successful development. The Houston suburb has expanded its concept of successful planned development beyond just the revenue stream and the typical public-private partnership. Sugar Land’s town square in particular is a hugely successful result of creative financing and effective […]
Private corporations stepped up to commit both major funds and needed leadership to the decaying Over-the-Rhine neighborhood adjoining downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. A new can-do organization was created, and a comprehensive, action-oriented strategy was developed that recognized the importance of the cultural amenities of downtown. Major locally based companies joined to create a nonprofit development corporation to work along with the city to plan and finance the revitalization of the neighborhood. Fountain Square, a Cincinnati landmark, was restored, and the neighborhood is alive with new housing and new jobs. By investing across the neighborhood—from homeless shelters to historic cultural amenities, as well as new housing, hotels, and offices—Over-the-Rhine became a national model of public/private leadership.
When Hurricane Paulina swept inland in October 1997, one of the hardest-hit locales was Acapulco. The all-important tourism industry was devastated for about two weeks, while the suffering experienced by the people who serviced that industry—people who lived inland in makeshift squatter housing built on hillsides, riversides, and other marginal land—lasted for months thereafter. Landslides, ﬂoods, and 290-kilometer-per-hour (180 mph) winds left 400,000 people homeless and 400 dead in Acapulco alone.