In 2010, The Danter Company kicked off this blog by discussing 23 key factors in a special four-part series indicating how ready a downtown is for housing development:
As we have presented these factors in cities of all sizes across the country, it has become clear that there was a 24th factor that was not only critical, but that ties it all together: leadership.
What are the characteristics of the leadership necessary to create a downtown that is ready for housing?
- Public Leadership – A mayor, development director and/or city council that has caught the vision of creating housing downtown can create new policies (or streamline existing policies/regulations/zoning) to make downtown housing more feasible and attractive to developers.
- Private Leadership – Private leadership may come from many sources, including visionary developers, businesses that provide support for housing (retail and services) as well as businesses who are willing to stay downtown and provide employment.
- Resident Leadership – Sometimes, it takes pioneering residents to opt for downtown over the suburbs. In order to live downtown, residents often must sacrifice on amenities such as unit size, storage space, project amenities (pool) and abundant, easy parking in order to gain the locational and lifestyle advantages of downtown. Depending on how ready a downtown is, residents must often be willing to commute to the suburbs for services such as department or grocery stores.