Save the date: 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit

Photos from the 2013 LOCUS Leadership Summit.

The 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit will take place June 17-18, 2014 in Washington DC. The LOCUS Leadership Summit is the premiere conference where smart growth deals get done. Real estate developers and investors who are interested in advancing walkable, sustainable communities are invited to join us for two days of business networking, dealmaking and insight into the latest smart growth innovations.


Transit is key to Cincinnati's economic progress

(The following article originally appeared in the Cincinnati Inquirer on November 8, 2013)

By Christopher B. Leinberger

I was the lead consultant, along with Jim McGraw of KMK Consulting, on the Go Cincinnati economic development strategy in 2008. While funded by the private sector under the auspices of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Go Cincinnati became the City Council-adopted economic strategy for the city’s future. The City, along with 3CDC, Port Authority, Museum Center at Union Terminal and others, are already implementing it.

Brookings and KMK found that Cincinnati’s major economic deficiency is the lack of walkable urban places with the housing and jobs required for the 21st century knowledge economy. The city was not playing as large a role in the regional economy since it was not focusing on the development of these high-density, mixed-use walkable urban places. The city is now fulfilling the Go Cincinnati strategy by successfully building walkable urban neighborhoods, such as Fountain Square, Uptown Coalition and Over-the-Rhine. But much more needs to be done.


Join LOCUS next week for an event on the future of walkable urban development

LOCUS President Christopher Leinberger speaking at a previous ULI event.
LOCUS President Christopher Leinberger speaking at last year’s event.

Real estate professionals, advocates and academics are invited to join LOCUS, the George Washington University Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis and ULI Washington for a day-long event exploring how to develop walkable urban projects and how to implement the strategies for place management in walkable urban places.


LOCUS Steering Committee gathers in Washington DC

LA Union Station
Los Angeles’ Union Station, one of several projects being worked on by LOCUS members. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Metro.

The Steering Committee of LOCUS, Smart Growth America’s coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors, gathered in Washington DC this week to discuss upcoming LOCUS projects and identify new issues facing smart growth development today.

Art Leahy, CEO of Los Angeles Metro, started the meeting on Tuesday with a presentation about the future of L.A.’s Union Station. As Leahy explained, Metro’s Master Plan for the station will celebrate the site’s history, improve passenger experience and make the Union Station neighborhood a great destination by considering combinations of public space enhancements, access and circulation improvements and new development. Leahy presented about the project to the Steering Committee, and received feedback from fellow Committee members.


New report reveals historic shift in real estate demand in Atlanta, GA

Atlanta's Five Points neighborhood
Atlanta’s Little Five Points Neighborhood. Photo via Flickr.

Walkable urban development is now the primary real estate market in one of the nation’s most unlikely regions: metropolitan Atlanta, GA.

That’s according to The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Atlanta, a new report released today and authored by Christopher Leinberger, President of Smart Growth America’s LOCUS coalition of real estate developers and investors.


LOCUS developers to meet in Washington, DC next week and call for overhaul of federal real estate programs

LOCUS Winter Meeting
LOCUS members gathered earlier this year at the coalition’s winter meeting.

Federal real estate programs could be doing more for families, taxpayers and communities, and a national coalition of real estate developers and investors will convene in Washington, DC next week to advocate for changes to these enormous programs.

LOCUS, Smart Growth America’s coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors, will gather in Washington and meet with members of Congress on October 8 and 9, 2013 to advocate for reforms to federal real estate programs that could broaden housing opportunities, revitalize cities and towns nationwide while saving taxpayers upwards of $33 billion a year.


Senators introduce bi-partisan legislation that would improve the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit

American Brewing Building, Baltimore, MD
The American Brewery Building in Baltimore, MD, was redeveloped with the help of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit. Photo via the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In June Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced S. 1141 The Creating American Prosperity Through Preservation (CAPP) Act, a bill that would encourage developers to invest in and restore historic buildings by updating the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program.

Since its inception in 1976, the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program has leveraged more than $106 billion of private-sector investment to preserve and rehabilitate more than 38,000 historic properties. The credit program has rehabilitated more than 75,000 low- and moderate-income housing units. In fact, nearly 75 percent of Historic Tax Credit projects are in low-income areas.


Rethink Real Estate: Reform the Federal Housing Administration’s Single Family Home Program

HUD Headquarters in Washington, DC
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters in Washington DC. Photo by Ryan Orr via Flickr.

This is the second in a series of posts discussing recommendations from our new platform Federal Investment in Real Estate: A Call for Action. The series highlights what is lacking in current federal real estate policy and how our recommended improvements could generate better returns for families, communities and taxpayers.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has helped millions of families purchase their homes, and ensures mortgages are widely available during times of economic distress when banks and other financial institutions tighten lending standards. As the housing market rebounds, however, it’s time to refocus this program on its original mission.


Rethink Real Estate: Eliminate some rate subsidies from the National Flood Insurance Program

Clarksville, TN
Federally subsidized flood insurance makes it easier to build homes in flood-prone areas. Image via Wikimedia.

This is the first in a series of posts discussing recommendations from our new platform Federal Investment in Real Estate: A Call for Action. The series will highlight what is lacking in current federal real estate policy and how our recommended improvements could generate better returns for families, communities and taxpayers.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is intended to provide property owners and renters with a way to financially protect themselves from flood damage. Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the NFIP works closely with nearly 90 private insurance companies to offer flood insurance to homeowners, renters and business owners.


Developers, smart growth experts outline changes to federal real estate policy in online event

On Thursday, July 25, Smart Growth America and LOCUS, which represents private-sector development interests from across the United States, held an online discussion introducing new recommendations for federal real estate programs.

Leading the discussion were Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America; Ilana Preuss, Vice President and Chief of Staff at Smart Growth America; Chris Leinberger, President of LOCUS; Frank Alexander, Sam Nunn Professor of Law, Emory University; Dennis Allen, Director of Planning and Development, ZRZ Realty; Richard Baron, President, McCormack Baron Salazar; and Eric Larson, Managing Partner, Bedrock Real Estate Services.