Smart growth news – July 22, 2011

Expert: Commuter rail will drive development
The Telegraph (Ga.), July 21, 2011
Folks need to re-learn that “transportation drives development,” a nationally renowned transit specialist said Wednesday during a transportation meeting in Macon. “The transportation comes first and it sparks development. … It’s how cities have been built for centuries,” said Chris Leinberger, professor and founding director of the graduate real estate development program at the University of Michigan.

Sale of New Rochelle Site Revives Development Talks
Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2011
Efforts to revive New Rochelle’s downtown have gotten a boost from the sale of a blighted former movie theater to a buyer who plans to rehabilitate the eyesore and, possibly, build an apartment building on the site.

Why Homes in the Exurbs Aren’t Built to Last
D Magazine (Texas), July 20, 2011
The next time you fly into DFW airport, have a look out the window. Somewhere down there—it could be Argyle or Double Oak or anywhere on the periphery of the North Texas sprawl—you’ll see half-built neighborhoods that look as if the assembly line simply stopped rolling. With names like Rambling Meadows, the developments have arbitrarily curved streets lined with tract homes, one after another. Different addresses, same house. What will become of these places in 20 years? How about 50?

Atlanta’s multi-family rental market sees a revival
Atlanta Journal Constitution, July 21, 2011
Now, the multi-family rental market has come back “in a very strong way,” and some retailers are looking to expand, said David Fitch, president and CEO of Gables Residential.

The Vacant Land Issue
Philadelphia City Paper, July 21, 2011
There are more than 40,000 abandoned lots in Philly. Why are we a city full of holes? There’s maybe no single issue that permeates every facet of city life — crime, politics, gentrification, development, happiness — more deeply than Philadelphia’s 40,000-plus vacant and abandoned lots. They’re arguably our biggest problem, and also our biggest opportunity. An empty lot is usually one dream gone bad and another unfulfilled. It’s nothing and anything.

Ypsilanti businesses see more vibrant downtown as lofts bring renters, though challenges remain (Mich.), July 21, 2011
More residents like the Gendiches are calling downtown Ypsilanti home over the past decade, and city officials, merchants and business people all agree it’s a positive trend.

City told to avoid farmland
Capital Press (Ore.), July 21, 2011
The Oregon Court of Appeals has reversed a plan that would allow the City of McMinnville to expand onto surrounding farmland.

Town of Lloyd targeted for $300M development project
Times Herald-Record (N.Y.), July 21, 2011
Hudson Valley Wine Village, Inc. today announced plans to develop a $300 million mixed-use development on 428 acres in the Town of Lloyd. In addition to providing an enormous tax ratable, the project will create 950 construction jobs and approximately 1,000 well-paying, permanent jobs.