Urbanexus Update — Issue #34
Please scroll down for the weekly compilation of analysis, reporting and opinion about real estate and community development. Note that some links may lead to material that is behind a paywall.
Designing, approving and building big projects
The redevelopment of Beverly Center, an 883,000-square-foot shopping mall in Los Angeles, was announced by Taubman Centers, Inc., in March 2016. The project was completed in time for the 2018 holiday season.
The Los Angeles Planning Commission approved the Olympic + Hill development, a proposed 700-unit residential project from Canadian real estate developer Onni Group that could be among the tallest in downtown Los Angeles.
Atlanta City Council approves Gulch deal — www.ajc.com
Atlanta City Council approves $1.9 billion subsidy package for Gulch project The $5 billion project would mix office towers with residences, hotels and retail to reshape a portion of the Atlanta’s skyline.
Efforts to build a freeway lid over Interstate 5 in central Seattle gain momentum.
Retail real estate trends
Lowe’s closing Stores — product.costar.com
Lowe’s Companies said it will close 51 locations in North America, the latest big-box retailer to try to better balance its brick-and-mortar and e-commerce resources as more consumers shop online.
Online sales of furniture and home decor are projected to be more than $50 billion this year. Online retailers brought in $15.15 billion for furniture and bedding sales in 2017, an increase of $2.5 billion from 2016, per Furniture Today.
Will dying malls bring back downtowns? — www.strongtowns.org
The shopping mall, an icon of America’s suburban experiment, has fallen on hard times. But don’t start cheering; that doesn’t mean we should assume that one comes next will be a better deal for communities.
Residential real estate trends
Boomer homeowners block affordable housing — www.citylab.com
In Generation Priced Out, Randy Shaw examines how Boomers have blocked affordable housing in urban neighborhoods, leaving Millennial homebuyers in the lurch.
How homelessness in L.A. can have a Hollywood ending — www.hollywoodreporter.com
With the city’s homeless population hovering around 60,000, a $3.6 million project, built from shipping containers on Colden Avenue in South L.A., could provide a road map for a long-term solution with Gary Foster and Greg Germann among the backers of the unique housing partnership.
Developers in cities across the U.S. are rushing to cash in on the closure of thousands of golf clubs amid heated public debates about what should be done with such large green spaces, analysts and local campaigners say.
Environment and resiliency
Around the world
More than two decades after apartheid’s demise, most private land remains in the hands of South Africa’s white minority, making it a potent symbol of wider economic disparities. The ANC has made expropriation of white-owned land a key policy ahead of an election next year that is expected to prove a tough test against a backdrop of recession and signs of rising social discontent.
Omidyar Network, a Non-Governmental Organization operating in Ghana has outlined initiatives that, if adopted by all stakeholders in the land sector, will bring about massive improvement and benefits.The initiative which includes the introduction of the customary land rights documentation in Ghana, seeks to build the capacity of land authorities to be able to preside over the recordation of land rights.