Combining—and Dividing—Uses at the Goat Blocks of Portland, Oregon

A developer uses suburban retail experience to craft a dense, mixed-use community in the heart of Portland’s Central Eastside. A development firm has transferred its retail skills to intricately craft a 348,000-rentable-square-foot (32,000 sq m) project called the Goat Blocks—the name a popular reference to the animals that kept the grass in check on the site during the years the land was left fallow awaiting development.

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Political Will, Bold Leadership Are Necessary Tools for Reinventing Communities

A new ULI report describes a variety of public financing tools for cities seeking to reinvent themselves and attract greater private investment. The report, however, is not about any one specific financing tool or taxing mechanism, but about the leadership, strategic vision, and political will necessary to create a plan for reinvention and execute it. Expert panelists discussed how these challenges played out in Pittsburgh; Greenville, South Carolina; and Cincinnati at the recent ULI Housing Opportunity Conference in Boston.

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Evolving Tokyo

The city’s center, inside the circular Yamanote Line, has seen massive redevelopment in recent years. Now, developers are looking further afield.

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Theaster Gates, founder of the 
Rebuild Foundation
 and director of Arts and Public Life at the 
University of Chicago, speaking at the ULI Housing Opportunity Conference in Boston.

Portrait of the Artist as Community Developer: Theaster Gates and Chicago’s South Side

Chicago-based Theaster Gates may be the only artist in the United States merging the roles of artist and real estate developer. A celebrated and commercially successful multimedia artist who has exhibited work in museums and galleries around the world, Gates has transformed blocks of his South Side neighborhood through key investments in housing and unique community assets that provide residents with outlets for expression while preserving local culture before it disappears.

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Recent Articles

  • In Print: Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism

    May 19, 2016

    In this 2014 book, now available in paperback, transit advocate Benjamin Ross highlights some of the origins of suburban sprawl in the United States.

  • Industry Outlook for Adaptive Use

    May 9, 2016

    What are the best ways to transform older buildings to accommodate new uses? Experts in adaptive use discuss how they evaluate existing buildings, how to avoid common pitfalls, how to balance sustainability with preservation, and other trends.

  • How Three U.S. Cities Are Building on Public/Private Partnerships

    April 28, 2016

    American cities seeking to reinvent themselves can do so by using creative financing, among other tools, according to a panel of experts at the 2016 ULI Spring Meeting in Philadelphia. The panel also served as the launch event for the new ULI publication Reaching for the Future: Creative Finance for Smaller Communities.

  • Buying It Right: Advice for Aspiring Developers from Industry Veterans

    For aspiring developers, panelists agreed that choosing a sector—whether it be residential, office, industrial, or something else—does not particularly matter, but that you have to start somewhere, start small, and specialize within whatever sector you do choose. “All happy real estate deals are alike—they start with a motivated seller,” said John E. McNellis of McNellis Partners, speaking at the 2016 ULI Spring Meeting.

  • Distinguishing Signal from Noise as Use of Big Data Grows

    April 26, 2016

    While the use of big data is increasing in many industries, Nate Silver, founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, told attendees at the recent ULI Spring Meeting, “When you have more data, you have more opportunities to be wrong.”

  • Roger Staubach to Headline ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas

    April 25, 2016

    Preparations are already underway in Dallas for the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting, which the city will host October 24–27. A high-profile session will feature Roger Staubach, executive chairman of JLL Americas and former Dallas Cowboys star quarterback, who forged a highly successful career in real estate following his retirement from the National Football League in 1980.

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