Posted by: Patricia Salkin | July 11, 2008

Redevelopment – Planning, Law and Project Implementation: A Guide for Practitioners

This one-of-a-kind new book is a wonderful resource for land use practitioners and developers who are navigating the dynamic regulatory environment surrounding mixed use and urban redevelopment (and in –fill) projects. Redevelopment projects can be more challenging, more time consuming and more costly than traditional development projects where the project developer starts with a vacant parcel of land.  The various stakeholders in the process may have very different primary considerations – for example the developers may be concerned about marketability, land assembly and a return on what could be a considerable financial investment.  Local governments are mindful of increasing public scrutiny on the use of condemnation proceedings that may be needed for some redevelopment projects, as well as other public infrastructure and public health, safety and welfare concerns.  Neighborhood residents may be concerned about the impact of the project on their homes as well as on the economy of the area.   The editors acknowledge the great impact that the recent convergence of three movements – Smart Growth, New Urbanism and Green Building – have had on the way governments and the public think about redevelopment projects.

Part I of the book focuses on the legal and institutional framework for redevelopment, including a review of the federal, state and local laws that govern redevelopment projects.  Part II examines key considerations in planning for redevelopment.  From market analysis, to assembling a redevelopment team of professionals, to land assembly and consideration of parking needs, and the impact of the Kelo case, this part provides excellent information about the thought process that goes into the planning process. Part III is devoted to implementation issues including various options for financing of the project, environmental considerations, navigating through the local approval process, and the importance of project management.  The book concludes in Part IV with several case studies that illustrate many of the concepts discussed in the previous section. An appendix provides a comprehensive state-by-state listing of redevelopment statutes. 

In an Afterword, the editors identify and discuss the following 11 challenges that will shape redevelopment efforts around the country in the coming years: finding land; the future of eminent domain; sophisticated market analysis; green building mandates; transit connections and transit oriented development; overcoming community resistance to density; public finance; parking facilities; streamlining redevelopment entitlement processes; managing conflict and opposition; and successful project management and operation.   

Editors Brian Blaesser, Esq. and Thomas P. Cody, Esq. have assembled an outstanding roster of contributing authors with expertise in the redevelopment field.  The book, published by the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law, can be ordered at:  http://www.abanet.org/abastore/index.cfm?section=main&fm=Product.AddToCart&pid=5330098


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