Community and Economic Development

Development opportunities are driven by demographic and economic growth and change, and by real estate market conditions. SB Friedman Development Advisors has unique expertise in developing comprehensive and subarea plans, and implementation strategies based on these drivers.  We work in major cities, suburbs and small towns. Our approach synthesizes community goals and input, market and financial considerations, and physical constraints to develop community-supported, implementable plans and redevelopment strategies.

Services

Redevelopment Strategies

Redevelopment and infill development strategies can overcome the most challenging of situations. These strategies must take into account not only market and financial development drivers but also the challenges of fragmented ownership, site configuration, site conditions, and community concerns. We have created strategies to address these obstacles and assist clients in implementation through developer solicitation, creation of financing and redevelopment districts, deal structuring, accessing tax credits, and other action steps. Our work has resulted in award-winning downtown redevelopment projects that have proven catalytic to their communities.

Land Use and Transportation

We are able to quantify the development potential generated by transportation improvements and provide our clients with associated population and employment forecasts. We simultaneously generate “top-down” macro market forecasts for every land use at the study area-level as well as conduct a parcel-level “bottom-up” analysis based on community goals and site-level market potential. Our approach reconciles the top-down and bottom-up approaches and synthesizes transportation accessibility benefits, market analysis, community planning efforts and real estate economics to prepare forecasts that simulate actual development decisions made by a developer.

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

We have developed community-sensitive, transit-oriented development plans for areas served by Amtrak, commuter rail, urban rail and bus service. We have also worked directly for regional transit agencies on TOD issues. This broad range of experience allows us to bring a robust toolbox of best practices as well as site and market-specific insights to each TOD planning engagement.

Downtowns

We are successful in developing downtown plans using three core strengths of the firm: experience engaging the public in a productive visioning process; providing insight into the unique market opportunities in a downtown; and developing strategies sensitive to the economic challenges of redevelopment.

Subarea, District and Corridor Plans

These plans focus on smaller neighborhoods, districts or corridors within a community. The areas of focus can include: an airport, a “second downtown” or commercial district, a sports or entertainment district, a waterfront, a university or medical district, and others. Understanding the key focal points and their potential to grow and drive additional development is crucial to creating a thoughtful plan.

Comprehensive Plans

Longer term thinking is vital to a strong comprehensive plan. Our approach integrates analyses of demographic and economic sectoral trends into the planning process to help communities identify, prioritize and strategize opportunities to capture land uses with longer term potential for growth. These analyses also help communities recognize uses where future demand will decline so that they can plan accordingly.

Housing Needs and Programs

SB Friedman has conducted analysis of housing need and formulated strategies both for specific developments and community-wide. Our work on housing need is based on detailed analysis of housing markets and segmentation based on age and income. Near-term projections focus on opportunities found to serve growing cohorts – but also reveal vulnerabilities to resale markets and potentially growing needs. Specific development projects have been identified, along with financing strategies to accomplish them. In addition, other community-wide measures to enhance housing opportunity have been studied and proposed, including “inclusionary” zoning, use of tax increment financing funds, cross-subsidy within projects, strategies for mixed-income projects, and measures to improve housing quality.

SB Friedman has also performed key engagements related to preservation of affordable housing and policy and administration aspects of the HOME program. This includes work to identify at-risk projects, review of tools to address and resolve problems in affordable housing developments, update of policy manuals to include rule changes, and design of data management and risk assessment tools for administration of the HOME program.