Inner City Infrastructure and Downtown Revitalization Projects
Many people conjure images of property that sits outside of metropolitan areas when they think about development, and of course, this is one possibility. At the same time, there is an enormous amount of untapped potential lying right within many major cities, and this is an area that we focus on here at Retown. There are many different types of revitalization projects that can be initiated, and each community has unique characteristics, so it takes vision to devise the right strategy to transform a dormant neighborhood. One approach that can work under some circumstances is the utilization of public property for private sector development.
For example, when the Las Vegas, Nevada government moved out of its old City Hall building downtown, the online retailer Zappos.com acquired the property and turned it into its corporate campus. Suddenly, the area was abuzz with activity as the renovation was being done. When it was finished, over 1000 employees of the company were out and about spending money in the downtown area on a consistent basis, and of course many of them would want to live nearby, so there is a snowball effect. Another example is the transformation of the Seaholm Power Plant in Austin, Texas. The obsolete facility has been developed as the site of a downtown live, work, and play community.
The revitalization of existing historic buildings is another area that we focus on, and these types of projects are very rewarding on a number of different levels. One initiative of this nature that we have been involved in is the Broadway Building revitalization project in Lorain, Ohio. This iconic structure was once the venerable Spitzer Hotel, and it sits in a prime location that provides residents with fantastic waterfront and downtown views. The proximity to Black River Landing Park and Festival Grounds is an added benefit. This 13 acre multi-modal center and riverfront park is another downtown rejuvenation project that we spearheaded.
Retown is deeply committed to these types of projects, and we will continue to utilize our experience and expertise to revitalize urban communities as we simultaneously honor the history of each location that we touch.