REAL ESTATE

Nonprofit promotes sustainable community development

BY CSA STAFF

San Rafael, Calif. A new nonprofit, The Partnership for Sustainable Communities, has been established to help reduce sprawl and encourage reinvestment in established neighborhoods.

PSC operates nationally to promote land-use policies and development practices that encourage high-density transit-oriented development and housing and economic opportunity for persons of all incomes, said its president and founder Andre F. Shashaty.

“The housing market crash and the new alarm about the dangers of global warming mark the beginning of the end of the ‘General Motors model’ of community planning that dominated post-war America,” said Shashaty. “With increasing fears of climate change on their minds, progressive cities and states are going far beyond just green building. They are changing land use policies to reverse our love affair with car-dependent, carbon-spewing, cost-inflating sprawl. They are working to facilitate more compact, transit-oriented development and vibrant, diverse communities.”

PSC said it will help realize that vision by providing tools and information to help local governments improve their local land-use policies and help developers build projects that enhance community sustainability.

PSC will serve a broad range of participants and advocates in community and transportation development, as well as state and city officials concerned with GHG emissions and land use.

Federal housing, environment, and transportation officials are now collaborating on federal policy. PSC said it will encourage similar collaboration among private sector companies and state and local governments by serving as an objective clearinghouse of information on sustainable community planning and development.

PSC will provide tools for developers and activists to influence government policymakers to adapt progressive land use and zoning policies.

The nonprofit is operating on an initial seed money grant from a small family foundation in Ohio and is currently soliciting other grants from individuals and foundations.  

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REAL ESTATE

Donahue Schriber announces leasing team

BY CSA STAFF

Costa Mesa, Calif. Donahue Schriber said Friday it has promoted Chris Elliott to VP leasing and added Ryan Dan as a leasing representative.

Both will work out of the company’s corporate office in Costa Mesa.

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REAL ESTATE

Survey: Real estate industry remains negative on outlook

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco A survey released Thursday by the Urban Land Institute found that commercial real estate investors and professionals remain decidedly negative, colored by distress over prospects for an extended period of anemic demand and costly de-leveraging.

Respondents of the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010 report, by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the ULI, predicted that commercial real estate vacancies will continue to increase and rents will decrease across all property sectors before the market hits bottom in 2010 and projected value declines of 40% to 50% off 2007 market peaks.

Survey participants also said they believe that 2010 and 2011 will present generational opportunities for investors to buy at or near cyclical lows.

“Our report participants find that a sense of nervous euphoria is growing among liquid investors who can make all-cash purchases,” said ULI senior resident fellow for real estate finance Stephen Blank. “Those that are patient, daring and selective could score generational bargains on premium properties from both distressed sellers and banks that are clearing out unwanted bad loan and real estate owned portfolios. However, once the property market recovery begins and gains traction — likely before 2012 — any rebound could be restrained by a lackluster economy and rising interest rates.”

The survey data also indicated that investors believe that capital will slowly begin to flow back into commercial real estate markets by the end of 2010, led by all cash investors seeking quality assets.

The debt markets will start to rebound too, according to survey results.

Survey participants believe that the markets performing well before the crash should perform better coming out of it and the laggard markets will continue to suffer. The report found that investors will continue to favor global gateway markets on the East and West Coasts. Cities and urbanizing infill suburbs with 24-hour attributes, brainpower centers that offer universities and high-paying industries, as well as ‘barrier to entry’ markets where geographic constraints limit development and help control overbuilding will be top market performers.

According to the survey, Washington, D.C., ranks No. 1 as the “recession-proof” city. Value declines have been less than other markets as employment is buffered by the federal government. Long-term confidence holds for New York and Boston despite financial industry downsizing. West Coast gateways — San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles — have all suffered ratings declines, but remain among the survey’s Top 10 major markets.

Texas markets continue to show strength after years languishing in the survey basement.

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