Developing tomorrow : creating and financing the ideal public realm for mixed-use urban projects in Denver's South Lincoln redevelopment
Author(s)DiLorenzo, Elizabeth (Elizabeth A.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Real Estate. Program in Real Estate Development.
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Society is at a crossroads; humanity is facing a new kind of threat to our personal happiness as our cities face the real risk of losing quality public space, the heart and soul of our urban civilization. The construction of an inspiring public realm develops a sense of place that people value and are attracted to living in. Pedestrian infrastructure and public spaces have essential roles in maintaining a healthy and vibrant community. These public infrastructure attributes of mixed-use developments however tend to be the most difficult to finance. In order to build a successful project a mixed-use developer requires the skills and knowledge to understand what constitutes a quality public realm and how to incentivize the financing. An important dichotomy exists; a great public realm is only developed though a strong public private partnership, with the addition of creative financing strategies, an interdisciplinary approach, and commitment to improving public spaces in the built environment. This thesis will examine what the most important attributes of a successful public realm are, why these attributes are important, and what strategies are available to finance the public realm in the future. There are a variety of financing mechanisms available for developers to leverage, yet many mechanisms are incredibly specific, require a strong expertise, and are difficult to bundle together in order to fill the financing gap that mixed-use projects require. This thesis will categorize financing mechanisms available for mixed-use development into six main categories and will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. Financing mechanisms have a direct affect on the quality of the public realm and cities need to ensure their policies are incentivizing the outcomes citizens demand: a quality public realm. More specially, this thesis will analyze a successful mixed-use development case study in Denver, CO: The South Lincoln Redevelopment. This project is a mid-century public housing site that is being transformed into a mixed-income, mixed-use, transit-oriented urban development. Denver Housing Authority, the developer, has used various financing strategies to specifically enhance the public realm of this development. Some of the financing alternatives are not available to a private developer so this thesis will propose how one could replace financing mechanisms, such as a HOPE VI grant, with other sources while maintaining a quality public realm. This thesis will focus on a few key questions. First, why does the public realm matter? Second, what determines a quality public realm for mixed-use urban developments? And lastly, how can developers begin to look at how to finance these much needed improvements?
Thesis (S.M. in Real Estate Development)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Program in Real Estate Development in Conjunction with the Center for Real Estate, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 99-104).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Real Estate. Program in Real Estate Development.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Center for Real Estate. Program in Real Estate Development.