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The 15-Minute City concept gains tracking.

The 15-Minute City Concept Gains Traction

The-15-Minute City concept is gaining traction around the world as a placemaking tactic and means to enhance quality of life.   Although “city” is used in this coined term, this planning concept is more about a focus on livable neighborhoods and districts.

 

The “15-minute city” is a term for urban design and master planning wherein it is possible to meet the basic “needs of living” within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from a person’s home.  The needs of living include such services and amenities as:

 

  • Places of work, or, at least a coworking venue;
  • Grocers;
  • Pharmacies;
  • Schools for children, youth;
  • Health care or medical facilities, or simply, doctor and dentist offices;
  • Recreation, leisure and/or green spaces; at least a pocket or linear park;
  • Cultural venues;
  • Mass transit accessibility;
  • Affordable housing is assumed;
  • Flexible zoning to allow places with different day-part uses, such as local school facility that can be a community gathering place at night or on weekends; and
  • Places of worship are seldom mentioned as part of the 15-Minute City concept, but such places may be among the most successful community-building forces that have existed.

 

 

The planning term was first coined by by Prof. Carlos Moreno, a professor at Sorbonne University (Paris, France).  Prof. Moreno is the director of entrepreneurship and innovation at The Sorbonne.  Though popularized by the professor, the 15-Minute City concept itself  has been explored in major cities throughout the world from Melbourne to Portland, prior to its burgeoning popularity as an planning concept.

 

During 2020, the 15-Minute City concept has surged in interest as a sturdy planning concept alongside the increasing acceptance of coworking facilities and communities.   Coworking venues situated in close proximity to homes simply adds an additional destination within a 15-minute “neighborhood” that is vital within a 15-minute radii.

 

The 15-Minute City concept is a multi-faceted placemaking tactic.

Another aspect of making the 15-Minute City concept workable is the presence of affordable housing within each 15-Minute City cluster.  Many neighborhoods and districts around the world may work well for most required services and work places, but do not have the array of housing choices necessary.

 

Integrating the 15-Minute City concept with allied planning concepts is particularly interesting to local governments charged with numerous quality of life objectives and economic development initiatives.   A 15-Minute City imperative, as an example, is also deemed helpful in reducing the use of fossil fuels (vehicles), fighting carbon emissions, and thereby fighting climate change.  Also, applying the 15-Minute City thresholds of accessibility also advances the objectives for some groups in reversing local zoning codes to allow increased affordable housing options and thereby, more diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

 

The 15-Minute City concept has created such interest that purpose-built apps have been created to evaluate any particular location for 15-Minute City thresholds. Here Technologies (Eindhoven, Netherlands) is one such company that has created this kind of threshold’s map to answer the question – Do You Live in a 15-Minute City? We expect that the 15-Minute City parameters and software applications that track such notions, will join similar concepts as a niche investment asset class among those pursuing environmental, social, and governmental investments (so-called ESG Investing).

REI's New Product Impact Standards

REI’s New Product Impact Standards

REI’s new Product Impact Standards for 2021, now include diversity, equity, and inclusion requirements for companies wanting REI shelf space.   The standards include the retailer’s core requirements as well as optional preferred attributes.   REI is an American retail and outdoor recreation services corporation, organized as a consumers’ co-operative.  The retailer sells sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment, and clothing, as well as outdoor-oriented experiences, recreation activities, and courses.

 

Back in 2018, REI had originally devised its product standards to focus on ethical production practices and sustainability.  As part of this update, REI has also added two new programs to its list of preferred attributes—a collection of voluntary business certifications that vendor brands are encouraged to pursue, such as for certifications for aspects of climate and environmental stewardship, chemicals management, and animal welfare.

 

REI’s product impact standards are part of the emerging interest among global investors to evaluate environmental, social and governance issues (so called ESG Investing) when investing and operating.   REI’s dedication to sustainable and ethical production, diversity, equity, and inclusion are precisely what ESG Investing seeks to encourage.

 

According to an article by SNEWS, the outdoor recreation retailer consulted with brands of various sizes and product categories, as well as with more than a dozen DEI nonprofits, advocates, and ambassadors.   The advice from such third-parties included feasibility considerations.  SNEW is an outdoor industry publication of Pocket Outdoor Media Inc.

 

The full December 9, 2020 article by SNEWS is available at this link, along with with reference to the full document describing these REI standards:  REI holds vendors accountable for climate and DEI practices with new product standards

Planned Community Consultants

Golf Courses Remain a Focus for Redevelopment

Golf courses remain a focus for redevelopment and repurposing as property owners explore greater highest-and-best use for their golf assets.

 

The interest in such redevelopment is straight-forward.  Golf courses were overbuilt in the U.S. and in some global regions, and the 2008 recession decimated many golf owner’s financial resources.   At the same time golf participation has steadily declined year over year, at least through 2019 (there is an exception in 2020 due to Covid-19).  With this confluence of economic difficulties and ever-changing consumer preferences for their leisure-time activities, in many instances golf course assets offered a tantalizing opportunity for adaptive re-use and repurposing.  For many cities and communities with increasing interest in local economic development and specific agendas such as affordable (if not more inclusionary) housing, these golf assets are particularly ripe for highest-and-best-use consideration.

 

The mega project proposed by Hines for Riverwalk Golf Course in San Diego, will likely spur even greater interest in golf course redevelopment.   Golf courses are often situated within attractive residential communities, with reasonable roadway access and ingress/egress for feasible re-purposing as residential projects.   Hines found such an opportunity with the Riverwalk site in a decidedly “best case” way – the Riverwalk golf course just happens to be so well-located within its region that it can support substantial mixed-use redevelopment.  Hines has proposed such a mega redevelopment project there, which could see in excess of $1 billion in new development.

 

For more information about golf course redevelopment, we have started tracking such projects as part of our ongoing client project research.   We expect golf courses to remain a focus for redevelopment, for some time to come.   StoneCreek Partners also tracks other major real estate asset classes, with some of our research and tracking published here online.   The link is available  here:

 

Golf Course Redevelopment – the Latest

 

Life Sciences Real Estate Consultants

Life Sciences Real Estate Consultants

Our work as life sciences real estate consultants includes new facility project feasibility, owner representation for design-development management, and for due diligence in connection with facility acquisitions.

 

Life sciences real estate has been a favored investment asset class for some time now, and the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has only propelled investor interest in these assets.  Real estate matters related to the life sciences industries, involve companies, research universities, and government agencies working in fields such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, genetics and genomics, medical devices, and the like.   Many life sciences organizations are involved in original research and clinical trials, often in BtoB joint ventures and public-private arrangements.

 

Life sciences projects can be higher risk than other form of tenant-occupied real estate, given the cost premium for such facilities.

 

Facilities intended for occupancy by life sciences companies are a unique form of real estate.  As a result, investors know that purpose-built life sciences facilities can be significantly more expensive than more ordinary general-purpose office and industrial space.   Base building work, proper ventilation, security, ceiling heights, waste disposal, all such factors can make a life science campus with significant laboratory space as much as 50% more expensive than normal office space.

 

Our consulting services include:

 

  • Project Feasibility Consultants – Our project feasibility work for life sciences facilities takes into account that market supply and demand issues common to any real estate feasibility study, but also the additional factors that drive the industry.   The quality and number of research universities in an area, the type of research occurring at these educational institutions, the track record for government funding of such research, and the presence of existing public-private collaborations are all important to life sciences real estate success.  Life sciences “clusters” featuring research universities and corporate R&D programs exist throughout the U.S.   Some are longstanding and with significant critical mass while emerging clusters are in early growth in many regions.

 

  • Owner Representation for Design-Development – As owner’s reps, we work with owner to identify and retain the best team for a particular development project, including design professionals, structural and mechanical engineers, and a general contractor with specialty subs.   We collaborate with potential tenants or owner-occupier end users for the life sciences campus, ensuring their facility requirements are delivered.

 

Additional information about our office and industrial project consulting practice, and our wok as life sciences real estate consultants in particular, is available at this link:

 

Office and Industrial Project Consulting at StoneCreek Partners

 

 

Life Sciences Real Estate Consulting

Work flow is the essential consideration in planning life sciences facilities. Desktops and cubicles are situated in particular ways for access to wet benches, incubation chambers, vivarium areas, and hazardous materials disposal.

Economic Development Consultants for Tribes

Economic Development Consultants for Tribes

Our work as economic development consultants for tribes and other indigenous nations has expanded with additional services and new regions covered.

 

StoneCreek Partners’ client work with Native American tribes and pueblos, as well as Native Hawaiians, now includes Canadian First Nation tribes and organizations.   Over the years, StoneCreek Partners has also worked with indigenous nations in addition to those in North America, including those sovereign nations in the MENA region and the Pacific Rim.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has increased the interest in economic development plans that can reliably produce economic results – increased jobs, new investment, and enhanced quality of life.   And sooner than later.   Our economic sector analytics have an increasingly granular focus on real estate investment asset classes.    This is due to some types of investment now being in question, and relatively new asset classes commanding investor attention.

 

Our consulting focus is on projects that can be made to happen, and less on broad programmatic objectives.

 

Another focus is on the feasibility of specific projects.   As we act as economic development consultants for tribes we explore how development might occur in a particular region, focusing more on projects that can be made to happen, and less on broad programmatic objectives.   With specific projects identified, strategic partners can be identified and pursued.

 

Today’s economic development strategies can include all manner of visitor destination strategies, location-based entertainment, sports mega-complexes, life sciences projects, and other development can prosper within specific locations and markets.  Our experience with design management, development, facilities management, and with overall dealmaking and transactions allows us to take economic strategies through implementation.

 

What is a charrette? Charrettes explainedStoneCreek Partners is a business planning and development firm, with expertise that includes commercial real estate, hospitality, location-based entertainment, and direct-to-consumer technologies. StoneCreek Partners has provided economic development planning and program implementation support to Native American tribes and their sovereign development companies, as well as to similar city, county, and state organizations.

 

Our firm’s essential value to clients is our hands-on experience in designing, developing, and operating projects and businesses. StoneCreek Partners is led by co-founder Donald Bredberg and his substantial experience as an executive with The Irvine Company, NBCUniversal, and the Riyadh-based family office of Newfield Enterprises International.

 

The firm was first established in 1984 in Los Angeles, and is now headquartered in Nevada.  Our economic development consulting for tribal nations and other indigenous nations got started shortly after the firm’s founding.

 

Additional information about our economic development consulting practice is available at this link:

 

StoneCreek Partners – Economic Development Consultants

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