FDR knew the people. He knew his consumer.

The Roosevelt Legacy

I am sure that many of our readers watched all or parts of the historic movie on the Roosevelt family shown in a weeklong series on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) during September. It revealed the public accomplishments and private lives of this extraordinary family that shaped American policy during the first half of the 19th Century and thereby created the foundation of our modern American culture. For me, the most significant point in the entire series occurred during the Washington funeral ceremony for Franklin Delano Roosevelt when a reporter interviewed a man in the crowd who was clearly overcome by the event. She asked him if he had known […]

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The houses of the future.

Houses of the Future

Experimentation with “houses of the future” dates back over 120 years to the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 in which ideas on this subject were exposed to public view in “model homes.” They contained plumbing, electricity, water and sewer services from a modern city as well as pre-fabricated walls, windows and cabinetry from the Sears Roebuck catalog that would be shipped to your site (material costs of under $1,000)—reportedly a profitable business for Sears for many years. Housing neighborhoods were subjects of creative improvement in the early part of this century with concepts owing their origin to England’s Ebeneezer Howard who, in the 19th Century created the plan for “The […]

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Retirees are migrating south.

Retirees Migrating South

Changing trends among retirees moving or planning to move south are surveyed annually in the Ideal-Living retirement seminars conducted in select northern cities. They provide excellent insight into design of product offerings as well as marketing and selling techniques. President Dave Robertson revealed profile data from their 2012-14 participant surveys at the 2014 Southeast Builders Conference in July. The characteristics and opinions of over 10,000 participants were summarized who were all over age 45 (56% ages 56-65) and 79% were married . Two-thirds of the respondents were from mid-Atlantic, northeast and north central states. The key reasons for considering a move to a southern state were milder winters (40%), lower […]

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Downsize or sit tight is the question.

Downsize Or Sit Tight?

In a current published article, Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko argues that “Baby Boomers” may not provide expected demand for downsize housing, because the trend over past decades indicates that downsizing is getting rarer and happening later in life. He cites a June release by Fannie Mae on boomer downsizing stating that the share of baby boomers in detached homes has been approximately stable from 2006 to 2012; and he cites population survey data from 1979 to 2013 showing a steady decline in the percentage of age 70+ households living in multi-unit buildings from 32% in 1979 to under 25% in 2013, despite the slight increase in age 50-69 households […]

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Baby boomers continue to buy houses.

Baby Boomer Retirement Housing Demand

The common definition for “Baby Boomers” is the generation formed by children born between 1946 and 1964—a population of about 78 million Americans with births peaking in 1960 and then tapering off into the declining birthrates of the “X” Generation commonly defined as the fifteen years following 1964. This numeric definition does not include both legal and illegal migrants who have expanded these numbers by approximately one million per year (the accuracy by age group difficult to determine because of inaccurate records on illegal migrants). A recent news article claimed that “10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day and will continue to do so through 2030”, thereby continuing to feed […]

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Communication is key to sales and marketing.

The English Language

There appears to be an increasing movement in the United States to force all residents to speak the English language. And yet, for a great many newcomers from other cultures, our language is full of contradictions and pronunciations that are difficult to understand, let alone master in everyday speech. They often find it embarrassing to seek help in their mother tongue from a friend in order to express themselves satisfactorily. For example, listen to two newscasters speak about “data”—one pronounces it with a hard “a” and the other uses a soft “a”—yet they exchange the two quite different-sounding words with each other as though they are the same; and, indeed, […]

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Millennials are a new consumer.

Baby Boomer Kids

Baby Boomer Kids Whether you call them “Baby Boom Echo”, “Generation Y”, or “Millennials“, the young adults born during the two decades of 1980-1999 constitute the biggest surge of population since the Baby Boom of the 1940s and 50s—almost 80 million Americans emerging from teen-agers into young adults. Many pundits of the past have assumed that these consumers will simply adopt the “Achiever” and “Striver” personalities of their parents. But they will be wrong. Recent research for the Kiplinger Newsletter indicates that the major difference between Baby Boomers and their kids is “familiarity with technology”. The Kiplinger research finds that, more than any other generation, “Gen Y’ers see technology as […]

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Market Research is needed before embarking on a project.

Build it. . . and they will come?

The real estate development industry contains many examples of outstanding buildings and entire community creations that proved financially successful because of beautiful design and/or great timing. Thus, the familiar phrase: “Build it and they will come!”—an adaptation from the script of the 1989 movie, “Field of Dreams”, about an Iowa farmer who builds a baseball field in his cornfield based on a dream in which he heard a voice promising to revive a deceased Chicago baseball star by the phrase “If you build it, he will come.” The movie produced the fantasy revival of the former baseball star and his team, followed by crowds of mythical fans to support the […]

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Parker Associates was integral in the development of Lakewood Ranch for over 20 years.

The Lake Club

The Lake Club by Dr. David F. Parker The Lake Club in Lakewood Ranch (LWR), the planned community that opened in 1995 adjacent to the Florida cities of Sarasota and Bradenton, has become arguably the most prestigious address in the encompassing two-county metropolitan area. But it wasn’t always thus. About twelve years ago, the then-president of the 31,000 acre Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (SMR), C. John Clarke, was concerned about the number of homes and the number of golf courses being developed in the rapidly growing Lakewood Ranch planned community being developed on SMR ranchland – two golf courses completed, three more planned, and an additional 18-hole private course on the Ranch’s […]

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Walkable Cities as defined by Parker Associates.

Walkable Cities

Walkable Cities By David F. Parker I recently attended a lecture by city planner Jeff Speck, the author of Walkable Cities. He cited a wide variety of statistics on health, economics and recreation supporting the rationale of directing urban and suburban planning toward more walkable and bicycle-friendly cities. This experience, and the lively discussion that followed, reinforced the experiences I wrote about in my monthly blogs over the past eighteen months about visiting the appealing cities of Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia; and later experiencing the much older cities of eastern Europe along the Danube River. All of these cities had transformed large sections of their ground level circulation […]

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