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Property Investor Interaction

Property Investors Property investment is an enormous field of endeavor ranging from individual personal home buyers to developers of new mixed use and resort communities and high-rise buildings. Individuals tend to visit builder model homes and contact agents advertising resale homes in their city of employment. Larger investments are usually arranged through national agents and acquisition executives. Information on available investment properties available is promoted by property representatives through personal contacts to acquisition executives and advertising in trade magazines. Contacts are maintained by participation in annual  professional conferences including the now global Urban Land Institute (http://uli.org), and, in the United States, the National Association of Homebuilders (http://nahb.org), National Association of […]

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A Special Piece of Heaven

Lago Alto “A Special Piece of Heaven” Overlooking Lake Cachi and the Orosi Valley in the heart of Costa Rica. Lago Alto is a planned small community under development on an exceptional site of former family farmland overlooking beautiful Lake Cachi in Costa Rica’s Cartago Province, just forty minutes from the capital city of San Jose. After thirty-one estate lot sales to “Ticos” and foreigners, the family owner of Lago Alto has opted to sell or joint venture the property to a more experienced developer to achieve its dream of sharing the family homestead. Parker Associates is assisting the owner to create the best community retreat in the nation. The […]

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Supertall Density

According to the current issue of Urban Land magazine, the density of midtown Manhattan is in the process of being expanded by “Supertall” (over 300 meters) residential towers overlooking world-renowned Central Park. Although none of them completed and planned exceeds the 1,776 feet (541 meters) height of the “Freedom Tower” in Lower Manhattan, they will change the appearance and already high residential density of Midtown Manhattan. The 843-acre (341 hectare) Central Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1857 and opened in 1858 with improvements added right up to the present day. Dense housing and hotels for the wealthy surrounded the Park on all sides over […]

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Lake Cachi Mirador, Costa Rica.

Opposing Growth Projections

Opposing Growth Projections The Rise and Fall of American Growth by Robert Gordon, an economist at Northwestern University, is premised upon a rather gloomy observation that this country’s most innovative years have given way to a lack of truly ground-breaking inventions. He argues that this trend has resulted in a long-term drag on economic growth. The real period of transformative innovations, states Gordon, occurred in the century between  1870 and 1970 when economic growth soared as a result of “epochal break-throughs” including electric light, indoor plumbing, the automobile, radio, telephone and air travel. He might have added television which crept into popularity at the close of that century. According to […]

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Creative Villages

Creative Villages The world is full of creative villages, the vast majority having been developed organically over centuries of use. Their buildings were huddled close together, often around a major religious or government building which frequently accompanied an open town square. The town square became the focus of gatherings ranging from fresh market vendors to public hangings. It was the center of resident gatherings and often featured access to government buildings, hotels for visitors and restaurants that expanded their table settings into the square. Unlike more modern cities that developed neighborhoods of poor people close the center, the lower income residents of historic villages were frequently pushed to the outskirts […]

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Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville, Florida.

New Era for Shopping Malls

Repurposing Malls – The enclosed shopping mall is an American institution… …that has spread to cities around the world. It was, according to biographer Jeff Hardwick (Mall Maker), created by the Vienna-born architect, Victor Gruen, who envisaged it in 1952 as the multi-use community center (malls) for the sprawling suburbs of American cities. Gruen designed the first enclosed mall for the center of a 500-acre tract at Edina, Minnesota with the idea of residential development surrounding it, relying on the mall as its community gathering place. But, despite his acknowledged fame as one of America’s great architects, Gruen never envisaged the parking requirements for the thousands of cars attracted to […]

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Young Women at Home

Pew Research Center reports that young women (18-34) have increased the share living with parents or relatives to 36.4% in 2014, a rate not matched since 1940 when 36.2% lived at home. Young men living at home were 42.8% in 2014, compared with 47.5% in 1940. Not surprisingly, the related statistic of marriage for women rose to 27 in 2014, compared with 21.5 in 1940.

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Financial Literacy

Standard & Poor conducted a global 2015 financial literacy survey in which the United States scored 57% of respondents correctly answering three of four questions, ranking 14th of 144 countries surveyed. The questions were on understanding (1) interest rates, (2) compound interest, (3) inflation, and (4) risk diversification. Norway was first with 71%, Yemen last: 13%.

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Twenty Years of Lakewood Ranch

The 17,500 acres of Florida’s Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota/Bradenton officially broke ground in 1995 under John Clarke’s presidency and Roger Postlethwaite’s guiding management. Parker Associates was there from the beginning.  Since then, according to current Planning VP, Richard Bedford, it has grown to over 25,000 residents in 8,800 new homes for $3.5 billion in sales. Simultaneously, The Ranch has added $660 million of retail commercial and office space, as well as many popular amenities and institutions.

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