6C — October 21 - November 17, 2022 — Property Management — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


P roperty M anagement

By Lou Reynolds, Reynolds Asset Management New to the Neighborhood: A Developer’s Guide to Elevating Community Needs


s developers, it is our job to pay careful atten- tion to every detail in-

one constituent that occasion- ally gets overlooked: the com - munity that calls your project site home. A receptive community can lead to a growth of opportuni- ties and long-term, sustain- able success—something all developers strive for. In my 25 years of experience, I’ve found that catering to specific community needs has not only strengthened the success of the individual project, but the overall reputation of our firm. Here are my top three tips for elevating community needs throughout the duration of the development process:

religious organizations, com- munity leaders and municipal government officials can often inform the major decisions that help shape a project. Why: By fostering connec- tions and taking a genuine interest in local organizations and happenings, we are able to understand the community on a deeper level. Garnering the community’s thoughts ahead of time can also save time and money in the long run, as members might have strong feelings about aesthetics, en- vironmental implications or specific design elements, such as accessible entrances and

exits. Residents often have invaluable perspectives that an out-of-towner just can’t glean from periodic visits. Not to mention, they’ll want to understand how a project is expected to contribute to the overall betterment of their community. Making sure to foster clarity and transpar- ency in these discussions can lower the chances of objections and obstacles. All in all, it's in everyone’s best interest, including the developers, to build interpersonal connec- tions from the get-go. Tip 2: Design with the community in mind. How: Take the insights gathered from the community and analyze how the shortcom- ings of the current space can be turned into opportunities for repurposing. Brainstorm how the proposed project can be tweaked to cater to the needs of the community—if a multi-family complex is on a particularly dark street, con - sider incorporating additional lighting. If a medical office will house long-term patients, the addition of a garden or walk - ing path might be a welcomed addition for family members and visitors. Why: Though merchant building has the possibility of being lucrative, it’s not nearly as stable a venture as buy- and-hold developments. When buying and selling as quickly as merchant builders often need to, there is little-to-no opportunity for an assessment of community needs. However, taking the time to understand and capitalize on these needs proves to be profitable in more than one way: small changes like repaving sidewalks or adding landscaping can in- crease property value, benefit neighboring buildings and improve the general safety of the area. Overall, community- specific enhancements are bound to draw community members to your property, as tenants or as patrons, which creates the ultimate win-win scenario for both developers and residents. Tip 3: Extend the depth of your commitment past the completion of your project. How: Grand openings make for a great opportunity to thank the community for its support. There you can talk to local community leaders or municipal government officials continued on page 10C

Tip 1: Before you build structures, build connec- tions–get involved in the community early in the process. How: Make an effort to attend scheduled town hall meetings, introduce yourself to close neighbors and be trans- parent and responsive when questions arise. Having infor - mation on hand or a source that questions can be directed to will increase transparency, which is key in building trust in communities. Community members have keen insights, and collecting input from local associations, clubs and groups,

volved in the planning, ex- ecution and completion of projects. We work with bro- kers, lend - ers, financial institutions,

architects, construction man- agers—the list goes on—with the shared goal of ensuring that the projects are destined for success. In the whirlwind of the planning process, there’s Lou Reynolds


(973) 575-4950 ibsre.com

Made with FlippingBook interactive PDF creator