Thursday, October 13, 2005

Small Families & Big Lots

Urban Land Institute senior fellow Edward T. McMahon told a Richmond audience yesterday that real estate development patterns of big residential lots is unsustainable, says today's T-D. He spoke at the Real Estate Trends Conference sponsored by VCU.

The average family size is going down, while the average amount of land per family is going up, he said.

One doesn't need to drive far in the Richmond area to see the reason so much land is being gobbled up: large-lot subdivisions and big one-story stores with huge paved parking lots.

It can't be sustained, McMahon said. "Real estate has been on a fast track for the past few years. Where do we get off the train, and where do we go?"

McMahon says that strip malls are no longer a viable retail model, and that a rising number of homebuyers and retailers prefer town-center style living with small lots and walkable public spaces.


At 10:52 AM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

The average family size is going down, but when people argue against new development on the basis of taxes, 60% of which is for schools, that change in demographics is seldom mentioned.

Whether or not single floor emporiums with large parking lots are a suitable model depends on the cost of land, not on the structure of the rest of the community.


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