Specialists Offer Urban Expertise

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A new crop of brokers aims to fill that niche with services that go beyond simply finding multifamily and mixed-use sites.

July 01, 2003

Competition for infill parcels grows daily. Now a new crop of brokers aims to fill that niche with services that go beyond simply finding multifamily and mixed-use sites.

CitiSphere, a Dana Point, Calif., firm, provides its urban development clients with project analyses that consider every aspect of a site, from government and community support to market dynamics and infrastructure. The turnkey approach aids builders who ride a steep learning curve as they make the transition from suburbs to cities.

Firms such as CitiSphere offer builders an understanding of local political structures and credibility with local leaders who can identify sites before they hit the market.

"We have alliances with cities, counties, redevelopment agencies and other informed entities that can provide us with opportunities not generally known," CitiSphere principal David Cortens says.

Sometimes the desired type of development differs from the current land-use plan. CitiSphere says it saves clients weeks of entitlement time by knowing what kind of development a city wants.

"When projects integrate with a city's current land-use plan, they are more likely to be welcomed by the city and its residents," CitiSphere principal David Voss says.

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