Infrastructure provides the framework for urban land use and real estate development. ULI New York’s Infrastructure Council will focus on the future of the region’s infrastructure as it relates to real estate, land use, and economic development policies and best practices.
The Infrastructure Council will examine the major urban systems needed by the City of New York and the surrounding region, in order to function and prosper: transportation, telecommunications, energy, water supply, waste treatment and storm drainage. It will assess the relationships of these systems to each other, identify future needs, trends and plans, and will identify successful infrastructure financing mechanisms worldwide. The over-arching goal of these activities will be to promote sustainable policies and practices which impact real estate development in the New York region and improve the understanding of their relationship to real estate values.
Going forward, cities must compete globally for the best and brightest work force. This means that “quality of life” becomes differently important – culture, recreation and proximity change the business model – and infrastructure’s relation to land use also changes.
The Council’s Work Plan for the coming year targets transportation, telecommunications and energy. Each area will be surveyed to identify where:
- Systems are robust and provide a competitive advantage;
- Physical, funding or financing, political, institutional or market risks are present or will be present;
- Information or resources would be most helpful to the development community.
As the research and data collection unfolds, the Council will identify a small number of potential cross-sector partnerships and/or projects upon which to focus. Outcomes will be used to inform and influence a broader audience.
Keeping New York on Track
In February 2015, ULI New York, together with the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, released Keeping New York on Track, a study outlining the benefits the MTA transit network brings to the New York metro region such as neighborhood growth, economic strength, and social equity. Significant progress was finally made in October, when Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio reached an agreement that supports an historic increase in the City’s contribution to the Capital Program. To read the report, visit www.keepnyontrack.org.
Call to Action
Survey three critical regional infrastructure systems to identify: 1) where systems are robust and provide a competitive advantage to the region (or locations in the region) and 2) where there are infrastructure gaps (physical, funding, institutional or market) that present short- or long-term risks.
Discussions in the Council indicate the sense that the regional infrastructure systems which most critically affect land use and real estate values in the New York Metropolitan area are:
- Information, Communication and Technology
The survey formats would be informed by an outreach committee to identify concerns of key real estate players (developers, major tenants, key industries including finance, new media, bio-tech and education and key public sector actors), as well as to determine the type of information or resources that would be most useful to them. This would help maximize the interest and participation of the development community.
Implementation would be spearheaded by four subcommittees, one for each of the infrastructure areas and one to focus on outreach.
- The subcommittees could organize roundtables with infrastructure providers (public and private) and academic experts to understand issues of concern to the providers and would seek out other sources of information and would collate and translate this information for clear understanding by stakeholders and beneficiaries.
- Content for each monthly infrastructure council meetings would be rotated among the subcommittees and would focus on topics which they view to be the most timely and relevant.
- Periodic site tours would be arranged to augment understanding of the on-going topical discussions.
Fred Harris, Managing Director, Development, Jonathan Rose Companies
For more information about getting involved with the Infrastructure Council, please email Kathryn Craig.