The term â€Å"infill development” refers to any kind of new, significant construction in an already established area. Infill development can take many forms, including developing previously vacant lots and replacing older buildings that aren t in great shape. Infill development offers a great opportunity for real estate investors, since it s encouraged by many community governments. In California, the California Infill Opportunity Law permits any city or county to designate particular areas as â€Å"infill opportunity zones.” To become one of these zones, an area has to meet four major criteria: 1. It must me zoned either for infill residential or mixed use development. If the area isn t already zoned this way, the city or county has to change the existing zoning as part of the first step. 2. The area also has to be located within a third of a mile of a transit stop featuring frequent service. In this case, â€Å"frequent” is defined as having no more than fifteen minutes between buses and trains for at least five hours per day. 3. The area must be located in a county where the population is at least 400,000. In California, this is a little less than half of the counties. 4. Last, these zones have to be designated in an area where the community plans call for higher density infill development, to make sure that the development that occurs in the infill opportunity zone is consistent with existing planning. If you re a developer or prospective developer who d like to get involved in infill development, this law is a great opportunity. It allows you to find areas where the local planners want your development. This means you ll have a much easier time getting things underway. If you don t live in California, but would like to see a similar law in your state, read the full text of the law, and get in touch with the Surface Transportation Policy Project for more information about how the law was enacted there. With this information, you ll be able to campaign for a law like this in your state, giving others the opportunity to take advantage of infill opportunity zones. Many local decision makers might be unaware of the benefit that infill development can bring them. Therefore, it can be advantageous to the success of your project if you help spread the word about it. There are a few things you can do to help get local officials on your side. Knowing your community is step one. If you identify the areas that would best benefit from infill development or from being designated as infill opportunity zones, you can share that information with local and city officials. Areas that need more affordable housing, are in failing commercial areas, or that need better amenities for people on foot, bicyclists, and public transit users are all prime candidates for infill development. Be sure that you look for the area s ability to accommodate the development, too. There should be a large number of vacant areas, structures that have been abandoned, large parking lots, or older low-density structures. Once you ve done your research, you can get in touch with the City Council or other officials to let them know of these areas. If you can show them how infill development will benefit the area, they ll be much more interested in assisting you with your investment plans. Anthony Seruga and Yolly Bishop of Maverick Real Estate Investments, Inc. work with builders, developers and other players in the commercial real estate industry to acquire and develop properties. They use progressive investment strategies that have proved extremely profitable. In addition to their own deals, they teach both seasoned and inexperienced investors how to be big players in the game. Visit the website for more info.
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