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The traditional approach to addressing blighted properties is standard redevelopment, or building back to a similar density as before, sometimes with a new purpose.
Density is important, as it is necessary to bring these spaces back to profitability. But a focus on seeing profit through too narrow a lens has prevented development with a smaller footprint and lower density using alternative financing methods that can help communities to become:
Accessible to a wider range of income homebuyer brackets
Suitable to serving a variety of niche community needs
Capable of being expanded to higher density uses if the market rebounds
Built with the local ecology rather than against it
Instead of focusing on one property at a time, Authentic Redevelopment looks across multiple properties to use value increases in the best properties to support the greening and demolition of badly neglected properties. Instead of one property/one use, we aim for many properties/many uses.
A portfolio approach
In communities that are too small to have a land bank, Authentic Redevelopment creates a model for aggregating and accelerating properties out of abandonment and foreclosure. Authentic Redevelopment is also a great partner in larger communities with land banks, creating a solution for their slow-moving inventory.
The best of land banks and community land trusts, together
Authentic Redevelopment puts the destiny of abandoned properties in the hands of community investors and the people who will live and work in the redeveloped spaces — not the incentive structures of traditional developers. Don’t worry developers, you will love how this helps your business, too.
Most developments focus on one type of land use, or a simple retail/housing mix. Central to the Authentic Redevelopment philosophy is the incorporation of multiple land uses to an appropriate scale, as a means of reducing risk the way a well-diversified portfolio does in finance.
Hybrid land use
Like any private enterprise, Authentic Redevelopment would not last long without meeting certain market fundamentals. However, unlike most private-sector developments, Authentic Redevelopment seeks a more modest IRR for cooperative investors who are interested in a safe investment that pays many of its dividends in improved community well being.
Mission over profits
Authentic Redevelopment seeks to partner with educational providers, nonprofits, and innovative educational organizations to provide the best in practical knowledge to community members who can put it to use. From personal finance, to agriculture, to entrepreneurship, to community development leadership, to learning how to do this work in the first place, we believe every opportunity to live is an opportunity to learn.
Real, practical educational opportunities
Instead of beginning with a concept, like affordable housing or retail proposed by a particular developer, AR begins with a collection of properties and then works with the community to determine what can best be done with it to serve both present and future needs. Instead of inserting an idea into the community landscape, AR allows ideas to emerge organically and creatively from the available properties, and the needs and desires of the community.
An inside-out approach
Authentic Redevelopment uses a cocktail of mutually reinforcing approaches to solve these problems. Some of the innovations of this model include:
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