How Infill Redevelopment Can Benefit a Community
Common sense tells us it is much easier and more attractive to develop land that hasn’t been touched.
A greenfield site, which has not previously been used for any residential, commercial or industrial purpose, offers a clean slate and a multitude of opportunities. There is ample room to develop and construct efficiently with few constraints.
Sounds perfect, right?
But what if the site location is so far from a population center that it lacks the necessary infrastructure required for the development? Or due to the long commute and missing transportation alternatives, it is difficult to attract residents, clients, retail or a workforce?
Maybe the site is not so perfect after all.
A trending option is infill redevelopment—the process of turning vacant buildings or parking lots into new residential communities, business parks, retail shopping centers or mixed-use developments within an urban setting.
Many new development projects are under way in built-out areas where they can take advantage of existing utility infrastructure and transportation systems.
Perhaps most important: They are centrally located.
Infill redevelopment can—and is often designed to—have a tremendous impact on the areas surrounding it. Investment is being made into those longstanding communities by creating a new mix of jobs, housing and shopping opportunities. Sometimes an infill redevelopment can act as a revitalization project in an urban area.
Another benefit is the reduction of vacant land in the city and the opportunity for additional investment.
Opportunities and Challenges
Redevelopment can bring many excellent benefits to an urban area, but there can also be many unique challenges. Halff provides due-diligence support with our multidisciplinary services and focused approach to identify site-specific constraints and/or potential extraordinary costs.
The graphic below identifies primary opportunities and challenges that may be encountered with infill redevelopment projects.
Project Sites: Before and After
Halff has served as the civil engineer on two recent infill redevelopment projects under construction:
The Prologis Valwood Corporate Center (below), a master-planned business park in Carrollton, Texas, which includes four buildings totaling more than 850,000 square feet, occupies a former STMicroelectronics plant. The location provides easy access to I 35E, I 635 and the President George Bush Turnpike. It is also within a 10-mile radius of several Dallas suburbs. Three of the four buildings are constructed, and the fourth is under way. Prologis has leased 100 percent of the first two buildings and more than half of the third, which was completed recently.
Meanwhile, the High Point Crossing shopping center (below) is being constructed on a 13-acre site in Northeast Dallas, which was previously home to a car dealership. The retail center, at 180,000 square feet, is one of the largest in the works in Dallas, giving area residents a variety of new options and creating jobs.
A rendering shows the built-out High Point Crossing retail center. (Courtesy/Boucher Design Group)