Why Non-Residential Redevelopment Matters to Cities and Why You Need to Work in Redeveloped Space

(originally posted January 12, 2017) Let's all face it: where you work matters. Where you conduct business matters to your target market, your existing clients, and your own capacity to produce the best possible product, with the best possible result. Under that paradigm, businesses want premium space. Period.

As someone marketing redeveloped space, I hear a lot of reasons businesses build new spaces to upgrade from where they are, but what if I told you that redeveloped space can be modern, bright, and beautiful, with ample amenity that rivals a new building? You would want to work there! Fear not, these spaces exist, and they mean more to your community than you may realize.

If I may, from the bird's-eye angle, I would like to use the Ballard Center as an example of why businesses need to consider redeveloped spaces, because there's a lot more on the line for the community when you build or purchase a new non-residential space, than when you choose to work in an 'up-cycled' building.

Non-residential reuse is a much higher tax yield to the city

Ballard is a prime example of the redevelopment of a large, complex, specialized asset in an urban area. More importantly, because this reuse is non-residential this space becomes more important to municipalities, as it carries a much higher tax yield to the city. This kind of reuse creates income that financially supports public works and communities.

Redevelopment of spaces can create positive economic competition

Ballard has positioned itself in the market as a premium product with premium amenities, and has attracted a significant amount of 'trade-ups' from the surrounding area, or organizations that want a better space than what they are in.

This hasn't just benefited Ballard, it's also created a more competitive real estate market in the region, extending Augusta's reach through this Class A space. We're now seeing more competitors than ever, and it's a really wonderful thing for Central Maine.

Redevelopment regularly raises tax assessment

The Ballard Center has had the support of the city since it's inception, and is the second time the City of Augusta has partnered with Dirigo Capital Advisors by allowing early tax revenue to be redirected back into the building to support infrastructure improvements.

In the first instance, the case of Central Maine Commerce Center, this commitment by the city to redevelopment has resulted in a virtual commercial city constructed in the past ten years that has raised the tax assessment of that property by five times over its original value.

Redevelopment is green!

New buildings need power, sewer, HVAC, materials, and more. Consider the impact that upgrading a current building has on the environment. So much can be done with your investment to up-cycling that benefits your business, and future generations.

Real Estate is a game of life-cycles. Property will always be property, it will change, it will be bought and sold, but it will always exist, and how we treat and maintain that property over time matters.

Redevelopment maintains historical integrity and organic traffic

When we build new spaces, we naturally see a shift in traffic to these new buildings, but what happens to the established businesses and neighborhoods left behind in the surrounding area of older buildings now without tenants? Small business suffers, neighborhoods suffer, property values can decrease as the inattention to these areas and decrease in traffic, creates economic decline.

More so, we see beautiful historic properties, with stories to tell, go to ruin. So much of our lives are invested in where we are and where we come from, and these places hold meaning for families in the community.

The Ballard Center, in it's prior genesis, stood as a place where families were born, where they attended events, where they worked, and where they found community stability. If we don't want to be an area of abandoned spaces, we have to actively choose not to abandon spaces.

So what does this mean for your business?

When you choose to work in redeveloped space, you actively choose to support the community in which you live and work. New construction is a wonderful thing, however, when considering a change in scenery, consider the impact your dollars have on the people around you, who support you, and in turn will be supported by you.


About Aly: Aly Cram is the Director of Operations for Dirigo Capital Advisors, a real estate redevelopment and investment group that specializes in complex projects across New England. Aly's background in marketing, brand development, and sales, paired with her infectious positivity, and endless curiosity, positions her as a standout voice for Dirigo Capital Advisors. Find Aly hiking, biking, kayaking, or baking cookies, or catch her at the Ballard Business Center, opening February 2017! www.ballardcenter.com or alicia@dirigocapitaladvisors.com