What Do Developers Want In An Emerging Market?

LOS ANGELES—Trumark Urban is known for pioneering emerging neighborhoods and developing icons that set a new cultural tone. The firm has developed multifamily and condo projects in San Francisco and is currently working on Ten50, a condo development in Downtown Los Angeles. But, developing in these emerging markets takes community engagement, awareness and partnerships for success, according to Arden Hearing, managing director of Trumark Urban. Hearing is speaking on the Emerging Markets panel at the upcoming RealShare Los Angeles conference on March 24, but we got a sneak preview of what’s on his mind now.

“Social awareness is an opportunity and obligation for developers to impact the entire community when they come into an emerging market,” Hearing tells GlobeSt.com. “We take that very seriously at Trumark Urban. We also go into neighborhoods that have achieved some sort of vitality and growth status, but still have these blighted spots, and that is what we target. We do that through design and awareness in the pedestrian realm, creating something for the betterment of the community. We always try to challenge our peers in the development community to see how we can lift up our neighbors.”

In a transitionary neighborhood in San Francisco, the developer set up a community benefit district, offering a long-term free lease agreement for a commercial space on a corner that had historically been precarious. Additionally, the developer has partnered with local non-profits that help at-risk youth in the markets where they are developing these projects. “One of the benefits of this outreach is better communication and for us, we have seen less push back and a better understanding of the projects that we are trying to develop,” adds Hearing.

When considering a potential development site in an emerging neighborhood, the developer scrutinizes the market, down to the city block where it is looking to develop and the surrounding pedestrian traffic. “We love taking the worst site on a pretty good block in a great neighborhood,” explains Hearing. “A lot of our sites are sites with blight in an otherwise pretty strong neighborhood where we can really piece together that fabric.”

This strategy was true for Ten50 in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles. “When we bought our site in 2014, DTLA was certainly on the right trajectory, but our entire block was full of parking lots,” explains Hearing. “It is really the perfect example of being able to help stitch that market together. In Downtown L.A., that has happened faster than any other market in the nation.”

The firm continues to be a believer in the Downtown Los Angeles market. “We think that Downtown Los Angeles as a world-class city,” Hearing says. “That is what it feels like; a Manhattan or a San Francisco with a real urban living environment, where one could realistically never leave.”

To hear more about emerging market in Los Angeles, join us at RealShare Los Angeles on March 24.

Kelsi Maree Borland

Rowan Homeowners Join Friends of Franklin Square for a Park Clean- Up Day.
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