There’s no denying that Denver, along with much of the rest of the county, has recovered from the 2008 recession and continues to ride a strong period of economic growth. For those of us in the real estate industry, counting the number of cranes visible from our office windows and the number of neighbors opposed to any given development are equally strong indicators of where we are in a given real estate cycle. Regarding the later, we see anti-growth initiatives, both proposed and approved, aimed at capping growth by limiting development and, as a serendipitous consequence, thwarting the “money-grubbing developers” trying to densify our cities and towns.
A recent New York Times article, entitled “How ‘Developer’ Became Such a Dirty Word,” takes a deep dive into the evolution of the perception of a typical “real estate developer” throughout the past few decades, pushing back on the perception that all “developers” are up to no good. Quoting developers and community-focused designers alike, the piece asks an important question—particularly for places like Denver that are attempting to tackle housing affordability—specifically, whether there are there are any “solutions for the housing shortage that don’t at least partly involve more development.”