Tuesday AM August 25th, 2009

The Urban Land Institute's event at the Hilton Americas is for public officials, architects, engineers, investors and others interested in redevelopment.ξ It features experts on distressed real estate assets, tax credits for green technologies and building, as well as the economic opportunities created by the effort to rebuild Galveston.ξ ULI's Ann Taylor says even with a slow economy, there's a lot happening.

"This kind of time—and certainly Houston's been through some downturns before, and we've always come charging back—and this kind of time is the perfect opportunity for planning and for laying the ground work, so that when things speed up again we're ready to go.ξ And there's a lot of activity that's actually going on.ξ We want to dispel that idea that everything has just come to a standstill.ξ In fact, there still are a lot of things that are moving on the fast track."ξ

Taylor says today's event is for anyone interested in development in the city's center.

"There's going to be a big focus on affordable housing and, you know, how do we build housing for our workforce that is affordable and that's closer in to where people work.ξ There will be people looking at distressed assets and refinancing, people who'll be talking about different kinds of tax financing that's available.ξ And I think, Ed, one of the important for people to know is, you know, there's still funding for real estate development, but it may be with different types of financing vehicles than a lot of people are used to if they haven't done a lot of business with government."ξ

With $1.46 billion in new transit construction underway, Taylor says light rail is creating opportunities for new downtown development in Houston, even with a slow economy.ξ Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.


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