Renaissance Downtowns takes a holistic and comprehensive approach to successfully revitalize the nation’s smaller cities and suburban downtowns. Unlike core-market infill development, these areas necessitate the inclusion of multiple players and stakeholders within the planning and implementation process. Utilizing a public-private partnership structure, Renaissance and its municipal partner form a collaborative relationship that extends to local property owners, civic leaders and most important, the public at large. This cooperative approach enables Renaissance and its municipal partners to procure entitlements for large scale mixed-use projects within a condensed timeframe, often reducing what traditionally takes years to a matter of months.
Demonstrated Success, Streamlined Approvals
Four success stories of Renaissance's approach are the Village of Hempstead, Huntington Station and Riverside, NY in Long Island, NY, and New Rochelle, NY. In the case of Huntington Station, multiple bi-partisan unanimous votes of approval have laid the path toward implementation of a redevelopment vision that has both municipal and community support, with construction for the first phase of development to occur in early 2017.
Probably the most remarkable example of this streamlined process has been exemplified in New Rochelle. In December of 2014, RDRXR was designated Master Developer for the revitalization of New Rochelle's downtown with all entitlements and approvals granted in the course of a year and a half.
Hempstead Village has become a model of responsible economic development, with approvals in place for 3,500 residential units and nearly 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space. With broad community support, the project is responsible for securing nearly $30 million in infrastructure investment that will enable the $2.5 Billion project that represents Long Island's largest ever project approved to date. The approval process for this mega-project took place with a full New York State environmental review for over 100 acres within the downtown completed in 127 days.
Renaissance’s methodologies are easily transferred from project to project, with flexibility built-in to best address the local nature of each community. If you would like to learn more about Crowdsourced Placemaking or the Unified Development Approach™, click on its respective link.
Financial and Professional Resources
With over 40 years of development experience and 80+ completed projects, the Renaissance team offers an unparalleled depth of human and financial resources within the mixed-use development arena. The company is currently involved in numerous projects throughout the northeast with an aggregate development value in excess of $12 billion, representing a pipeline of approximately 10,000 residential units in addition to millions of square feet of retail, commercial and other uses.
Renaissance has forged strong relationships throughout the industry, providing a range of resources both financial and otherwise, which are unparalleled in the industry. As leaders in the field of downtown revitalization and redevelopment, Renaissance is well represented within nationally renowned organizations, including holding positions on Urban Land Institutes Transit Oriented Development and Mixed-Use Development Councils in addition to holding Board of Directors positions for national and regional organizations that include LOCUS, Vision Long Island and the Real Estate Institute at Stony Brook University.
Attracting State and Federal Investment in Infrastructure
Another challenge that faces communities who wish to redevelop their downtown is the need for infrastructure that enables responsible economic development to move forward. By fostering bi-partisan cooperation at the local level, coupled with broad community support, Renaissance has been successful at attracting significant State and Federal investments by providing a clear return for these investments – economic as well as social and environmental. Two examples of this success are the Garvies Point redevelopment which attracted nearly $140 million for remediation and infrastructure improvements along with Hempstead Village, which provided rationale for $30 million invested from New York State to enable this transformative project to move forward.
Enthusiastic Community Engagement Through Crowdsourced Placemaking
One of the greatest challenges that has historically prevented the transformative redevelopment of mixed-use downtowns is the need to ensure community engagement throughout the development. To address this, Renaissance uses an innovative approach called crowdsourced placemaking.
Crowdsourced placemaking utilizes an engagement process that allows the local community to have a true say in defining the future of their downtown. As a result of being guided by a triple-bottom-line requirement of economic, social and environmental responsibility, crowdsourced placemaking inspires the community to transform disinvested areas into active, vibrant destinations that embody their shared values.
Renaissance partners with CSPM Group to provide a crowdsourced placemaking system, known as the CSPM System in the local communities. The results have been nothing short of exceptional, significantly reducing the pre-development time frame (see approval times in chart above) while identifying future business owners and residents willing to invest.
The CSPM System was initiated by Renaissance Downtowns in 2010 in its Hempstead, Long Island redevelopment, followed by its continuously successful implementation in all projects thereafter, including Huntington Station, NY; Riverside, NY; Nashua, NH; and New Rochelle, NY; and for every Renaissance development going forward. Read more about crowdsourced placemaking and the CSPM System here.