Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Doing Durham

The State of Things on WUNC radio rebroadcast this interview today. Andy Rothschild has a vision and energy for Durham that understands the relationship between the city revitalization and entrepreneurs, artists, biotech, business, and and economic development. His company is changing the face of Durham. It was comforting to hear someone talk of making space for the "creative class" in the redevelopment of the city core.

Meet Andy Rothschild
Monday, August 04 2008 by Frank Stasio and Susan Davis

Scientific Properties is Andy Rothschild's Durham-based development company. He specializes in mixed use space that supports artists, musicians and writers as well as retail and private businesses. But, the company's name comes from his initial interest in biotech companies. Rothschild is a medical doctor who left his stethoscope behind to be a part of his adopted city’s revitalization. Host Frank Stasio meets Andy Rothschild today on "The State of Things." This program was originally broadcast on Monday, May 19, 2008.

Some select points:

  • We need a local base that will support and sustain the real estate that is created.

  • Real estate is not created in a vacuum. We are creating a platform for locally owned businesses and local residents.

  • Making space for the "creative class" in the redevelopment of the city core is essential to its success.

  • Successful redevelopment involves looking carefully at your city, asking "what are the assets and threats to our area?"

  • City redevelopments are resulting in a look of sameness spreading thru our cities because of the prevalence of national brands. Sameness is not the way to differentiate your city. 

  • We will not have an urban center until we have a breadth and depth of residents populating the town. 

  • Nothing can do more to green your area than to revitalize your downtown. 

  • Everybody needs to be a part of the reinvestment in their communities ... for our ongoing benefit. Cities and counties need to do every thing possible to encourage responsible development projects. Everyone who has a seat at the table ... not just the government parties, but also the those doing the work, should be part of this process.

  • Incentives should aligned in a strategic way with these goals. There is no smarter investment you can make than revitalizing and repopulating your city. Big questions of all of us, broader political bodies are needed to help provide infrastructure for sustainable growth.

    Great interview, a lot of knowledge passed on about redevelopment strategies in our unique southern cities. "Buildings are not enough." Vision, now that's another thing entirely.

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