The Great Senior Sell off + dropping graduation rates=bummer

Arthur C Nelson is coming to town!

He’s the go to guy that has been pretty accurately predicting how the housing markets are evolving.

This coming Friday, June 30th, he’ll be in Santa Fe and hopefully shedding light on the latest trends.

Here’s my take. As us Boomers get to 65, retirement, we tend to sell our homes and downsize and/or relocate. The problem is there’s a smaller pool of buyers who can afford to buy the homes… Hispanic and African-Americans populations, though growing, haven’t been graduating from colleges in the numbers required to acquire the salaries necessary to buy our homes.

The American Dream of home ownership converting into our retirement nest egg has taken a hit. … READ MORE >>

A Map to the Pot of Gold-Sustainable Urban Villages

Here ya go… one simple diagram to guide your people to the New American Dream- Sustainable Urban Villages.



Every community needs a Coalition for Sustainable Community!Together, we can make sustainable real!… READ MORE >>

Safeway goes Mixed Use!

Museum Place Lofts & Townhouses were finished in 2003 in Portland’s Cultural District. The development has 140 apartments atop and behind a Safeway grocery store.

Safeway has thrown away its clothes!!! Naked Thursdays!! Come as you are!

Yes, I’m babbling…I just learned Safeway in Washington DC has two mixed use redevelopments cooking.  Starting with community input sessions, Safeway partners up with a builder and is creating mixed use properties.  They’re, in effect, adding residential on top of their grocery stores!!!  Well, Duh!!

I’m taking steps to create a dense, mixed use, deeply affordable, thriving neighborhood redevelopment in Santa Fe.  So when SAFEWAY!!! goes mixed use, I don’t feel like such a pie-in-the-sky Utopian.  Damn straight, I’m a pragmatic developer of sustainable neighborhoods!!

One of these Safeways is going to have 150 apartments and 10-15 townhouses above the new Safeway. Another has 486 apartments and is going to be 17 stories tall, again above the new Safeway and underground parking.

It takes a certain number of residents to make the neighborhood commerical successful. Underground parking is expensive.  The numbers have to work.

In Santa Fe, we don’t have the traditions of medium high rises to make the densities successful.  Our challenge is to have enough buildings with 2-4 stories above commercial and community services on the bottom floor, so the streets become lively with neighbors going about their daily tasks.

Safeway’s experience partnering with housing developers and working with residents through the zoning process has allowed the company to align itself with public officials who are looking to fashion their neighborhoods as more walkable, urban and environmentally friendly.

This is contrast to Wal-Mart, which is looking to sell more groceries and open at least four stores in the District, but is fending off protests. Developing mixed-use projects is more complex work than simply rehabilitating grocery stores, but  Tim Baker, vice president of eastern division real estate for Safeway, said company officials have begun meeting with residents about plans to redevelop the property into a mixed-use project. Baker, who used to work for Wal-Mart, said it pays off. “The way we look at it is, we can get an even better project that way,” he said.

Safeway… who would have thought?? They’re going for a huge private label organic food line, and now mixed use redevelopments. Quoting Arlo at Woodstock “New York threw away its clothes!!”

So come on people. Raise your voices, envision your future sustainable! Together we can make sustainable real!!

Image courtesy of

Is There Gold at the End of the Sustainable Rainbow?

I woke up this morning, freaking out.  Doubting myself…I’ve oversold the opportunity…I’m proposing this community organizing path around a sustainable neighborhood demonstration site, and there is no funding.

It’s like I’m organizing a road trip and have enough money to get to Lubbock.  I need to ask my fellow travelers if they’ll chip in before we head out to New York.

The other thing that comes to my mind is this sign I’ve seen on the wall at local businesses…

“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”

So I sat myself down and mapped the road ahead, and figured out when the money needs to show up. I’ve been bootstrapping it out of pocket, but there comes a time for dinero….

“What” you might be saying, “is he talking about…specifically?!!”… READ MORE >>

3rd of 29 Ways to Make Money on Your Home-Open a Commercial Shop

I’ve started a list of good ideas that come about if we rethink the functions and interplay of our home and its neighborhood.  So far I’ve got 29 killer (If I do say so myself)  ideas.  The first 7 are home oriented, the last 22 are more neighborhood oriented. Add your ideas to the list via the comment area!

Home Design 

Home Occupation

I like the idea, the signage could be improved!

3. Rent Out a Work Space

Live/work homes have a separate workspace with commercial potential. What if you reconfigured part of your house to be a workshop or a commercial space?  Of course the zoning may not allow it.  Here in Santa Fe, home occupation is an accepted usage, with conditions on how many parking spaces and the number of allowable employees. A big difference between home occupation and commercial in the eyes of Santa Fe regulations is the home occupation is for appointment only customers/

If your clientele would “follow you home” , opening up your business out of your house could be a large saving.

Maybe your house has a great location, and a neighbor is interested in opening up a yoga studio;  maybe you just don’t need such a big house, and could use the income. … READ MORE >>

Neighborhoods as Crepes…Add Your Filling!!

As I was driving around the neighborhood just south of downtown Albuquerque this weekend, I kept wondering how come the 50’s deco corner buildings were empty? Why isn’t this neighborhood more alive?

Yeah, all the homes are one story, simple 50’s suburbia, sidewalks, nothing glamorous, but friendly. The corner buildings look like old gas stations, or malt shoppes. Where’s Betty Lou on roller skates??

The image of thin pancakes popped into my mind. Ya  know, when there is too much water in the batter, and the baking powder hasn’t kicked in yet.  Crepes!  Hey I like crepes…ya fill them with stuff, roll em up….sweet or savory.


What amenities would you add to your neighborhood to make it tasty!?

But thin neighborhoods are boring. They appear vacant, nobody’s walking to anything. No kids playing in the streets….Don’t these neighborhoods have kids??!… READ MORE >>

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