CHARLESTON URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY ; Small Projects Key to Revival; New Director Focused on Gradual Changes to Downtowns, Not Single 'Silver Bullet'

By Sauber, Elaina | Charleston Gazette Mail, November 28, 2016 | Go to article overview

CHARLESTON URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY ; Small Projects Key to Revival; New Director Focused on Gradual Changes to Downtowns, Not Single 'Silver Bullet'


Sauber, Elaina, Charleston Gazette Mail


With 30 years of experience in real estate development in both the private and public sectors, the new executive director of the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority says there's "no silver bullet to reviving a city's downtown. Ron Butlin, 59, who previously worked for urban renewal agencies in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Pensacola, Florida, said urban hubs are most often bolstered through several smaller projects.

"It's a combination of lots of small to medium things - then all of a sudden, you wake up and go, Wow, this town's really changed,' Butlin said.

A native of Southern California, Butlin worked as a lender for Wells Fargo for years after the passage of the federal Community Reinvestment Act, specializing in real estate.

"That's where I got some exposure to affordable housing, housing tax credits [and] taxes on bond financing, he said.

He later went on to head commercial real estate for a development firm in Colorado Springs that had purchased a massive, 70-acre downtown urban renewal project.

"I was the company representative to downtown Colorado Springs, dealing with the renewal authority there [and] trying to get this project going, Butlin said.

But, as the real estate industry suffered through the Great Recession, an opportunity opened for Butlin to transition from the private to the public sector.

He worked for four years as director of the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, where he managed a business improvement district and downtown development authority.

"I've always loved downtowns, and I've always wanted to figure out a way to do development [there], Butlin said.

The private sector faces unique challenges in the context of urban renewal projects, such as limited land for new construction and zoning restrictions, Butlin said. Developers of such projects need to approach them with a different mindset.

Companies that specialize in home building, for example, think relatively short term, he said.

"In home building, you can buy a lot and build a house, and the whole period takes a year, he said.

In urban redevelopment, in which developers generally renovate older, historic buildings for new uses, the process takes longer and usually costs more money.

Figuring out what works in downtowns across the U.S. isn't as difficult as one might think, Butlin said.

"The adage is, build something you want to live in, and other people will come, too, he said. "Make it something you think is really cool. If you like it, and your citizens are enjoying it, you'll discover other people want to do it, too.

One thing people like? Living close to dining and attractions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

CHARLESTON URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY ; Small Projects Key to Revival; New Director Focused on Gradual Changes to Downtowns, Not Single 'Silver Bullet'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.