Financial Obstacles to Infill Development: What Designers and Planners Should Know

A Regional Urban Design & Monthly Program

1.5 CES LUs

On Wednesday, September 17 we held a great symposium on the financial obstacles to infill development for design and planning professionals in the Bay Area!  Our panel of experts included  Matt Taecker, AIA  AICP (Taecker Planning & Design), Alexander Quinn (AECOM), Bill Lee (Land Econ Group) and Steve Hixson (Hixson & Associates). Our presenters have been kind enough to share their presentations with us. Please click on the following links for the presentation slides shown on this relevant issue:

Matt Taecker, AIA AIACP
Bill Lee
Steve Hixson
Alexander Quinn

About the Presenters:

Alexander Quinn, AECOM. Alexander Quinn is the Director of AECOM’s Sustainable Economics practice for the Americas Region. He has over 16 years of planning and economic analysis experience and specializes in sustainable development, socio-economics, and urban regeneration. He examines economic questions under a sustainability lens, be it economic development, housing, public finance, urban revitalization, or community development. Quinn uses innovative quantitative analysis techniques to inform policy making and land use strategies.  Recent projects include the Downtown Oakland Development Feasibility Analysis and the likely economic impacts to Downtown Berkeley from Measure R, which appears on this November’s ballot.

Steve Hixson, Hixson & Associates.  Steve Hixson founded Hixson & Associates in 1991 to provide consulting services in the areas of Real Estate Development and Project Management.  Clients include both for profit developers and non-profit organizations.  He has played a vital role in gaining entitlements for and managing the delivery of residential, office, retail, hospitality and  educational projects in infill settings.  Hixson worked as an Architect for 17 years in a number of firms both in the Bay Area and London.

Bill Lee, Land Econ Group.  Bill Lee has been in land planning economics and economic development consulting since the 1970s and was the Managing Principal of Economics Research Associates’ (ERA) San Francisco Office for over a dozen years.  ERA was the largest and most experienced land economics consulting firm in the United States at the time of its sale to AECOM in 2007.  He was with AECOM Economics from 2007 until 2012. Over four decades of practice he has specialized in services to local government agencies, land planning/urban design firms, property owners, real estate developers and transportation agencies.

Matt Taecker AIA AICP, Taecker Planning & Design, Moderator.  Matt Taecker chairs AIA East Bay’s “Regional and Urban Design Committee.”  For three decades, Taecker has been a leader in promoting transit-oriented development and pedestrian-friendly places, especially as part of city centers and infill development.  Taecker received the 2014 National American Planning Association’s “Best Practices Award” for Berkeley’s Downtown Area Plan and implementation. His services include: urban design, policy/code development, stakeholder engagement and entitlements, and his on-line journal on city centers can be read at

Learning objectives:

  1. Learn about strategies for overcoming financial obstacles associated with infill development.
  2. Understand how the economic feasibility of infill projects is affected by parking and other development code requirements.
  3. Examine the relationship between building height, construction code requirements, and the economic feasibility of projects.
  4. Find methods for leveraging community benefits while maintaining project feasibility.

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