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Making places and making tradeoffs: mixed-income housing development in practice

Dustin C. Read (College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)
Drew Sanderford (College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Arizona, Tuscon, Arizona, USA)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 4 December 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine the development of the Brightwalk community in Charlotte, North Carolina, to explore some of the tradeoffs municipalities make when engaging in public–private partnerships designed to support the production of mixed-income housing in urban neighborhoods.


The results of a gray literature review and a series of in-depth interviews conducted with real estate practitioners familiar with the transaction are presented to evaluate the impact of market forces on key investment decisions and project outcomes.


Public–private partnerships formed to support mixed-income housing development can serve as an effective means of revitalizing economically stagnant urban areas and improving the quality of the affordable housing stock, but they do not always provide members of the development team with an equally strong incentive to satisfy the unique demands of low-income populations or ensure they have a seat at the table when development decisions are made.


The originality of the research lies in its focus on a public–private partnership led by a non-profit organization to facilitate the redevelopment of a dilapidated market-rate apartment complex into a revitalized mixed-income community, which may help municipalities evaluate the pros and cons of participating in similar development transactions.



Read, D.C. and Sanderford, D. (2017), "Making places and making tradeoffs: mixed-income housing development in practice", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 10 No. 5, pp. 461-478.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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