WASHINGTON — Urban Land Institute (ULI) member Christopher B. Leinberger, managing partner of the Arcadia Land Company in Albuquerque, N.M., has received the institute’s 2003 Apgar Award for best article in Urban Land magazine, published monthly by ULI. Leinberger is also managing partner of Robert Charles Lesser and Co., the nation’s largest independent real estate consulting firm with offices nationwide.
The Apgar Award was created in 1991 through a gift from Mahlon Apgar IV, director of The Boston Consulting Group in Baltimore. It recognizes writing in the magazine that best contributes to the principles of excellence in land use, development and management as reflected in ULI’s mission of promoting leadership in responsible land use.
Leinberger received the award for his article, “Building for the Long Term,” which appeared in the November/December 2003 issue of Urban Land. In the piece, he examines the process of financing real estate developments within the context of building projects that are time-consuming and complex, but ultimately more sustainable, opposed to projects that are simpler and quicker, but which lack character and longevity.
“The conventional financing approach is predicated on building according to well-understood formulas that provide, first and foremost, stand-alone, single-uses with high visibility and access by car…These are the forces that lead to the ‘could by anywhere’ nature of America’s built environment and that encourage developers generally to build and flip projects within a few years of construction,” Leinberger wrote. “Building for the long term requires an understanding of how buildings were built before discounted cash flow, single-use zoning, and automobile-oriented sprawl began to dominate real estate development.”
In the article, Leinberger used his development experience in the revitalization of downtown Albuquerque as an example of building for the long term. His company has $200 million in their development pipeline ($60 million of which is built, under construction or about to start construction), including a 14-screen movie theatre, offices, retail, restaurants, a 10,000-seat arena, and for-sale and rental residential units. National Public Radio has calledAlbuquerque “the fastest downtown turnaround in the country.”
Over the years, Leinberger has contributed several articles to Urban Land on improving growth and development patterns throughout urban areas; he also wrote a chapter on the connection between sustainability and economic development for ULI’s publication, The Practice of Sustainable Development. He is a nationally renowned land use strategist and developer combining business realities with social and environmental objectives to make progressive development profitable. He also won the Apgar Award in 1995, making him the only person to win the award twice.
Arcadia Land Company, which develops New Urbanism communities, is involved in development projects inIndependence, Mo.; Chester County, Pa.; Montgomery County, Pa.; and Seaside, Fla., a community widely considered as a model of New Urbanism and a ULI 2003 Award for Excellence winner.
“I am always pleased to write for a magazine like Urban Land. It allows me to examine the major issues affecting the built environment in this country and around the world. Combining on-the-ground financing, construction, marketing and development experience with a theoretical perspective helps determine how we can build sustainable places to live, work and play,” Leinberger said.