Rey Melendi, COO of 13th Floor Investments Rey Melendi, COO of 13th Floor Investments

ATLANTA—In a move to combat urban sprawl, transit-oriented developments are vital. Ultimately, Laura Hannusch, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, says several factors are driving this trend, including increased population around large cities, expansion of mass transit infrastructure and Millennials and empty nesters wanting to live close to a city center (read: downtown) or a town center (read: a mixed-use, walkable community outside the urban core).  (Did you read about the ‘New Yorkization’ of this urban core?)

“Millennials and empty nesters want to take advantage of short or no commute times, being in close proximity to work, entertainment and restaurant options and just generally being in a vibrant environment with a sense of place,” Hannusch tells “It makes sense that mixed-use, transit-oriented developments would nurture these types of environments, because they provide the critical mass of people necessary to support the amenities, while providing easy access to transportation.  But they can be successful in other places as well, like the CityCenter project in Houston. Also, as populations in and around large cities increase, traffic becomes more of an issue and living close to your workplace saves time and money.”

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