Residential development is a hot topic these days. With the economy on the upward swing and job opportunities continuing to evolve, you would think that residential development would be the next obvious area of growth, but is it?
While the real estate market is thriving for sellers, buyers continually find themselves in multiple offer rounds and often times coming up short finding available housing. New home construction within the city limits of Decatur is sparse. Why is that? Why are we still seeing this trend after years of economic growth? At what point do we begin looking within to resolve this issue?
As cities around us double in size, we have to ask hard questions.
As a realtor and one who has worked closely with developers over the years, time is money. Waiting for planning meetings to occur once monthly is not always feasible. It’s time we become more efficient in making decisions based solely on each project, rather than referring to antiquated policies because “that’s how it’s always been done.”
We need to be innovators and leaders for development. Enticing developers to build here and giving them full support on projects that will allow Decatur to grow is critical for our city to be known for not only its philanthropy and hospitality, but also its leading-edge approach to residential development.
While policies and procedures are one small factor in our past flaws regarding residential growth, our number one issue is our heart for change. Residents regularly voice their opinions regarding any change that may affect their way of life. Flocking to social media and council meetings to contest any sort of growth has proven unhealthy to the spirit of our great city.
It’s time we trust our city leaders and those who are willing to invest in Decatur and allow them to create opportunities that have passed us by in previous years.
Decatur is my home, now and forever.
Jamie Waldrep-Reeves is a realtor with Remax Platinum of Decatur and vice chairman of development for the Chamber’s Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Chamber's Residental Development Task Team, a focused initiative of the Chamber's five-year strategic plan "The Partnership." To learn more about The Partnership, please click here.