From the jump I have to tell you that it is critical that you stop reading this right now and put CNU 24 in Detroit on your calendar –June 8-11 2016. Do it now. http://www.cnu.org/cnu24 Reinforce your intention to be there with a great collection of folks working on building/rebuilding good places.
CNU is an inspiring and energizing event for me, this time more than ever. My agenda for the year is set and I am thrilled to have all kinds of help. We started out on Wednesday morning with a 3 hour session Understanding the Numbers and Asking for Money with Andrew Frey of Townhouse Center in Miami and Monte Anderson of Options Realty in Dallas. We hung in the room for an extra hour with lots of great questions from the folks attending. Monte and Andrew and I agree that we need a free session on the basics next time, with opportunity for some hands on learning beyond sharing pro forma files. Email me if you would like a PDF of my section of the presentation. firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Kumon from Strong Towns captured the audio. I will post a link when it is available.
Thursday morning Monte Anderson and I presented Building and Financing Incremental Development. David Kim and Bruce Tolar and I are working with Monte on several projects in the Dallas area because we think his approach spanning pop-up tent markets to small buildings, to mixed use infill buildings is really needed. The lower end of this progression is a chance for people to get started in development with low risk and high impact.
In the afternoon there was a two hour session Learning From Lean Urbanism with Andres Duany, Hank Ditmar, Sandy Sorlien, Lysistrata Cloud-Hall, and me. We updated folks on what the Project for LEan Urbanism has been up to since CNU22 in Buffalo and what the gameplan is between now and CNU24 in Detroit. I recommend spending some time on the website if you have not done so yet. http://leanurbanism.org/about/
Friday morning started with the Second Annual Rookie Developers Breakfast. Breakfast is an exaggeration. Because 80 people showed up, “breakfast” meant get coffee and go to the park next door to talk. A sub-group of women rookie developers was formed. There is now a general Small Developer/Builder FaceBook Group and a FaceBook Group for “CNU Lady Developers” —and no, I did not pick the name. This is a formidable group by the way. I am impressed with the questions asked and the skills they are bringing to bear. If you would like to be added to either group, just email me.
We had a number of seasoned developers participate; Michael Lander, Ward Davis, and others from the NTBA. After an intense couple of hours with the Rookie Developers, Monte and I scrambled over to the Hotel Mezzanine do a podcast with Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns.
For Part II of this blog post, I will line out the work that needs to be done between now and CNU 24 in Detroit next June. I will be asking for help on this stuff.