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From Driverless Cars to 3D Printed Homes: Technology in the Spotlight


While the housing industry tends to be very astute at researching, forecasting, and responding to customer preferences, it is not an industry that is particularly well-known for disruptive innovation. A decade ago, the same might have been said for the taxicab or the hotel market, prior to the introduction of companies like Uber, Lyft, HomeAway, and Airbnb. The impact of external disruptors is sometimes enough to completely revolutionize how we think about a particular aspect of our lives, such as hailing a cab or booking a vacation. Could this same type of innovation be on the horizon for the residential market?

These topics (and more) were on tap at the recent ULI Spring Meeting, held earlier this month in Detroit. RVi President Chris Crawford and Vice President Chip Mills were in attendance as part of the firm’s commitment to staying on the cutting edge of real estate development.

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Thomas Ranch Marks Key Milestones, Moves Forward with First Phase of Development


In the Texas Hill Country northwest of Austin, rugged and rolling hills make for spectacular views while the Colorado River winds through a scenic system of lakes on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Thomas Ranch is a perfect snapshot of what makes this area of Texas so picturesque, with 2,200 acres of rolling Hill Country topography that frames impressive Lake Travis waterfront views along 2.5 miles of shoreline.

Landowner Ralph Thomas’ vision for the property is a mixed-use Hill Country village with three major areas of development. The “Texas Town” village center is envisioned as the social and commercial hub of the community and will offer higher-density residential as well as shopping, dining, and commercial office space. “Cliffside” will feature lakefront lots and direct access to the water, while “Hilltop” will offer spacious estates with sweeping views and a boutique hotel. An extensive trail network that rivals national parks will connect neighborhoods and provide access to the lake and to over 700 acres of parks and open space. “Our vision is to create a thoughtfully planned and designed mixed-use village that allows residents to live in harmony with nature and with each other, enjoying an exceptional quality of life,” Thomas said.

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Local Municipalities Receive Expert Advice through ULI AzTAP Program

Earlier this month, a group of 8 experts from the real estate community convened in Superior, AZ for a day-long panel to discuss strategies to enhance the local community and economy. The Town of Superior is the latest in a long line of Arizona communities to benefit from the ULI Technical Assistance Panel Program, also known as AzTAP.

RVi Vice President Doug Craig was among the panelists at the event, which addressed key topics like improving the health of Superior residents through the built environment, creating public spaces and civic anchors that serve as catalysts for revitalization, and strategies for encouraging housing diversity, economic development, recreation and tourism, and improving commercial and retail opportunities. Discussions focused on the need to diversify economic development and employment opportunities beyond the Town’s mining heritage, as well as strategies for revitalizing Superior’s downtown area through creative partnerships in the public and private sectors.

Doug is a Full Member of ULI, serves on the ULI AzTAP Committee, and has participated in the local Urban Plan program. “The Town of Superior has great bones and dedicated Town leadership who have the desire, foresight and vision to create a vibrant and thriving downtown. To offer ideas and discuss the tremendous potential with an outstanding group of experts was an honor. I look forward to seeing how the Town moves forward taking advantage of the historic downtown and the natural beauty surrounding the community," Doug said.

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