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Proximity To Healthy Food Influences Real Estate Values

There are a few well known factors that influence real estate values such as school stystems and access to parks. But here’s one  you may not be as familiar with.

According to a study by Urban Land Institute (ULI), access to healthy eats, a focus on local sourcing and innovative cuisine options all influence real estate values for th better. The report, Cultivating Development: Trends and Opportunities at the Intersection of Food and Real Estate, takes a closer look at the interplay between food and real estate through three lenses: the impact on people, the environment and real estate values.

You’ve probably heard that having a Whole Foods or Starbucks close by can raise your property’s value. But the relationship between food and real estate runs deeper than that.

“The synergy between food and real estate is becoming increasingly evident. Just as food plays a key role in social interaction and creating a sense of community, real estate plays a significant role in shaping how people access and experience food. An emphasis on access to healthy food is spurring innovative developments that are enhancing the overall prosperity, sustainability and livability of our communities.”

-ULI Senior Vice President Rachel MacCleery

The report observed that a growing interest in fresh, accessible food cultivates the communities around it and innovation and development follow. Neighborhood farmer’s markets, farm-to-table restaurants and community gardens are just a few examples.

Here are a few key take aways from the report:

  • Investing in food related enterprises within the context of larger development projects can support a developer’s bottom line. Bonus: it also speaks to health and environment goals. Buying a large plot of land to develop? Section off a piece for a community garden.
  • Restaurants, food halls, markets, community gardens and farms an serve to create a sense of community around development projects adding value through stronger community ties.
  • To be successful, food-centric development relies on partnerships with established local institutions. Work with existing neighborhood groups, nonprofits, anchor businesses and small food suppliers. By doing so you’ll create authentic relevant projects that speak to local priorities.
  • Community food-growing areas can add value to residential and mixed-use developments at little cost.
  • The development community has a vital role in carving out places where food can be grown, produced and distributed to adapt to the mounting challenges of climate change, absurdly high levels of food waste and dire fossil fuel dependency. Take on that challenge.

Read the full report here.