Economic Development

Mon. Jul. 13, 2020
This web page summarizes the economic benefits to a community resulting from Cherokee's real estate renovation activities.

You May Not Know We're Here

Cherokee is a small "infill" real estate developer. We don't build large projects, like shopping centers, office buildings, or housing developments.

Cherokee's activities are often unrecognized because we don't do large projects, and we rarely require planning or zoning board approvals. We only do a few projects annually in most communities. We usually repair and renovate existing rundown properties, rather than demolishing them and appearing before local boards for development permits. We don't ask for grants or tax credits. We do not take properties off the tax rolls as do social service or community development organizations.

We are "under the radar" of most community leaders, who are usually busy with "damage control" and responding to constituent requests. "Problem" properties and their owners require attention. Property owners like Cherokee, who pay their taxes on time and maintain their properties, rarely get noticed. Some municipal officials are surprised to learn Cherokee has been working in their communities for years. We're proud to be such a corporate citizen, but feel that articulating the benefits to a host community will enable us to do even more.

Run-Down Properties Depress Their Neighbors

Industrial Factory in Edson ,NJ

When run down, abandoned and otherwise "problem" properties exist, they have a significant negative impact on their immediate neighbors, as well as the host community. They discourage investment, discourage occupancy. Owners of other properties defer maintenance, and avoid further investments.

They reduce the desirability of the neighborhood, socially and economically. They provide "safe haven" for vermin, vandals and squatters. They create disproportionate demand for police and fire emergency services. They typically are delinquent on their municipal taxes and other obligations. If they also have "environmental issues", the depressing effects of the troubled property can be dramatic, because the fear of the unknown extent of the pollution, and concern that the contamination could or has tainted people and properties other than the "subject property", stigmatizes the entire neighborhood, or beyond.

Cherokee is one solution to eliminating these run-down properties.

Cumulative Effects of Property Rehabs

We believe our real estate "recovery" operations result in social and economic benefits, not only for the immediate neighbors of the properties we rehabilitate, but also to the broader "host communities".

B&B in a resort community
The cumulative effects of Cherokee's rehabilitation of individual properties throughout a community is analogous to exercise. As you exercise the benefits are not immediate, but over time these benefits become obvious, and they are long-lasting even if you don't exercise daily. Not only are individual muscles strengthened and toned, but the entire body and cardiovascular system are also improved.

Continuing that analogy, when individual properties are renovated, they create local jobs, both during the renovation, but in the case of commercial properties, they host local employment for years to come.

Renovation of existing housing in suburban or urban environments usually allows residents to either walk to do work, or take mass transit. This effectuates a variety of sustainability benefits, and reduces the demand for parking. More parking benefits local merchants.

Properties that have been renovated represent a significant investment, and are much more likely to be making their municipal tax payments on a regular basis, which facilitates municipal finance generally.

Properties that have been renovated are obviously worth more money than the rundown "non-performing" property. Consequently their tax assessment is higher, which began facilitates municipal finance, and concurrently reduces the need to collect greater taxes from other existing properties

Just as neglecting a property can be contagious, doing significant renovation to a property can also be contagious. When a property is significantly improved it tends to engender confidence in the owners and occupants of surrounding properties if they were deferring maintenance or improvements, perhaps fearing that the neighborhood was "on the way down" then Cherokee's "bet" on the neighborhood may be a catalyst for others. It can never hurt, it can only help.

The properties that surround a recently renovated property are all deemed more attractive and desirable

If the previously nonperforming property also suffered from the stigma of being polluted, then the effect of "cleaning up" that contamination will remove that depressing reputation will stigma on the entire community.

All communities have a legal and social responsibility to avoid zoning or regulatory actions that are exclusionary, intentionally or otherwise. Rehabilitated housing is generally more affordable, and is sometimes offered by municipalities as evidence of their good faith efforts to provide decent, safe affordable residential properties throughout their communities, and not just clustered in "projects", or not just "bought off" via Regional Affordable Housing contributions. And this affordable housing involves no effort or tax dollars.

Cherokee generally rehabilitates existing structures rather than demolishing them. In addition to the obvious environmental benefits of reduced waste in our landfills, these rehabilitation construction activities produce far fewer construction trucks on local roads, far fewer dumpsters, and far less disruption to the local community.

These are just some of the direct economic benefits that result from Cherokee's property rehabilitation activities. We don't ask for tax credits, or any special consideration. All we ask for is an expeditious review of our construction permit applications, and a fair interpretation of our renovation applications relative to not triggering the unnecessary delay and expense of planning and zoning boards.

Drop a Dime

Further, if you are aware of troubled properties in your community, that you believe could be rehabilitated into quality commercial or residential investments, we hope you will alert us to their condition, anonymously if you wish , because if we can acquire the property, then all the benefits described on this page will accrue to your community and your constituents.