Back to the Future: The Need for Patient Equity in Real Estate Development Finance

Christopher B. Leinberger
Christopher B. Leinberger Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor of Urban Real Estate - George Washington University School of Business, Former Brookings Expert

January 1, 2007

Demand for more walkable, mixed use neighborhoods is growing across the United States. However, the challenges associated with fi nancing these developments are allowing much of this demand to go unmet. This paper discusses how more, and more upfront, patient equity in walkable projects—from various sources and providers—would facilitate their development, and yield high returns over the long term. The paper also examines how patient equity contributed to the success of several such developments built over the past 15 years, illustrating untapped potential. Finally, it notes the role the public sector can play in providing patient equity investments.