Wal-Mart v. Downtown
An interesting piece appeared in Better! Cities & Towns today, designed to get everyone thinking about how highly dense, mixed use developments common to downtowns help support the tax base:
An analysis by Joseph Minicozzi of Urban3 in Asheville, North Carolina, shows that on a per-acre basis, dense, mixed-use development far outstrips the value of lower density, single-use development — even profitable big box stores.
The article explains:
In the dozen communities (surveyed), a Wal-Mart on a large outlying site generated $7 per acre in property taxes, while a shopping mall or strip center produced slightly more: $7.80 per acre. By contrast, denser, more urban kinds of development provided much greater financial returns for their communities. Two-story, mixed-use development generated $53.70 in property taxes per acre. Three-story mixed-use generated $105.80 in taxes per acre. Six-story mixed-use was best of all: $415 per acre.