There's a Challenge In our cities and towns.
Michigan is a state full of communities with real estate in need of development; there are countless buildings and properties - especially in walkable neighborhoods close to downtowns - simply waiting the chance to contribute to the community and create better, more beautiful places to live.
But there aren't enough developers to do the work. It's a state full of people who love where they live enough to be willing to tackle small-scale development projects, but who need to be mentored by experienced developers in order to be successful. What we've seen across the country is what we see in Michigan - a desperate need for more people to trained in the kind of small-scale development gives more than it takes by providing value to the community.
In 2015, we founded the Incremental Development Alliance to provide the training, tools, and network people need to become small-scale developers. Within 18 months we were delivering 15 trainings across the US each year, and as of 2018, we have held events in 28 states and cultivated an alliance of developers that crosses cultural and economic divides. Our team has grown to 22 people across 10 states who train over 1250 people per year and provide educational lectures to an additional 2000 aspiring developers.
Most importantly, our training creates change. Alumni are constructing new buildings and completing rehabs in neighborhoods that need them, and City governments are adapting their zoning as a result of our coaching. We don't want to just "run some classes" in Michigan - we want to give Michiganders the tools they need to improve the places they love.
We're looking to train people who love Michigan and the cities they live in, because people love a place, they improve it in a way that makes it better. We believe in the power of pulling up our sleeves, working with our neighbors, and building something great.
INCREMENTAL DEVELOPMENT FACULTY
Jim Kumon is an urban designer, neighborhood advocate and business manager with an undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan. With over ten years experience in the design and transportation industries in Los Angeles, Denver and Minneapolis, Jim has a deep understanding of the resurgence of small scale urban neighborhoods which have fueled the economic success of those cities. In his current role leading the Incremental Development Alliance, he oversees the development of training seminars for individuals, coaching and consulting to cities and networking events across the country. He is a frequent speaker to municipalities, trade organizations, business and advocacy groups on real estate, economic development, transit and public infrastructure.
As a past Kingfield neighborhood board member and current chair of the Kingfield Redevelopment Committee, Jim has been closely involved with development projects at the neighborhood level in Minneapolis. As an urbanist advocate, Jim was a technical advisor during the recent city policy changes legalizing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) and reducing residential parking requirements on properties near high frequency transit lines. Along with ongoing renovations to his 100 year old house, he is in the planning stages of building an ADU on his property.
Boot Camp Faculty
John Anderson, CNU is a co-founder and principal for Anderson|Kim Architecture + Urban Design. He has a very diverse experience beginning with a practical foundation in the construction trades, advancing through design and development practice in public and private roles. With over thirty years of experience in the field, John is well-versed in the practical realities of delivering complex large-scaled projects from design through entitlement and construction.
Prior to the formation of Anderson|Kim, John directed planning and design for New Urban Builders, a firm that has demonstrated how sustainable neighborhoods could be successfully delivered by a California production builder/developer. His ability to triage conventional building schemes to demonstrate the financial benefits of urbanism has made him an ally to private developers and municipalities alike.
John is a frequent speaker and lecturer on construction, development implementation and real estate, with engagements at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Minnesota, Andrews University, Local Government Commission, Sierra Business Council, Urban Land Institute, American Planning Association, and National Association of Home Builders.
Boot Camp Faculty and Community Technical Assistance
Monte Anderson is the President of Options Real Estate a multi-service real estate company specializing in creating sustainable neighborhoods in southern Dallas and northern Ellis counties in Texas. Monte began his real estate career in 1984 and since that time has concentrated solely on improving the living and working environments in these communities where he was born and raised. Monte is an outspoken and frequently recognized advocate for policies and practice to serve urban neighborhoods. He currently focuses his development practice in three areas in North Texas: the southern neighborhoods of the city of Dallas, the first ring suburb of Duncanville and exurban town of Midlothian.
In the Trinity River Corridor of Dallas, he is responsible for the renovation of the historic Belmont Hotel, a 68-room boutique hotel, café and spa, which was the recipient of Preservation Dallas and Preservation Texas awards. Surrounding the Belmont, Monte helped develop a more complete neighborhood with a range of projects including housing, a photography studio, animal hospital, fitness center, dog park, and restaurants. He has recently transitioned his South Dallas focus to revitalizing a number of historic mixed-use neighborhood nodes and repositioning mid-century era shopping centers to become more human scaled and diversified in use.
In Duncanville, Texas, Monte has been a formal partner with the City to advance economic and real estate development in over a decade of activity. He has partnered with or assisted many entrepreneurs to increase the number of owner occupied buildings on Main Street. With over two dozen projects in the largely one story downtown area, his work reintroduced mixed-use buildings in this first ring suburb for the first time in several decades. These projects have also resulted in over 30 new housing units on or directly facing the core three blocks of Main Street. He co-founded the DuncanSWITCH monthly market in order to create a pipeline of startup businesses to grow the economic health of the core business district. Monte was also instrumental in conversion of an abandoned Kmart to a tortilla manufacturing facility and Mexican restaurant.
In Midlothian, Texas, Monte is incrementally building a 131-acre mixed-use, traditional neighborhood development over a 20+ year period. This is an effort to extend the neighborhood fabric of the existing small town to connect schools, parks, and small retail buildings with multigenerational housing.
Matthew Petty is a city planner and real estate developer who has also been elected three times to the Fayetteville City Council. Matthew has a deep understanding of American zoning and development codes and infrastructure planning processes. He has facilitated numerous public hearings and stakeholder engagement efforts, and his first mixed-use project as an owner-developer is under construction.
Matthew was a grantwriter and development associate for four years at the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, a professional urban design and architecture program which has earned more than 100 national and international awards for its urban designs, stormwater solutions, and scenario plans. Matthew’s time at UACDC has provided him a keen sense of how to overcome obstacles to project funding and site development.
Serving his ninth year on the Fayetteville City Council, Matthew is Chair of the Transportation Committee as well as the city’s tourism agency, where he orients infrastructure and marketing budgets towards Fayetteville’s broader strategies.
Matthew’s experience has taught him how to identify and overcome barriers to missing middle development and placemaking. He believes cities can build local wealth and restore neighborhoods by leveling the playing field for appropriate infill projects.
Matthew holds undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Political Science from the University of Arkansas.
Ryan Terry is a real estate developer, urban designer, speaker, and consultant practicing in central Texas. His practice aims for the recovery of flourishing communities through the renewal of neighborhoods and public places. As the founder and managing partner of R + T Studio, a development and consulting firm specializing in urban infill and revitalization, he oversees projects throughout the region.
Ryan recently completed the first phase of 500 Bryan North, consisting of two four-plex apartment buildings for a total of 8 residential and 2 commercial units in 11,500 square feet. This was phase one of an incremental build out of a city block in downtown Bryan that will eventually consist of 42 residential units and 12,000 square feet of commercial space.
Ryan lives in Bryan, TX where he serves on the city Historical Landmark Commission and the Downtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Board. He is active is the Downtown Bryan Association, the Bryan Rotary Club, and the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce. Ryan holds a Master of Public Service & Administration degree with a concentration in Urban Policy, Development, and Design from the George Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M as well as a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Classical Culture from the University of Georgia. His areas of expertise include urban design, land use and transportation policy, and economic and community development.
Ryan is a former Marine Corps infantry officer and management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. During his time in the Marine Corps, Ryan served as a platoon commander and staff officer, leading 50 Marines and Sailors during combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Jenifer Acosta specializes in historic preservation and reurbanization. As a real estate developer, consultant, and faculty for the Incremental Development Alliance, Jenifer Acosta works to reimagine historic buildings, create spaces and experiences that bring people back to downtown areas and encourage them to really live there. Jenifer earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in international administration and sustainable development from University of Miami. She also holds a New York University graduate certificate in real estate development. She has founded the Young Preservationists - Great Lakes Bay; Co-founded Infuse Great Lakes Bay, a local community development nonprofit organization; and serves on a variety of local boards dedicated to creating positive change in their community.
Raised in Michigan by entrepreneurial parents, Jenifer has already brought new life to once-vacant landmark buildings in downtown Bay City (population 35,000).
Her projects encompass a wide range of property types and uses in the Great Lakes Bay area of Michigan. The Legacy is a 55,000 square foot building with a restaurant/retail space, 2 commercial suites, and 26 residential units in a former historic bank building from the 1890s. The Times Lofts consist of 31 residential lofts in a 38,000 square foot building. Jenifer currently working on a 12 unit residential building on the edge of the downtown Bay City on an environmentally remediated infill site.
Jenifer offers her expertise to nonprofit organizations including the Bay City Downtown Development Authority, Midland Area Community Foundation, Urban Land Institute, and is the founder of Young Preservationists-Great Lakes Bay. Jenifer also co-founded a community development organization, Infuse Great Lakes Bay, to encourage citizen-led investment as well as get the resources and tools to local projects for their success.
She and her husband, Anthony, live near Midland, MI with their two children.
Marques King is an architect, urban designer and proud native Detroiter. He is currently the Economic Development & Design Manager for EJDevCo, a non-profit developer focused on the Eastside of Detroit. He is also the founder of Fabric[K] Design, a design firm focused on small scale developments and nurturing sustainable neighborhoods.
Boot Camp Faculty
Jennifer brings 10 years of experience in transforming the built environment to enhance people's everyday lives. In her career she has led numerous community design charrettes and played a critical role in neighborhood, city, and regional master planning projects. These visions formed the basis for innovative comprehensive and zoning plan overhauls, as well as the future build-out of important development sites. Her ability to craft projects from broad scale thinking to concrete built form has led her to thrive as an independent urban design consultant. Advocating for intentional communities and resilient neighborhoods, she seeks to enrich the lives of each individual within a model of diverse and equitable housing where, everyone, including the most vulnerable, receives the support and enjoyment of a vibrant community.
Jennifer received her Bachelor's of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and her Master's of Urban Design from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to founding Jennifer L. Settle, LLC, she obtained her professional training while working in the offices of Opticos Design in Berkeley, California and MGLM Architects in Chicago, Illinois.
Boot Camp Faculty
Sharon Woods is the founder of LandUseUSA | Urban Strategies, a professional consulting firm based in central Michigan. She has nearly three decades of professional experience providing real estate advisory services in the fields of market research and analysis, downtown and community development, urbanism and placemaking, and land use economics. She specializes in Target Market Analysis (TMA) methods focused on studying the lifestyle preferences of households seeking enjoyable places to live and work.
Sharon is especially known for her skills in measuring the magnitude of market potential for missing housing formats in urban places. This approach can also span other land use categories, including urban retail and downtown merchant space, hotels, entertainment and recreational venues, placemaking amenities, and mixed-uses with office space.
When not crunching data at her standing desk, Sharon can be found cruising inland lakes with her vintage pontoon boat; and kayaking peaceful rivers to snap wildlife photos.