What real estate investors can learn from development battles in two famous beach towns

Two famous beach cities, Santa Monica and Miami Beach, have become the subject of heated debates about the pace of development. At one pole are the slow-growthers who seek to preserve their local history and prevent traffic congestion and at the other end are the modernizers who believe new infrastructure is needed to improve living conditions. Legendary architect Frank Gehry has experienced both sides of the argument. In Miami Beach his proposal for two glitzy towers was turned down, but in Santa Monica his high-profile mixed-use Ocean Avenue Project was approved. The success of Santa Monica is attributed to the fact that the proposal with developer Jeff Worthe had been in the works for over a decade, and proponents learned to talk early and often with local stakeholders and offer generous and specific “community benefits,” including affordable housing units, a city cultural museum incorporating two historic Santa Monica bungalows, public pathways, solar energy, and the like, as well as new tax dollars.

Read more about the differing opinions these two famous beach towns have on what’s needed to spur growth and development on Fortune.