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Holiday Forecast for 2011
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New Rules for the New Normal

The "New Normal" requires a new set of rules for success. No longer can prosperity depend on excessive consumption, supported by asset inflation and the use of leverage. The foundation for prosperity requires:

  • Enforcement of laws that maintain the competitiveness and safety of private production;
  • Social and human capital and infrastructure provided or facilitated by government to increase the productivity of the private sector; and
  • Inventing, making, and distributing new, innovative products and services that the rest of the world wants to buy.
Successful places will contribute to and benefit from a more productive economy by creating:

  • Multi-family rental units in mixed-use developments, offering dining and nightlife that appeal to Gen Yers who elect (or are asked) to leave their parents' homes;
  • Green office space near transit, integrated with relatively high density housing close to experiential shopping, restaurant and entertainment venues;
  • Entitled land zoned with minimum suburban densities of 8 to 12 units to the acre, and in-city densities from 14 to several hundred units per acre, to cater to Gen Yers, Baby Boomers, and the growing market for smaller, green, single-family housing units;
  • Adaptive new uses for excess and osbolete retail space, because retail will not return to what it was prior to the Great Recession and an increasing proportion of sales will shift to the internet;
  • Distribution and industrial space to capture those demands associated with shifts in patterns of goods movement and labor availability; and
  • Regulatory conditions that can stabilize but don't re-inflate housing prices.
Gruen Gruen + Associates wishes you and your family a healthy, happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

image of 2010's annual holiday card

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