Charlotte Observer: How to save renters $15 million with one easy change

Presently, our Montréal office is working with Grubb Properties Inc., a real estate developer in the United States that understands the need for healthy, life-sized communities built around active transportation rather than the inefficiency of the private automobile.


This year, Grubb Properties hired Copenhagenize Design Co. to conduct analysis and design a bicycle network strategy for the modern redevelopment of the Glen Lennox neighbourhood in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


In its new plan, and in partnership with the Town of Chapel Hill, Grubb aims to increase local density, offer more commercial and retail mixed-use spaces, and improve sustainable transportation options within the community. In doing so, Glen Lennox and Grubb Properties are at the forefront of a growing movement towards densification and increased non-motorized mobility connections in small to mid-sized American towns and cities.

In a recent special to the Charlotte Observer, CEO Clay Grubb outlines the logic behind planning for the bicycle and the human scale, rather than the automobile.

“If my firm, Grubb Properties, were to build a 300-unit apartment community with moderate rents in downtown Charlotte today it would cost in excess of $75 million,” writes Grubb. “If we could build that same apartment community without having to provide parking, the cost would be closer to $60 million. This $15 million reduction in total cost would allow for an average monthly rent reduction of over $250, making the apartments affordable for a far greater percentage of Charlotteans.”

What Grubb understands, like the City of Copenhagen, is that normalizing the bicycle as a form of everyday transportation brings a slew of social and economic benefits, saving society money in the long run.

Envisioning a bicycle-friendly future for Glen Lennox.

Envisioning a bicycle-friendly future for Glen Lennox.