on January 27, 2004
For its high price, you may want to seriously think about your needs. If your intention is to buy a book for a broad overview of the development process with a somewhat academic approach, then this may be right for you. If you are builder or someone with prior real estate brokerage/service experience, you may find this too ivory tower and not practical. This book was a bit theoretical for my taste.
Although this book has been reprinted recently, all the data dates back to the late-1990's. Social and economic data are perhaps presented for illustrative purposes only, however, it is a bit disheartening.
There are some interesting project data, financial models and checklists, but frankly, the reader could figure those out on his/her own with some common sense and marginal experience in the industry.
Bottom line -- my suggestion is to review the book at the public library before you buy.
on January 27, 2004
Interestingly, I ended up reading this book like a fiction -- from cover-to-cover. And, it was a fun read. I particularly enjoyed some of the insightful stories of real estate development history, which is clearly a part of our American heritage.
However, I thought the real-life applications of the book's suggestions were victimized by this type of presentation. Certain "case studies" were presented along side a theoretical "how-to" processes to develop properties; these seemed entertaining and thoughtfully presented, rather than real life cookie cutter. And, in many cases, I knew a famous property and became more informed of its origins and characteristics. But it did not unfortunately go the next step to discuss mistakes made, lessons learned, or successful components to highlighted -- which good case studies should endeavor. Moreover, it did not spend much time on architectural issues or financing arrangements that may have solved problems specific to the properties.
I would suggest to any potential Amazon customer to purchase this book only in conjunction with another more hardcore building book and/or architecture book.