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What's Booming During the Bust: Land Preservation

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The New York Times reports that conservation groups are gobbling up swaths of land for open space that were previously targeted for developments that have since imploded. Many of these properties (the Times mentions specific cases in Florida, Idaho, New Jersey, and New York) are now owned by banks which are eager to get the foreclosed properties off their books. The developers who still own these spaces want out too: "The prices were lower, but what has really changed is the attitude of the developers — they want to get out,” Suki Molina, vice president of the Foothills Conservation Advisory Committee, told the paper. “Before this year, they would call, say they had a great piece of land and wanted top dollar. Now, they just want to sell.” Some folks are bemoaning this trend, since the developments had promised local improvements and financial benefits. The story brought to mind Las Lomas, the recently cancelled mega-project north of the city that would have added 2.7 million square feet of office and residential space to a scenic slice of California.
· Preservation Groups Find Deals in Housing Bust [NYT]
· Las Lomas Officially Dead [Curbed LA]