Presenter Michael Freeman from Center for Community Progress talks pro formas
Presenter Michael Freeman from Center for Community Progress talks pro formas

As the Coordinator for CEDAM CCDI Training calendar, I am currently up north at the MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. Though it is the first day of spring, it is a beautiful snow globe outside in the peaceful woods. I am sitting in a room full of 22 eager participants who are learning the ins and outs of real estate development in our annual four-day training boot camp. These participants come from across Michigan representing different areas of community economic development including city government, MSHDA, MEDC, Main Street organizations, land banks and nonprofit organizations, as well as traditional developers and real estate agents. Each person has a range of expertise, experience and interest of residential, commercial and mixed-use development. They are learning the technical details of crafting their communities into places where people want to live.

REDBC2013-06With a jam-packed agenda to maximize the time of those who attend, CEDAM partners with Center for Community Progress and features presenters who are experts in their field covering topics that one may not have even realized is a part of the development process. Have you considered the different legal entities a project can be organized as? How about establishing a market analysis and what the results may mean for your community? Have you done a pro forma? Wait, a pro what? A pro forma, or the numbers and financials of the project, is a critical component and describes if/how/why/when the project can actually be successful.

We aren’t even through the second day. There is a lot more to come including a piece on property management, MSHDA and MEDC programs, value engineering, green considerations and brownfield redevelopment.

Tomorrow, participants will break into teams comprised of members of their communities and others to have a diversified group bringing their area of expertise and interests to the table.

Each team will create a development project from start to finish to present to a funding panel with representatives from the Great Lakes Capital Fund, MSHDA and Opportunity Resource Fund this Friday. Those on the panel offer constructive feedback and guidance about what they are looking for in proposals. By the time it is over, participants will be tired but be ready to hit the ground running in their communities with new friends and connections, knowledge and resources. Did you miss this year? Contact Lisa Benck if you are interested in being on the list for next year, or if you are interested in additional training opportunities.

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