CCIM August Luncheon with Andy Icken, Chief Development Officer, City of Houston

Takeaway: Instead of restrictive red tape controls (such as zoning) the City of Houston is unique among big cities in that it lets ‘The Market’ control development. When there is a deal that the City wants but it is not quite viable, after in-depth study, the City, with approval by the Mayor and Council, may offer incentives to ensure the deal happens. This often takes place in underdeveloped neighborhoods that are hard for developers to ‘sell’ to their equity investors or lenders. If the deal is beneficial to the City, the City has a number of economic tools to help make it happen.

Andy Icken, who has had a long and successful career developing for Friendswood/ExxonMobil and the Texas Medical Center, has been called the City’s “Development Concierge”, as he meets with various parties to begin the process of identifying projects good for Houston and Houstonians
• Incentives are only offered if otherwise a desired project would not quite work

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