Q. I've built single-family detached homes for my entire career but have had a long-standing dream of transitioning into residential development. Unfortunately, I don't have the funds for a large subdivision. Any thoughts on how I could move into the world of development, but in a small way?
A: AS THE OLD ADAGE GOES, “YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY WHEN YOU BUY THE LAND,” SO THINK OF GOING THE INFILL route with a creative niche-market product. Traditional neighborhood developments often make good infill projects because they can be so easily tailored to fit a variety of cohesive site layouts. Orient the units toward each other and toward common areas to get a higher density. Consider going with a smaller product aimed at those empty-nesters who are tired of the upkeep related to big yards and lots of square footage. Remember: You are only looking for a few good homeowners, not 500 good buyers. Here are some ideas culled from Arbors at Stagecoach Village, a gated infill project in Little Rock, Ark., that I designed and developed with 23 units on five acres.