BUILDERS ARE GOING urban in their search for dirt. Many of the national builders have set up urban or infill divisions, looking for what Randy Jackson, president of The Planning Center, a community planning and design consulting firm, calls “underutilized land.”

Many infill projects are being built as multifamily, mid- and high-rise complexes, but not all single-family builders have the construction and management expertise they need for those projects to succeed.

In some cases, they're partnering with specialty infill builders or those with mixed-use experience. In others, they're partnering with recruiters to poach employees from multifamily or commercial builders. James McGuire, home building practice leader at Specialty Consultants, a construction and real estate executive search firm, reports higher demand for candidates with multifamily backgrounds and experience with purchasing, estimating, and construction management.

DOWNTOWN BUILDUP: Urban building, such as these contemporary lofts, is hot again as builders appeal to empty-nesters returning to the city and echo boomers interested in city life.
DOWNTOWN BUILDUP: Urban building, such as these contemporary lofts, is hot again as builders appeal to empty-nesters returning to the city and echo boomers interested in city life.