Smart developers know how to sweeten an entitlement deal, all the while scoring an “A” for public goodwill. Shea Homes, Centex Corp., and Standard Pacific Corp. have pooled $73 million to build three public schools in RiverPark, a 700-acre traditional neighborhood development in Oxnard, Calif. As a funding alternative to impact fees, the hands-on effort ensures that community schools will open on time (as will new homes, unstymied by infrastructure delays). The schools' floor plans have been designed for wider community use, with gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms, and libraries situated near front entrances.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Oxnard, CA.