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Economic Revitalization of Peacock Place Tracts Using Real Estate Principles

proposed sketch for historic Peacock Place

In spring 2013, Dr. Jay Mittal’s “Real Estate Principles” class undertook a study with the City of Montgomery, Alabama centered on the Peacock Place neighborhood. The Peacock Place tract is a nationally significant historic neighborhood, encompassing over 100 acres, under economic distress.  It is located in the heart of the City of Montgomery on the intersection of I-85 and I-65 interstate highways near downtown Montgomery,  the State Capitol complex, and the campus of Alabama State University. The focus of the students’ work was to identify strategies for redeveloping this inner city area with national historical significance into a vibrant neighborhood and addressing the needs of the current population, and future residents.

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Dr. Mittal’s Real Estate class was structured asa combination of classroom instruction—where theories, methods and cases were shared—and a field-based study where real time application of the class room learning could be applied.  The classroom instructions included key principles of real estate, covering effects of urban growth on real estate markets, location theories, methods of property valuation, property market analysis using the Business Analyst tool, and the time-value concept of money.  Several case studies of successful mixed-use real estate developments and select inner-city revitalization projects were discussed with the class. Similarly, the field-based study included students visiting the City of Montgomery’s Planning Department, interacting with the city officials and developers, and visiting the Peacock Place Site and its surroundings to make pragmatic recommendations. The class also reviewed selected past studies such as historic preservation and other area planning studies, and analyzed socio-economic, demographic, consumer expenditure and other market data using the Business Analyst. Along with the APLA faculty, city officials and developers were involved in reviewing student’s work progress.

In class, the students learned about characteristics of successful planning efforts, as well as what makes a successful development. They learned about identifying and analyzing trade areas based on land use, and how to determine supply and demand.  Students also learned three approaches to estimating market value: the sales comparison approach, cost approach, and income approach. They learned what causes market values to change over time, as well as how to improve land values in blighted areas. Finally, students learned how to calculate profitability over time and how to determine the amount of risk involved in order to make more informed decisions on market development. They used the methods learned in class to find target consumers and develop a market strategy and overall plan for the Peacock Place neighborhood.Mittal’s students met with the Montgomery Planning Department and leaders of 5 Star Consortium LLC to discuss history and future goals for the area.


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