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Real estate developers allocate land, capital, material, and labor to the production of the built environment. Their goal is the highest and best use of a site—that is, the use that will yield the maximum return on investment—given various legal and regulatory parameters. Although often considered a homogeneous group, developers vary considerably with respect to organization type and size, geographic focus, market specialization, and sector (private, public, or nonprofit). The developer provides the entrepreneurial initiative, management skills, and professional expertise needed to coordinate resources and interests within established institutional structures in order to transform the built environment. Developers, for example, were responsible for building the renovated Faneuil Hall marketplace in Boston, the office complex on Canary Wharf in London, the famous suburb of Levittown (New ...

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