Popularise Polls Residents for Development Ideas

by Shilpi Paul

image
Popularise’s test site at 1351 H Street NE

Do you really want a bakery or a restaurant in your neighborhood? Thanks to a new start-up, you could soon have a way to tell that to real estate developers.

The goal of the new website Popularise is to use the wisdom of the masses to collect ideas for new developments. Ben Miller, a real estate developer, founded Popularise with his brother Daniel and partners Brandon Jenkins and Kenny Shin.

“My time working in big real estate taught me why the wrong things get built,” Ben’s bio states. Miller hopes Popularise will democratize the development process and bring in more original, less “cookie-cutter” retail.

From Popularise.com:

Today, neighborhood development is dominated by large institutional companies that use Wall Street money to finance their projects. These companies typically know nothing about the neighborhoods in which they’re developing. The decision-makers are out of touch with the realities of what residents like you want, need, and use.

Here is how Popularise works: First, real estate developers post projects on the site, then residents log in to contribute ideas, check out the short list of developable buildings, and vote on what they’d like to see there.

The founders are testing the concept with a building they recently purchased at 1351 H Street NE. Right now, the site is invitation-only and there are just a couple dozen votes, but local clothing designer DURKL’s flagship store is barely beating out a gourmet pizzeria as the top request. There is one other interesting twist to the new site. Eventually, the plan is to allow residents who live in the area to buy into the business and thus have a vested interest in its success.

Of course, the poll results will only be useful to developers if Popularise gains a critical mass of users and those users are right about what they will actually buy. It’ll be interesting to see which ideas rise to the top of the heap as Popularise gets more…popular.

See other articles related to: popularise, dclofts

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/popularise_polls_residents_for_development_ideas/4748

8 Comments

  1. Mike Kiefer said at 9:41 am on Monday December 12, 2011:

    This has been an idea moving around DC for several years, the building next to the proposed one had a similar effort started some 3 years ago with http://www.cooltownstudios.com/

    It is a great concept overall using a crowd collaborative approach to build a space the community will use and want!

  1. bell said at 9:47 am on Monday December 12, 2011:

    If successful, a real estate game changer.

  1. xmal said at 11:17 am on Monday December 12, 2011:

    Clearly, what this space needs is a gourmet burger restaurant!

    Seriously though, I hope they have a psychologist on staff to tease out what people want versus what they can pay for. Everyone wants both lower taxes and more services, free parking and plenty of it, and express buses/trains that have only two stops: their home and their workplace.

  1. Mike Kiefer said at 12:10 pm on Monday December 12, 2011:

    To xmal - As you can imagine many of the issues revolve around the developers having their expectations of what is financially possible and the average neighbor or interested party having their idea of what should go there. What I saw was at times a pretty wide gap between sides. I think Urban Turf wrote about Jair Lynch’s efforts when they tried getting the crowd to decide on the commercial space at the Solei on 14th St.  You get lots of free ideas and momentum but things seem to stall out.  This group will need something more than just a website to energize a crowd of influencers to participate.

  1. DC Joe said at 1:25 pm on Monday December 12, 2011:

    This is a great concept! Love it!

  1. H Street Landlord said at 1:34 pm on Monday December 12, 2011:

    Love it. Especially like the idea of being able to invest financially…

  1. Alyce Kirk, Director, Business Development, Lessar said at 3:13 pm on Monday December 12, 2011:

    Soliciting creative ideas with supportive data is a move in the right direction, but it will take more weight than posting to influence developers. Strategic planning and the presentation of demographics that support the enterprise are a must.

  1. vivian sanders said at 2:09 pm on Monday December 17, 2012:

    I would like to see a Steak n Shake,Burgerstreet,24 hr gym with a sweatroom,,Cheddars,DSW,Soup or Salad,Red Lobster,Cracker Barrell

Join the discussion

UrbanTurf now requires registration in order to post comments. Register here, or login below if you are already registered.

Click here if you forgot your password.




 

Erik Lars Evans

Coldwell Banker, Dupont

202-731-3142

Serving:

Bloomingdale

Shaw

NEW!

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We’ve collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »

Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
Crestwood
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
Palisades
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 'hoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾