by Sean Kilcarr, Editor

Sean Kilcarr MugshotWhen it comes to making urban real estate investment decisions, public sector officials apparently rank infrastructure quality—especially transportation systems, telecommunication networks, and utility systems—as their top influencing factor, with infrastructure ranking second only to “consumer demand” by private sector developers. Those are just some of the interesting findings contained in a new report titled “Infrastructure 2014: Shaping the Competitive City” released last month by the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Based on a global survey of 241 public sector officials and 202 senior-level real estate executives, the ULI report states that good roads and bridges, reliable and affordable energy, and strong telecommunications systems are key drivers of real estate investment.

Among the combined group of public and private sector participants, 88% rated infrastructure quality as the top influencer of real estate investment and development. Public leaders, though, rated it their top factor (91%). Of those polled, roads and bridges ranked second (71%) behind public transit (78%) for investment priorities. Yet the current state of roads and bridges only received “modest” quality marks, with 60% of respondents rating them good or very good.

This is just another report showing that the need for solid infrastructure remains a critical factor in the development of urban centers. Unfortunately, finding the money to pay for such infrastructure investments will remain the real trick.