Author Archives: Nat Zorach

About Nat Zorach

Nat Zorach is an urban development and energy professional working in Detroit and Chicago.

Show A Building Some Love This Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to take a more lighthearted approach to the highly technical field of building science with some maxims of high performance architectural romance. Learn a bit about the passive house design standard in designing and retrofitting … Continue reading

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Clever Crowdfunding: Risk, Regulation, and Social Capital

The crowdfunding movement raises many questions about how to protect investors from fraud or risk. A recent article on CrowdClan discusses the debate between “self-attestation” by investors, that is, a fairly typical process wherein investors declare information about themselves and … Continue reading

Posted in Crowdfunding, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Investment, Real Estate | Leave a comment

Social Media Meets Investment: A Primer on Fundrise

Many loyal followers of our Twitter account or Facebook page have probably read about Fundrise, or have individually been invited to join our network. I figured I’d give a bit of background to help along the process and explain what … Continue reading

Posted in Cities & Urban Planning, Investment, Real Estate, Urban development | Leave a comment

NIRPC and the Great Hoosier Spirit of DIY Urbanism

Yesterday I attended NIRPC’s presentation on the updated Marquette Plan at the Carter Woodson Branch of the Gary Public Library, which was a general overview of the ongoing process of developing 34 out of Indiana’s 45 miles of lakeshore into … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Historic preservation, Transit infrastructure, Urban development, Urban Planning | Leave a comment

“Yes” on Sensible Spending, “No” on Illiana

The Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission, or NIRPC, is set to vote on the proposed 47-mile highway in December. CMAP voted a close, 11-8 “yea” vote last week, with IDOT and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn pushing for the project as … Continue reading

Posted in Indiana, Public transit, Sprawl, Transit infrastructure, Urban Planning | Leave a comment

Lake County: A House Divided But Balanced (for now)

As Lake County begins to reap profits from a new property tax increase, officials in the cash-strapped government are already figuring out ways to spend the money. $24 million in tax revenue in Indiana’s second-most populous county may be a … Continue reading

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Of Jaspers & Newtons

Jasper, Newton, Iowa, and adjacent counties of Jasper and Newton, Indiana. Any relationship to Jasper Newton Jack Daniels, of Tennessee Whiskey fame? I wondered. I actually looked it up and found this article, whose author wondered the same question. And … Continue reading

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If You Don’t Build It, They Won’t Come: Development & Gary’s Stadium

NWITimes’ Keith Benman recently wrote two articles highlighting the failure of the US Steel Steel Yard, Gary’s minor league baseball stadium where its own Railcats play, to spur economic development along the US-12/20 corridor. Is all lost? Hardly. The Railcats … Continue reading

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Public art, small-town challenges, and big questions

Gary’s Miller Beach Arts and Creative District hosted a street fair in June centered around several graffiti art mural completed by about a dozen artists around Lake Street. Dubbed the Lake Effect festival, the event featured live music, food and … Continue reading

Posted in Art & Design, Design, Public art | Leave a comment

July in Gary!

St. Louis preservationist and director of the Preservation Research Office consulting firm Michael Allen visited Gary yesterday to see the sights. After an obligatory lunch/dinner at the Bird, we started our tour in Miller Beach, where our two summer interns … Continue reading

Posted in Cities & Urban Planning, Historic preservation, Urban development | Leave a comment