WALTER FIELDS: TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
Banks are taking back so much property from developers that advising lenders on land-use issues has become something of a cottage industry. Private land-use consultant Walter Fields of the Walter Fields Group (whom we recently snapped at our State of the Market business forum) tells us he's been advising certain banks that have suddenly found themselves holding large tracts of land. ?Bankers are not developers, and they are not land-use planners,? Walter says. He's most recently been working on options with CommunityOne Bank and the Town of Davidson on a 180-acre tract that had been targeted for a mixed-use project but which failed with the downturn. It's an increasingly common theme, Walter says . But he should know most any remedy. Walter for 20 years served as director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission, when in 1997 he launched The Walter Fields Group. He suspended that about five years ago and more recently had been working at engineering firm Kimley-Horn. Then he rekindled The Walter Fields Group about six months ago when he spied opportunity. ?I'm a planner who's doing planning,? Walter says. ?Imagine that.?