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Survey: Americans More Willing to Support Commercial Projects

Recession Curbs 'Not In My Back Yard' Response

HINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The economic recession has made Americans more willing to support new commercial projects in their community, new data shows.

"But anyone wanting to get a project approved should also know that three out of four Americans also believe their city or town is already over-developed or fine the way it is."

Of 1,000 adults interviewed nationwide, 68 percent said they are more likely to support new projects in their hometown in light of the current economic situation. That is up nearly 10 percent from one year ago, according to the annual Saint Index© survey of U.S. attitudes about real estate projects and development.

Opposition to several types of big retail projects continued to drop, especially when compared to attitudes measured five years ago. Opposition fell - and support increased - for a local Wal-Mart, a large department store (Target, K-mart) and a home improvement center (Home Depot, Lowe's).

Saint Index 2010 results suggest the prolonged economic downturn is undermining America's Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) attitude, but interviews also found resistance to development persists when Americans look at their own community.

"It is a significant trend that more Americans say they support projects and fewer are opposed," Patrick Fox, president of The Saint Consulting Group, said. "But anyone wanting to get a project approved should also know that three out of four Americans also believe their city or town is already over-developed or fine the way it is."

When considering their own community in that context, 74 percent of American adults don't want new development. Just 24 percent said their hometown needs new development.

Asked what type of development project they'd most like to see in their community, one in four Americans (26%) still said, "none" - by far the most common response.

The most unwanted projects are a landfill (74 percent opposed), a casino (72 percent) and a quarry (59 percent).

The Saint Index is conducted annually by The Saint Consulting group to track and quantify the politics of land use, including who actively opposes and supports real estate projects and why.

The 2010 U.S. Saint Index involved interviews with 1,000 American adults randomly selected from the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. The maximum margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence rate.

The Saint Consulting Group

With experience on 1,500 projects in 44 states, Canada and the United Kingdom, Saint Consulting provides political campaign expertise to win complex or controversial land use permitting decisions.

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