Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing with Jonathan Greene

Reviving Towns Through Downtown Redevelopment with Katie Neason


The appeal of Main Street mixed-use real estate is on the rise, attracting an increasing number of young families and empty nesters who prefer living in proximity to vibrant downtown areas. This trend makes it a lucrative focus for real estate investors. In this episode of Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing, Jonathan sits down with Katie Neason, a Bryan, Texas-based real estate investor and downtown developer. Katie combines her real estate knowledge and passion for downtown revitalization to create build-to-suit and mixed-use real estate while also teaching others about revitalizing small-to-midsize markets into thriving hubs of sustainable growth.

Jonathan explores Katie’s real estate journey, going back to the ’80s when her parents faced significant losses in real estate. Katie shares the lessons she learned from that and her eventual return to real estate development. They dive into her passion for downtown revitalization and how COVID revealed how important downtowns are to communities. Katie shares her insights into overcoming challenges like resistance to redevelopment, gentrification issues, and community involvement.


Some highlights of Jonathan and Katie’s chat include:

  • The two biggest lessons Katie learned about real estate are having the confidence to figure things out–even when the system is complicated–and that a lack of financial knowledge was her parents’ downfall in real estate in the ‘80s–not real estate itself.

  • There are three pieces to creating a successfully revitalized downtown: office buildings, retail, and residential real estate.

  • While beautiful and essential to a downtown area, historic preservation buildings or areas rarely make financial sense for investors.

  • Young professionals and empty nesters are the two biggest demographics flocking to downtown areas.


Katie Neason’s in-depth conversation with Jonathan provides an inside perspective on what it’s like to be directly involved with revitalizing a community’s downtown area.

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