Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing with Jonathan Greene

090: Reviving Towns Through Downtown Redevelopment with Katie Neason


Main Street mixed-use real estate’s popularity continues to rise. More and more young families and empty nesters are choosing to live near their growing downtown areas, making it a prime location for real estate investors.

On this episode of Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing, Jonathan welcomes Katie Neason to talk about downtown revitalization in real estate development. Katie is based in Bryan, Texas, and is a real estate investor and downtown developer who matches her profits and passion with build-to-suit and mixed-use real estate that transforms small-to-midsize markets into locally fuelled powerhouses of sustainable growth.

Jonathan and Katie begin their conversation by diving into Katie’s exposure to real estate investing in the ‘80s when her parents lost everything. She explains what she learned from that and what ultimately led her back to real estate development. You’ll hear what fuels her passion for downtown revitalization, who should consider investing in downtown development, and why COVID showed us how vital a downtown area is to a community. Katie also shares how she overcomes resistance to downtown redevelopment, gentrification, and mixed-use development challenges, and getting the community involved in your efforts.

Katie Neason’s experience and passion for downtown revitalization shine through as she unpacks all you need to know about it with Jonathan.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • The one thing Katie Neason learned about real estate when her parents lost everything in the ‘80s

  • How she learned about real estate development and what prompted her to jump into business for herself

  • Katie’s fascination with why some people are successful and some aren’t

  • The two biggest lessons she learned about real estate and where they came from

  • What urban infill redevelopment is and the three pieces to having a successfully revitalized town

  • The two things Katie looks for when she’s considering whether or not to invest in a town’s downtown

  • Where Katie is focusing her redevelopment efforts and her passion behind it

  • The lack of a blueprint to revitalize downtowns when Katie started and how she started the process

  • How she deals with blowback from other real estate agents and developers

  • Getting around the hard sales and creating unique properties in the downtown area

  • Following historic preservation rules and why she avoids purchasing those properties

  • The two biggest demographics buying downtown properties and gentrification’s impact on the community

  • Investors’ interest in mixed-use developments and its challenges

  • Who Katie Neason primarily works with, and why she has build-to-sell and build-to-rent properties

  • How she’s helping other people go through development steps in their own towns

  • The most gratifying part of this process for Katie

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If you enjoyed this episode, we’ve created a PDF that has all of the key information for you from the episode. Just go to the episode page at to download it.

Supporting Resources:

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