Repeating the word “location” ad nauseum passes wisdom in circles, because that’s the thing that matters. A masterpiece in a subdivision isn’t worth very much. And, more to the point, an underwater office isn’t worth much either. That’s why architects and developers are working so hard to decouple questionable investments in lots that could be flooded or cracked by an earthquake or devalued by urban blight from investments in physical structures. When it comes to catastrophe, it’s good to be a moving target.
Ross Gilbert, the Managing Director for QED Property, a UK investment and development firm, thinks about this a lot. QED wants to use shipping containers to build commercial and residential properties on vacant and unused lots, as a way to construct fast, temporary development sites that can be moved around as needed. To him, that “location, location, location” refrain is about moving from one place to the next, not overcommitting to the first. […]