This story was written for WRAL TechWire Innovator partner CBRE | Raleigh.

It’s well known that both Raleigh and Durham have experienced downtown booms and explosive population growth in recent years, making the Triangle one of the fastest growing regions in the United States. While this kind of growth is exciting and opens many doors of opportunity, keeping up with the pace of expansion is important for the wellbeing of municipalities and its citizens.

The Triangle Community Coalition was founded to be a gatekeeper that does just that. The 501(c)4 nonprofit is a nonpartisan organization that seeks to “promote public policy that encourages a balance among economic growth, development, the environment and community needs while protecting the rights and interests of property owners.”

“We were started in 1999 as a way for the industry to collaborate amongst each other. Within real estate you have the multi-family people, you’ve got single family developers, builders, office and commercial — the TCC was designed to help bridge all of that,” explained Jacob Rogers, CEO of the Triangle Community Coalition. “There are issues when it comes to growth and development that are specific to industries. Our goal is to look at the big picture stuff that affects each of us and focus our advocacy efforts on that.”

Cities are multi-layered entities with many stakeholders. Pleasing all of them 100 percent of the time is impossible, but considering everyone with vested interests is a necessary ideal.

One way TCC facilitates conversation and collaboration amongst stakeholders is through education forums. These forums are open to guests such as staff, elected officials, municipalities and development companies.

TCC membership comprises a broad spectrum that includes property owners, nonprofit developers like DHIC, commercial real estate providers like CBRE | Raleigh and many others with vested interests in land development.

“I think it’s important for different groups to come together to discuss the intricacies and details of development in the region and how it will impact not only businesses and developers but the people who live and work here as well,” said Chester Allen, an executive vice president at CBRE | Raleigh and a member of TCC. “Being a part of these conversations is beneficial to our work because we can bring these perspectives to the table when interacting with clients and colleagues. When it comes to development, more informed decisions are better decisions.”

Recently, TCC has been participating in discussions about affordability as a result of development — something that often comes up whenever fast-paced urbanized growth occurs.

“We’re in an area that continues to grow, and demand is outpacing supply — this is a main factor for increasing prices. That goes for offices too, not just homes,” Rogers said. “We have prioritized economic development for well over 10 years now as a region. We’ve seen the fruits of that labor through the increase in jobs. The challenge is responding to that demand, and that’s what the development community does.”

The development community has certainly “responded” as there are more than 1 million square feet of real estate currently under construction in downtown.

With an office space ecosystem that is at 95.5 percent capacity, it goes to show that property development is directly correlated with economic development. And while all of this development holds the promise of exciting things like more places to shop, eat and work, it also raises concerns about traffic and affordable rents.

The TCC welcomes discussion of all of this and more.

“One of the ways we try [to] achieve our mission is to meet with local municipalities, staff and elected officials to talk about the realities of the market, as well as how do we partner together to build a better community,” Rogers said. “The TCC is open to anyone — you can go online, fill out an application and become a member.”

This story was written for WRAL TechWire Innovator partner CBRE | Raleigh.