James Stuckey is a well-known real estate developer from New York City, who says that a lack of leadership, or the failure of leaders to lead effectively, is a cancer on society, and that many vital building projects spend more time on paper than being actualized into reality.
As James Stuckey relates, a Wall Street Journal article reported in December of 2008 that a Russian academic and former KGB agent, Igor Panarin, had predicted the United States would fall apart in 2010. This was expected to happen as a result of an economic and moral collapse that would trigger a civil war, says James Stuckey. Also, according to James Stuckey, Panarin suggested that America would be divided into six components that would come under the control of Russia, China, Mexico, Canada and Europe.
James Stuckey says that this prediction reminds him of an experience in Moscow while he was putting together the Russian Trade and Cultural Center deal. James Stuckey was sitting in his room at the Hotel Savoy, a small Western-style hotel owned by Finn Air, around the corner from Red Square. It was the first anniversary of the breakup of the Soviet Union, and James Stuckey remembers that the world was watching to see if there would be violence at the Square as the new Russians celebrated their freedom, and the former Soviet hard-liners demonstrated their union’s collapse. The celebration and demonstration went off peacefully, recalls James Stuckey. But, as he saw this all occur from his window at the hotel, James Stuckey simultaneously watched via television as parts of Los Angeles were being burned down during the Rodney King riots.
This strengthened a belief in Stuckey that there is a critical need for leadership, and that it is deeply reinforced when trying to plan and implement a development project, says James Stuckey. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, points out James Stuckey, there is a net gain of one citizen in the country every 14 seconds. Despite the abundance of overbuilt homes, there will again be the need to house the tens of millions of Americans contributing to the country’s growth during the next few decades, says James Stuckey. Schools, government buildings, retail employment, and other resources will also be necessary, adds James Stuckey. Planning and executing this development will be extremely difficult, notes James Stuckey, not only as a result of onerous land-use regulations, but mostly because of a lack of leadership.
James Stuckey says that our nation as a whole needs to look at who is in in control of the land use regulations. According to James Stuckey, most land-use regulations are handled on a local level. But, increasingly, he reports, local governments are forced to comply with rules and regulations that are promulgated at the state and federal level. James Stuckey also believes that our country’s leadership as a whole needs to take a closer look at how many regulations are stifling leadership and creativity.
It is crucial, says James Stuckey, to craft new ways to creatively implement real estate development for the world’s burgeoning population while at the same time preserving our natural resources. The historical process of building without regard to our natural surroundings, concludes James Stuckey, is doing more harm than good and it will not benefit this country’s future citizens.