Episode 18 – Monte Anderson on incremental development (Part 1)

Episode 18 – Monte Anderson on incremental development (Part 1)

Listen to this episode in Apple Podcasts.

Looking for Part 2 of the interview? Click here.

We’ve talked about the value of small investments on this podcast before, and in this episode we sit down with someone whose name is synonymous with small, incremental development—Monte Anderson, CEO of Options Real Estate. Monte is a developer, small-business booster, and co-founder of the Incremental Development Alliance. 

In part one of this discussion, we talk about the ways Monte is trying to help communities build wealth one incremental development at a time, how small development can address affordable housing needs, the importance of finding a low-risk entry point for people who want to own their own business, and much more. 

  • How desperation got Monte into the business of small, incremental development [4:00]

  • Why committing to a place or a purpose “changes all the rules” [7:00]

  • Monte’s early work in Duncanville, TX, and how the City responded to big developers and businesses refusing to come to town [7:55]

  • How small developments can provide viable affordable housing – and how they compare to large apartment buildings [10:45]

  • How the Incremental Development Alliance is helping local people own and operate their own buildings [15:15]

  • Small doesn’t mean low-quality [20:00]

  • Learning as you go: why finding a low-risk entry point is essential for building discipline and understanding business—and not going bankrupt while doing it [22:10]

  • How the retail apocalypse and the internet are shaping the future of small towns [24:10]

  • How a vacated shopping center became the thriving DeSoto Market Place retail incubator (and did not become a dollar store) [26:40]

  • Partnerships vs. incentives [29:40]

  • Mentorships for tenants [31:20]

  • The importance of shaking up the outside of a repurposed strip center or big box [34:20]

  • Why Monte tends to prefer shop owners in who physically make something [37:10]

  • Tyler Station – how an old manufacturing facility was turned back into a “creative village” and pillar of the neighborhood

  • How to encourage collaboration in a shared creative space [46:30]

  • Realizing that social interaction keeps us human [50:00]

  • The value of social integration in a living space [52:50]

Links to things discussed in this episode:

More on the DeSoto Market Place:

More on Tyler Station:


(Music in this episode is from Custodian of Records and Tours.)

For more episodes, click here!

Episode 19 – Monte Anderson on incremental development (Part 2)

Episode 19 – Monte Anderson on incremental development (Part 2)

Episode 17 – Embracing the "messy" city, with Kevin Klinkenberg

Episode 17 – Embracing the "messy" city, with Kevin Klinkenberg