The recent literature on neoliberal urban redevelopment is marked by a gap between theory and empirical research. While there exists a lively theoretical debate regarding the context-bound and spatially heterogeneous character of redevelopment, there is less effort to explain the heterogeneity through empirical studies. We argue that we can identify the specific contextual and macro-structural factors producing the variegated neoliberal redevelopment trajectories with carefully constructed comparative studies. To this end, we compare divergent redevelopment processes in three secondary Turkish cities. Based on in-depth interviews, close documentary analysis, and descriptive statistics, our research highlights the role of coalitions formed among local elites and their ties with central-state agents in determining how neoliberal transformations take shape. Even in a highly centralized country, such as Turkey, it is the varying capacity of local actors to form collaborative networks that explains why divergent redevelopment outcomes emerge across similar cities.