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http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0707/p01s04-ussc.html

"When developer Bob Silverman wanted to turn an abandoned lumberyard near a noisy Atlanta rail switchyard into a Provence-style neighborhood four years ago, it wasn't just bankers who snickered.

Nearly everyone had the same thought at first: "People thought I was crazy," he says.

The final product - dubbed M West - turned out to be more German Bauhaus than rustic France. But the 183 homes on 12 acres sold out in nine months when it opened last year with units starting at $200,000. The buyers were seemingly oblivious to the concrete plant across the street and the exotic dance club advertising "Blue Collar Lunch" next door. "

This seems like a pretty progressive trend. Have any of you city folks seen this sort of land use change? Blighted areas are not in short supply around the country, at least in my experience. Since oil prices are not likely to go down, apparently we Americans (at least some of us) are finally seeing the light in minimizing transportation expenses. Personally, I have made a huge effort in that regard lately. Granted it's more out of necessity than altruism. :D

I actually think this sort of redevelopment is very good. While the author expressed concern about the impact on the poor, how could an infusion of property tax revenues and more importantly "concern" about the condition of infrastructure, including schools, be bad? It's not like they are taking existing living quarters and converting them. But maybe that's what it will lead to?

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There's plenty of this going on in DC.

Here's a Washington Post story from a couple months ago I remember where they had kids write in about gentrification: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/07/AR2006050701035.html

An editorial from around the same time: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/05/AR2006050501750.html

The MCI Center has revolutionized the Chinatown area and the area between Gallery Place and Union Station is now a pretty trendy neighborhood. Of course, there's also Logan Circle and Adams-Morgan and Columbia Heights. The baseball stadium should bring changes to the Navy Yard area.

I think it's a great sign that central cities are becoming much more liveable. It's not just transportation costs, but living in cities forces people to live closer together and interact with more and different kinds of people. It's also a sign that somehow, cities have gotten better at managing crime since the 80's and that perhaps, urban planners actually know what they are doing these days.

The effect on poor people can be complicated ... in DC it's obviously pushing the poor towards the east, and there has been an increase in crime along the DC-PG County border. I imagine in most other cities there is a "bad side of town," but perhaps some of that is inevitable.

The increased tax revenue for the central city has to be a good thing in the long run for fighting those kinds of problems. When everyone uses the same transportation system, is serverd by the same utilities, and lives under the same government, it should be harder for rich people to benefit at the exclusion of the poor. Bringing money into the city should certainly be better than leaving it in the suburbs.

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I actually think this sort of redevelopment is very good. While the author expressed concern about the impact on the poor, how could an infusion of property tax revenues and more importantly "concern" about the condition of infrastructure, including schools, be bad? It's not like they are taking existing living quarters and converting them. But maybe that's what it will lead to?

When they discuss impact on existing infrastructure, they are refering to, for example, the 500 kids that are going to be moving into that new development and into the existing schools. That means things like more school buses and more trailers. Yes, the developers have to pay taxes and the people living there will soon have to but the problem is that to cover those 500 extra kids, people who have been living there for 1000 years will also have their taxes increased to cover the hits the local infrastructure takes. I'm not saying it's wrong or right, it's just a major issue when any large development pops up.

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Yeh, its going to make more and more sense to live in a city over the next few years.

Recent studies are showing a trend in an increase in city populations. People just can't afford the overpriced suburbs nowadays.

If you are going to invest, now is the time to buy up some apartments in the city, IMO.

Okay Ill stop rambling and go to bed.

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There's plenty of this going on in DC.

Here's a Washington Post story from a couple months ago I remember where they had kids write in about gentrification: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/07/AR2006050701035.html

An editorial from around the same time: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/05/AR2006050501750.html

The MCI Center has revolutionized the Chinatown area and the area between Gallery Place and Union Station is now a pretty trendy neighborhood. Of course, there's also Logan Circle and Adams-Morgan and Columbia Heights. The baseball stadium should bring changes to the Navy Yard area.

Yeah, I remember that second one, neighborhood stratification. It was very interesting. But what I saw as distinctive in the development I was referencing was the conversion of industrial land. That's fairly unique. I am not sure to what extent the large public structures impacted existing housing, but I'm guessing it was fairly significant. The development of areas surrounded by non-res is not common. In a lot of planning jursdictions, it's not allowed.

Here we have a fairly significant amount of unused rail spurs within the downtown area as well as old industrial structures that used to make use of them. Converting these to res wouldn't impact existing residential use in the area too much, because it's some distance away. But new valuable improvement would be in the same school district and the new residents would have to use to existing schools and infrastructure. Then we have a new neighborhood, one that was not gentrified and is not stratified. Now, that little scenario wouldn't work very well here, because we have to much empty *read cheap* land surrounding town that isn't far away. We don't have traffic and in the end 1/2 acre lots are just more desireable to many people. But in an urban setting it seems like a really good idea. It seems to working where it's tried.

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When they discuss impact on existing infrastructure, they are refering to, for example, the 500 kids that are going to be moving into that new development and into the existing schools. That means things like more school buses and more trailers. Yes, the developers have to pay taxes and the people living there will soon have to but the problem is that to cover those 500 extra kids, people who have been living there for 1000 years will also have their taxes increased to cover the hits the local infrastructure takes. I'm not saying it's wrong or right, it's just a major issue when any large development pops up.

Planning agencies frequently make use of things like infrastructure fees when negotiating with these developers. That even happens here, so you are left with a question of schools, but utilities and public services are increased minimally when these development are located within existing service areas. Infrastructure costs are much higher when developing green land. As for the schools, that is an issue. But keep in mind the developments aren't next to existing low income housing areas so their impact on them in terms value shouldn't be so great either. Theoretically, their taxes shouldn't go up a lot if their values don't. Nothings perfect, but I see a lot less impact on existing residents than straight up buying the existing improvements and tearing them down or remodelling them.

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Planning agencies frequently make use of things like infrastructure fees when negotiating with these developers. That even happens here, so you are left with a question of schools, but utilities and public services are increased minimally when these development are located within existing service areas. Infrastructure costs are much higher when developing green land. As for the schools, that is an issue. But keep in mind the developments aren't next to existing low income housing areas so their impact on them in terms value shouldn't be so great either. Theoretically, their taxes shouldn't go up a lot if their values don't. Nothings perfect, but I see a lot less impact on existing residents than straight up buying the existing improvements and tearing them down or remodelling them.

So just to clarify, you favor taking land previously used as let's a factory, tearing it down, and developing new homes rather than regentrifying neigborhoods (i.e. cleaning up slums)? The problem with the first option is the damage left over from years of having a factory has made the land virtually unfit for housing. I've seen a lot of cases come up where developers simply couldn't sevelop because the land was too toxic. The land goes to waste until it runs through its system. If this is what you prefer, I seem to lean more toward the focus on neighborhoods. All those main streets destroyed by walmart need to be spruced up. The problem is, no profit for developers (Same problem with low income housing...although I think if done right, developers could make more money than they think). Sadly, money is what it always boils down to.

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"What's gentrification?"

"Shut the **** up!"

You are clearly a master of cleverness. To the extent you might be considered royalty, yet you are young.

So, since rince is prince he oughta have something purple. I'm sure you know what to do with it. :)

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000AP3WNW.01-A1HH8X1DSLCZNP._SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Hope that isn't considered porn, in was on amazon.com after all. :silly:

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So just to clarify, you favor taking land previously used as let's a factory, tearing it down, and developing new homes rather than regentrifying neigborhoods (i.e. cleaning up slums)? The problem with the first option is the damage left over from years of having a factory has made the land virtually unfit for housing. I've seen a lot of cases come up where developers simply couldn't sevelop because the land was too toxic. The land goes to waste until it runs through its system. If this is what you prefer, I seem to lean more toward the focus on neighborhoods. All those main streets destroyed by walmart need to be spruced up. The problem is, no profit for developers (Same problem with low income housing...although I think if done right, developers could make more money than they think). Sadly, money is what it always boils down to.

Yes I do. Buying poor peoples houses and tearing them down, or otherwise forcing them to move, isn't doing them any favors. Although it does make the area nicer. Building new high value developments in the same jurisdiction does. Obviously, environmental circumstances have to be accounted for. But I would guess eventually the value of the property in those situations will make it feasible. More so if surrounding none polluted properties are successfully converted. So I think this is actually helping the existing neighborhoods. Do you consider helping them equivalent to changing the background of their residents?

Not sure what you mean by running through the system though, it's either cleaned up or it's not. Any developer foolish enough to buy the property without doing a Phase I study isn't worth their salt. Properties that are so bad they can't ever be cleaned up are generally considered Superfund sites. And those will be cleaned up too one day, at our expense.

As for Main Street, how ironic you bring it up. At this very moment city government here has begun a project to "undo" the urban renewal of the late sixties. To the tune of 28 million. Our Main St. was closed off and turned into a downtown mall. 30+ years later the old buildings that had all the character in the 50's are derelict and vacant. The downtown mall never was used like it could have been. There has been great consternation as to why, but empty it sit. They are now going to turn it back into a street. We'll see how that goes but it can't be any worse than what we have now. This is a phenomena that is occurring all over the US by he way. I guess it goes to show that overzealous liberal hippies with grand schemes are just as dangerous as Walmart. :laugh:

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I thought this thread was going to be about those incredibly idiotic, artificially congested, overpriced, insular city-style communities they're building all over the place right next to the highway, orbiting carefully crafted "centers" complete with false-front Six Flags style buildings and overpriced yardless houses. Clarksburg and Urbana come to mind.

How many interest-only mortgages are going to blow up in those communities over the next five years? Maybe, a gazillion?

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Yes I do. Buying poor peoples houses and tearing them down, or otherwise forcing them to move, isn't doing them any favors. Although it does make the area nicer. Building new high value developments in the same jurisdiction does. Obviously, environmental circumstances have to be accounted for. But I would guess eventually the value of the property in those situations will make it feasible. More so if surrounding none polluted properties are successfully converted. So I think this is actually helping the existing neighborhoods. Do you consider helping them equivalent to changing the background of their residents?

Not sure what you mean by running through the system though, it's either cleaned up or it's not. Any developer foolish enough to buy the property without doing a Phase I study isn't worth their salt. Properties that are so bad they can't ever be cleaned up are generally considered Superfund sites. And those will be cleaned up too one day, at our expense.

As for Main Street, how ironic you bring it up. At this very moment city government here has begun a project to "undo" the urban renewal of the late sixties. To the tune of 28 million. Our Main St. was closed off and turned into a downtown mall. 30+ years later the old buildings that had all the character in the 50's are derelict and vacant. The downtown mall never was used like it could have been. There has been great consternation as to why, but empty it sit. They are now going to turn it back into a street. We'll see how that goes but it can't be any worse than what we have now. This is a phenomena that is occurring all over the US by he way. I guess it goes to show that overzealous liberal hippies with grand schemes are just as dangerous as Walmart. :laugh:

When I refer to regentrification of the slums, I'd like to focus more on the buildings that are completely abandoned. Of course I don't like the idea of kicking peopel out of their homes, no one does! As for the areas that have residence, basic street scape improvements need be made, things that don't force the residents out of their homes.

When I say 'flush out of the system' I am refering to the basic conditions of the soil. You can't clean everything up. There is a huge property sitting in the middle of our town. Factory has been torn down and all but according to environmentalist it is "unfit" for residential development for a few more years. I'm sure this is doesn't happen often and when it doesn't then I'm all about new development. The matter of how it is developed is the real issue. The reason I tend to favor cleaning up main street more so than I do these projects is because developers tend to ignore all aspects of smart growth (which isn't perfect either) and do the same old boring, overpriced suburbs. I know that's what a lot of people want, I just wish there were other options, more kentlands.

And as for main streets, I've seen some gentrified ones fail and come flourish (grant it more fail and only stay alive by city funding). The one here in Salisbury shut down the road making it more 'walkable' and of course that didnt work, the road has opened back up :laugh:

In short, if done right, I'm all for gentrification (who wouldn't be!?)

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I thought this thread was going to be about those incredibly idiotic, artificially congested, overpriced, insular city-style communities they're building all over the place right next to the highway, orbiting carefully crafted "centers" complete with false-front Six Flags style buildings and overpriced yardless houses. Clarksburg and Urbana come to mind.

How many interest-only mortgages are going to blow up in those communities over the next five years? Maybe, a gazillion?

Funny, that would have to be one of the other latest trends. :laugh: As for the foreclosures, there is going to be rash of those all over the country and ARM's figure into it too. Same concept really. Nothing is free, but people can't seem to figure that out. :doh:

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