Gentry from the block

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 22516
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Jennifer » 04 May 2018, 08:51

Another thing -- I don't know if this is peculiar to Atlanta, or commonplace in American cities today outside of Boston and Manhattan, and maybe Chicago -- even many of the "high rise" (as opposed to "single-family home") neighborhoods lack the supposed advantages of city living. One day last summer or autumn, Jeff and I were at one of the museums (IIRC because his workplace had an "event" there) and then went for a stroll in the nearby neighborhood: this was one of the EXPENSIVE neighborhoods where even a small studio apartment costs considerably more than what we pay to rent our 3BR with huge walk-in storage closet, personal (not shared) laundry room and other amenities.

In theory, the advantage of living in a high-rise city rather than a more suburban-type place is "You pay higher housing costs, and have less privacy and space plus more noise, but you're in convenient walking distance to most things you need, and if your job is in the right place, you could even get by without a car at all." That is not the case in Atlanta -- if we had an apartment in one of those buildings, even assuming we could get a same-sized apartment plus parking for the same price we pay now, the ONLY advantage would be, Jeff's commute to work would be a bit shorter. (And we could walk to some museums and "touristy" stuff.) Everything else would be worse -- getting to non-tourist, necessary businesses would be horrible. Much longer drive to the nearest decent grocery store, drug store, Target/Walmart type of store -- there was nothing USEFUL in walking distance of those expensive apartments. It's the worst of both worlds: all the downsides of dense urban living, combined with the "nothing useful is nearby so I NEED a car" downsides of a sprawled-out suburb.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
Mo
Posts: 22838
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:08

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Mo » 04 May 2018, 09:30

Shem wrote:
03 May 2018, 09:45
Gentrification is undocumented immigration for the left-leaning urbanites.
FTFY.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

User avatar
Fin Fang Foom
Posts: 9539
Joined: 05 May 2010, 22:39

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 04 May 2018, 10:06

Jennifer wrote:
04 May 2018, 08:36
Fin Fang Foom wrote:
03 May 2018, 22:47
Oh no! Car owners forced to internalize their own costs!
More like "Developers allowed and even encouraged to build housing that lacks certain vital necessities." This isn't Manhattan, or Boston in walking distance of a T-stop, where a car is a luxury. Here -- especially if you have the sort of job that qualifies you as low-income for this area -- if you don't have a car, you can't get to work.

(If they were limiting parking while greatly expanding mass transit options, that would be different. But they're not.)
If people who would occupy the housing can't afford to, then the rent will decrease or they'll sit empty. Maybe the city would improve bus service or even somebody would set up a private shuttle to a transit hub. Life finds a way.

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 22516
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Jennifer » 04 May 2018, 10:09

Fin Fang Foom wrote:
04 May 2018, 10:06
Jennifer wrote:
04 May 2018, 08:36
Fin Fang Foom wrote:
03 May 2018, 22:47
Oh no! Car owners forced to internalize their own costs!
More like "Developers allowed and even encouraged to build housing that lacks certain vital necessities." This isn't Manhattan, or Boston in walking distance of a T-stop, where a car is a luxury. Here -- especially if you have the sort of job that qualifies you as low-income for this area -- if you don't have a car, you can't get to work.

(If they were limiting parking while greatly expanding mass transit options, that would be different. But they're not.)
If people who would occupy the housing can't afford to, then the rent will decrease or they'll sit empty. Maybe the city would improve bus service or even somebody would set up a private shuttle to a transit hub. Life finds a way.
Or, Atlanta becomes the nth American city where only the rich can afford to live--plus, perhaps, a handful of subsidized-rent retirees who need not worry about driving to work because they're scraping by on Social Security.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

Dangerman
Posts: 6223
Joined: 07 May 2010, 12:26

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Dangerman » 04 May 2018, 11:47

Nobody lives there, it's too crowded.

User avatar
Fin Fang Foom
Posts: 9539
Joined: 05 May 2010, 22:39

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 04 May 2018, 12:01

Jennifer wrote:
04 May 2018, 10:09
Fin Fang Foom wrote:
04 May 2018, 10:06
Jennifer wrote:
04 May 2018, 08:36
Fin Fang Foom wrote:
03 May 2018, 22:47
Oh no! Car owners forced to internalize their own costs!
More like "Developers allowed and even encouraged to build housing that lacks certain vital necessities." This isn't Manhattan, or Boston in walking distance of a T-stop, where a car is a luxury. Here -- especially if you have the sort of job that qualifies you as low-income for this area -- if you don't have a car, you can't get to work.

(If they were limiting parking while greatly expanding mass transit options, that would be different. But they're not.)
If people who would occupy the housing can't afford to, then the rent will decrease or they'll sit empty. Maybe the city would improve bus service or even somebody would set up a private shuttle to a transit hub. Life finds a way.
Or, Atlanta becomes the nth American city where only the rich can afford to live--plus, perhaps, a handful of subsidized-rent retirees who need not worry about driving to work because they're scraping by on Social Security.
Sure, mandated parking requirements definitely do not cause prices to rise. Also, it is always true that a net increase in housing supply will in no way affect demand.

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 22516
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Jennifer » 04 May 2018, 13:47

Sure, mandated parking requirements definitely do not cause prices to rise. Also, it is always true that a net increase in housing supply will in no way affect demand.
There's far more to it than that, as you'd surely know had you read my entire comment. (Even the hyper-expensive American cities are still seeing "net increases in housing supply," just not enough to cover the far greater net increases of people living in the area.)
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 22516
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Jennifer » 04 May 2018, 14:07

Going back to something I said on another gentrification thread here: the people complaining about being displaced by gentrification likely wouldn't be so upset if they had the option of moving to an equally affordable place somewhere close by; the problem is that when they are priced out of their homes there's no place left for them to go. The way to solve this problem -- in Atlanta and everywhere else -- is lose the idiotic restrictions that make it so damned hard for new housing to be built. If car manufacturers were as limited as home builders are, affordably priced cars would vanish from the market too, for obvious reasons: if there's a strict limit on how many you're allowed to build and sell in a year, of course you'll try getting the maximum price for each one. If food producers were equally limited, same thing: if you're forbidden from selling more than X tons of beef this year, you're only going to sell the high-quality steaks rather than bother with ground beef and cheaper cuts of meat. (And no doubt, rather than simply allowing people to sell more food and more cars, the government would instead make proposals a la "We'll allow Lexus to build an extra hundred cars this year, provided they set aside 20 percent of them sell at below-market cost to the tiny handful of people who won this year's Subsidized Car Lottery.")
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
nicole
Posts: 8930
Joined: 12 Jan 2013, 16:28

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by nicole » 04 May 2018, 14:26

Maybe. I doubt it.

For example, we are starting to see anti-gentrification activism heat up in Chicago in a serious way. About 100 precincts in the last primary election had questions on the ballot gauging interest in a rent-control referendum later this year, along with other stuff I have posted about activism in Pilsen and I also follow activists working closer to my neighborhood, in Uptown. But rents across the city overall are down thanks to increasing inventory:
Per Zumper’s national rent report for April, Chicago (which ranks as the 13th most expensive rental market in the nation) rents among one- and two-bedroom apartments have dipped more than 15 percent. The report is based on more than 1 million verified and active listings on the site from the previous 30 days. Zumper analyzed the median asking prices for one- and two-bedroom units in the country’s top 100 metro areas, based on population.

In Chicago, “both bedroom types are down over 15 percent since this time last year, which are the largest rent dips in the nation,” said Zumper Marketing Manager Crystal Chen.

“This steady downturn in prices the past year is most likely due to the influx of newer apartment buildings with move-in specials and an overall increase in inventory, which may be a relief to renters.”
http://www.chicagotribune.com/classifie ... story.html
"Fucking qualia." -Hugh Akston

"This is why I carry a shoehorn.” -jadagul

User avatar
Highway
Posts: 12891
Joined: 12 May 2011, 00:22
Location: the Electric Ocean

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Highway » 04 May 2018, 18:35

Jennifer wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:09
So even if this plan IS put into fruition, what will the results be? Make parking even MORE scarce than it already is (and parking in Atlanta proper is already a big problem; there are certain events or places Jeff and I won't bother going to because of things like "We'll have to spend 20 bucks just to park for two hours, over and above the cost of the event or place itself"), give rich developers a tax break at the expense of everybody else, in exchange for which the "affordable housing" problem will not even be solved, but merely kicked down the road another 20 years. (Besides, as a practical matter -- and given the really shitty mass-transit options around here, and that you still effectively NEED a car if you want to hold a steady job and whatnot -- WTF good will it do a poor person to get a reduced-rent apartment if he'll still have to pay through the nose to park his car every month?)
It's kind of funny that you make a complaint like this regarding an article that is talking about gentrification because they're building transit to the neighborhood.

And the reason those "rich developers" get a tax break is because they have to offer some of their units for lower rent or sale price. If they had to pay the same property tax for a unit they're not getting as much revenue on, that's not exactly a good deal. And the lower property tax gets passed on to a buyer if the property is sold, so they don't get kicked out 2 years later when they can't afford the property taxes on their condo.

Plus, parking gets paid for either way: either it's hidden in the cost of the rent (free parking is not free), or it's paid for explicitly. I'm all for people internalizing the costs of their choices. Make people pay for their car, instead of sharing the cost with their neighbors who don't have cars, and I think that's fine. And I'm definitely for reduced parking requirements for developments, which combats wasted space and lowers costs. And since it's a transit oriented development, maybe that induces people to not have a car.

The thing is, the "anti-gentrification" arguments always seem to come down to "Fence this area off and don't do anything to it." No improvements, no development, no turnover. If it's a low-rent area, then keep those poors in their low rent area. If it's a place with "character", then you have to leave it like some theme park for them to ooh and ahh over as they never visit. And this is from the same people who whine and moan that city services suck because there's no tax base.
"Sharks do not go around challenging people to games of chance like dojo breakers."

User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 17888
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 04 May 2018, 18:43

That's the answer! Ghettoland! A Dollar Store gift shop, ATM's disguised as Title Loan stores, everything at bodega prices except free parking with a 50/50 chance of GTA.

User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 22450
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by JasonL » 05 May 2018, 08:27

Team hwy. That part about it becoming a theme park has always struck me as well. The ethos is that the development is somehow artificial while the vital community is organic, but that’s not true for the most part. The more organic thing is the movement of prices and individual responses to those movements. Rent control is not organic and you look up one day to find a stark island of theme park poverty surrounded by more natural responses to prices and it looks like ghetto land.

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 22516
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Jennifer » 05 May 2018, 12:50

Highway wrote:
04 May 2018, 18:35

And the reason those "rich developers" get a tax break is because they have to offer some of their units for lower rent or sale price.
But they shouldn't have to be given such "bribes" to make affordable housing -- and they wouldn't have to, if building new homes were simply a matter of having the property to build on, and building according to health and safety zoning codes (as opposed to snob-zoning codes). The whole idea "We'll give you a special tax break IF you promise to provide 'affordable' goods in addition to the super-upscale ones which are your primary focus" isn't necessary for providers of other necessities -- food producers and sellers produce and sell in a [mostly] free market, and the result is a wide variety of food options available in all price ranges. Same for clothing sellers, cooking-equipment manufacturers, every necessity-producer except for medicine and healthcare -- which, not coincidentally, is the other life necessity where the actual market we have is not remotely "free."

It's similar to a complaint I recall reading about architecture in Washington DC -- IIRC this was an article either written for Reason, or linked to and written about on Hit and Run -- basically, the "high rise" (scare quotes because they're not all that high) buildings are all very boxy-looking and ugly -- nothing like, for example, the elegantly tapered higher floors you'll see on New York's Chrysler Building, or anything like that. Why? Because DC zoning laws forbid any building being higher than IIRC ten stories. If you're a developer building on a certain square of land, and you know you are only allowed to stack apartments ten stories high, then of course you'll want to fill all ten stories with as much sellable space as you can, rather than "waste" any on empty air such as the top few stories of the Chrysler building does. Result? Ugly boxy architecture -- and, not-incidentally, DC is another city with an "affordable housing crisis." And, although I don't feel like looking this up, I'd bet that if you read articles about the DC government's attempts to "solve" the city's affordable-housing problem, you will NOT see suggestions a la "Let's get rid of these stupid laws artificially restricting the housing supply"; no, you'll read "Okay, we'll allow this-here developer to build a few new units of housing." And since that developer is extremely limited in how much he is allowed to build, of COURSE he'll want to build apartments or condos he can sell for as much as he possibly can -- so the DC government will offer him special tax breaks and other perks if he promises to set aside a few of those new units for "affordable housing."

IOW, I'm saying let's scrap this command-economy system wherein the government decides how much new housing is to be built, and where, and how much of that should be "affordable" according to the government's calculations, and try an actual free market in housing instead.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
Highway
Posts: 12891
Joined: 12 May 2011, 00:22
Location: the Electric Ocean

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Highway » 05 May 2018, 14:11

That's not what's happening here at all. It's not "snob zoning" that's saying they have to build a certain style of development. It's that the developer wants to put new units where poor people live, and wants to sell / lease market competitive units at market price, to people who want to move into nice units there. And the anti-gentrifiers are saying that that will push out poor people, and have knock on effects by making more people want to build there / raise the prices. So they want the developers to write the property documents for some portion of their units to be below market rate. That screws the developers, but it's one of the regulatory palms that they need to grease to buy off the neighborhood.

The developers aren't being induced to build in those areas because of the tax breaks. They want to build there because that's where they think people want to live, and they want to build what they think they can sell for the most profit / least hassle. They're being induced to make some of them "low income resident" units by the "stakeholders" they need to appease to get the local approval. And because it's too obviously a "screw you" to say "You need to pay full taxes (set by market rates) when you can't charge market prices", they offer tax breaks to offset those low cost units.

You have way too much buy-in to the "government decides what gets built" narrative. Especially in urban areas, it's more that neighbors are being NIMBYs. And when you're talking about the other side, you are all for that.
"Sharks do not go around challenging people to games of chance like dojo breakers."

User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 17888
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 05 May 2018, 14:20

Well, the height restrictions in D.C. are federal and limit building heights to 130 ft or the width of the adjacent street or avenue plus 20 feet. There are additional height restrictions relating to Reagan National Airport and the only way to change those would be to shut down the airport, something that will never happen short of nuclear holocaust.

As for sellers of other goods, first it's worth pointing out that real estate is a fundamentally different category of property from chattel property and there's a huge difference between suburban development and inner city redevelopment. Developers are trying to meet a market demand and I don't think inner city gentrification is much affected by snob zoning. So if you're building million dollar condos, it not only cuts well into your probably over-leveraged building profits to make five percent of them smaller or less luxurious and sell them for half the price, it also makes full price buyers that much less likely to want to live in such buildings. Maybe a basement apartment for the super and the doorman, but that's it.

If anything, what's stupid is building skyscrapers where land is cheap. Manhattan has a good reason to build skyscrapers. D.C., not so much and L.A. not at all. San Francisco is a good example of your complaint but the truth is that San Franciscans really don't want any poor people living there however much lip service they give to the idea.

Also, you don't need to give the vendors of couture fashion, imported champagne, diamond jewelry and caviar a tax break for offering inferior goods to poor people because they don't want the trade, which is why you find so few Tiffany's in the ghetto.

User avatar
Kolohe
Posts: 13368
Joined: 06 May 2010, 10:51

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Kolohe » 05 May 2018, 14:37

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
05 May 2018, 14:20
Well, the height restrictions in D.C. are federal and limit building heights to 130 ft or the width of the adjacent street or avenue plus 20 feet. There are additional height restrictions relating to Reagan National Airport and the only way to change those would be to shut down the airport, something that will never happen short of nuclear holocaust.
Fwiw, the FAA does have limits on some of the building heights in Rosslyn, but its still far less restrictive than the DC rules. There are now 6 buildings over 300 feet tall there (and two have been there since I was a kid, the old USA today/Gannett twin towers).
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 17888
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 05 May 2018, 14:48

Kolohe wrote:
05 May 2018, 14:37
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
05 May 2018, 14:20
Well, the height restrictions in D.C. are federal and limit building heights to 130 ft or the width of the adjacent street or avenue plus 20 feet. There are additional height restrictions relating to Reagan National Airport and the only way to change those would be to shut down the airport, something that will never happen short of nuclear holocaust.
Fwiw, the FAA does have limits on some of the building heights in Rosslyn, but its still far less restrictive than the DC rules. There are now 6 buildings over 300 feet tall there (and two have been there since I was a kid, the old USA today/Gannett twin towers).
True, and for the same reasons. The Key Bridge Marriott was the tallest building in Arlington and probably all of NoVa inside the Beltway when it was built. My high school sweetheart and I spent her 18th birthday there. Great view in its day.

User avatar
Mo
Posts: 22838
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:08

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Mo » 05 May 2018, 16:54

LA has plenty of good reasons to build skyscrapers. Don’t give me some crap about earthquakes because Tokyo has a ton of them and is less geologically stable.

Also, low income housing units in luxury buildings are a compromise between developers, NIMBYs and people that care about housing costs. The real solution is backing off zoning restrictions.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 22450
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by JasonL » 05 May 2018, 16:58

I’m all for relief from zoning restrictions but it isn’t necessarily clear that the equilibrium would work out such that lots of low end units would be built in high value sqft age

User avatar
Mo
Posts: 22838
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:08

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Mo » 05 May 2018, 17:20

You don’t need new low value inventory. People will upgrade leaving older inventory available for lower income households.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 22450
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by JasonL » 05 May 2018, 19:00

Older still expensive inventory is one equilibrium.

User avatar
Mo
Posts: 22838
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:08

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Mo » 05 May 2018, 21:18

Seeing as we don’t have any major markets where inventory is growing faster than inflows, we don’t really know what that equilibrium looks like.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

User avatar
lunchstealer
Posts: 15896
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:25
Location: The Local Fluff in the Local Bubble

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by lunchstealer » 05 May 2018, 21:28

Mo wrote:
05 May 2018, 16:54
LA has plenty of good reasons to build skyscrapers. Don’t give me some crap about earthquakes because Tokyo has a ton of them and is less geologically stable.

Also, low income housing units in luxury buildings are a compromise between developers, NIMBYs and people that care about housing costs. The real solution is backing off zoning restrictions.
Has it worked at all in Houston? Is Houston's no-zoning thing even real? I'm just a simple geophysicist*, but Houston doesn't end up looking all that different from other US cities, so either the unzonery isn't all it's cracked up to be or it doesn't really change the way things work in US cities all that much.

*well, somewhat more than Pruitt is a geologist, at least, but not really.
"The constitution is more of a BDSM agreement with a safe word." - Sandy

"Neoliberalism. Austerity. Booga booga!!!!" - JasonL

"We can't confirm rumors that Lynndie England is in the running to be Gina Haspel's personal aide." - DAR

User avatar
Mo
Posts: 22838
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:08

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Mo » 06 May 2018, 00:30

Houston looks better than California. And while price growth has been higher than the whole US since 2012, it's not surprising due to the rise in local wealth and relative strength of the economy.

Image
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

User avatar
Jadagul
Posts: 6722
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 18:51

Re: Gentry from the block

Post by Jadagul » 06 May 2018, 18:03

Houston's no-zoning is somewhat exaggerated; it does have things like parking minima and building setback requirements. It would be very illegal to build Manhattan-style there.

But Houston is also a weird comparison because land isn't as scarce there as it is in much of the coast, and also it just isn't as pricey there. The thing I think we mostly agree on is that building skyscrapers when land and housing are cheap and abundant is usually silly.

DAR: In most of DC, there are local zoning restrictions that are actually substantially tighter than the federal city-wide limit.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests