Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Parks, Minneapolis Public Schools, Density, Zoning, etc.
tmart
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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby tmart » March 14th, 2018, 11:41 am

Our housing shortage was caused through decades of bad policy. There are some short-term bandaids we can try, but to address the structural problems will involve some degree of patience.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » March 14th, 2018, 12:32 pm

tmart wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 11:41 am
Our housing shortage was caused through decades of bad policy. There are some short-term bandaids we can try, but to address the structural problems will involve some degree of patience.
The shortage was actually caused by decades of low demand. There were 140,000 fewer people living in Minneapolis in 2010 than 1950.

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Anondson
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Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby Anondson » March 14th, 2018, 12:36 pm

The housing demolition that allowed the interstate highways into the urban core did far more to reduce population than lower demand...

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Smaller Scale

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » March 14th, 2018, 12:46 pm

Anondson wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 12:36 pm
The housing demolition that allowed the interstate highways into the urban core did far more to reduce population than lower demand...
What's your best estimate of the portion of that 28% decline in population that was due to interstate demolition? I got here shortly afterward, so I don't know how many big apartment buildings got taken out.

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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby mplsjaromir » March 14th, 2018, 12:58 pm

US average household size has declined 25% since 1960. Assuming Minneapolis demographics mirrored the general demographics of the US, would explain the bulk of the decline.

MNdible
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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby MNdible » March 14th, 2018, 12:58 pm

The vast majority of the shrinking MPLS population is directly attributable to shrinking household size, not to any housing policy or interstate related demolition.

EDIT: What he said.

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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby Chef » March 14th, 2018, 1:02 pm

As recently as the late '80s you could still buy HUD homes in the city for a dollar, I have a friend who bought one in the Wedge. I think that is a pretty sure sign of weak demand.

tmart
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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby tmart » March 14th, 2018, 1:10 pm

I don't think anyone's arguing that Minneapolis didn't once have very weak demand. And it's true that a very quick change from low demand to high demand, like the one we and other major US cities have seen, is generally a bad thing for affordability. At the same time, restrictive land-use policies, poor transit planning/investment, and interstate demolition have exacerbated supply issues. The fact that densification has not happened in most of the city for the last ~30 years while demand was recovering is a key factor in our current crisis, and we can't make up for 30 years of lost opportunities to expand supply in a single year.

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Re: Smaller Scale

Postby BoredAgain » March 14th, 2018, 1:14 pm

Bob Stinson's Ghost wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 12:46 pm
Anondson wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 12:36 pm
The housing demolition that allowed the interstate highways into the urban core did far more to reduce population than lower demand...
What's your best estimate of the portion of that 28% decline in population that was due to interstate demolition? I got here shortly afterward, so I don't know how many big apartment buildings got taken out.
I did a (very) rough calculation of the area cleared for freeways in Minneapolis. It is more than 5%, but less than 10% of the total area. That probably underestimates the % of housing unit destruction. The ring around downtown cut through some of the densest areas. Also, highway demolition generally targeted poorer/minority neighborhoods that often had higher density. Highway clearing destroyed houses (lots of them), but that is not the only reason the population declined.

In addition to demolition from the highways, there was the wholesale clearing of downtown (urban renewal) that removed many affordable apartments and single occupancy room establishments. Many considered this blight at the time.

The other reasons for population decline (and the ones that probably get the most mentions) are white flight which was enabled by the highways, and gradual decline in household size. The white flight phenomenon definitely decreased demand for city living, but most of Minneapolis has never had large vacant areas like some other cities.

mattaudio
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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby mattaudio » March 14th, 2018, 1:16 pm

Didn't Alex Cecchini calculate that approximately 8% of dwellings in Minneapolis were demolished as part of freeway building and urban renewal?

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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby Chef » March 14th, 2018, 1:26 pm

The 94/35W trench south of downtown was part of the densest census tracts in Minneapolis in 1950 so it seems plausible.

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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby amiller92 » March 14th, 2018, 1:28 pm

tmart wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 1:10 pm
The fact that densification has not happened in most of the city for the last ~30 years while demand was recovering is a key factor in our current crisis, and we can't make up for 30 years of lost opportunities to expand supply in a single year.
Yes. Also, the sheer fact that NIMBYs have felt the need to sponsor various waves of downzoning is a sign that at least they thought policy was necessary to keep down supply.

And while shrinking household size (e.g., the children of boomers moving out), and growing square footage per person, are certainly large drivers of population decline, demolitions of "blighted" areas, including but not only for freeways, has to be a factor too. As is the "artificial" drain on demand that came from facilitating people's flight to the suburbs with those freeways.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » March 14th, 2018, 1:35 pm

From 1980 to 2010 the population didn't even increase by 12,000. That's pretty amazing.

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Anondson
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Re: Smaller Scale "Missing Middle" Multi-Family Development

Postby Anondson » February 17th, 2019, 4:35 pm

Washington Post on some home builders shifting into “missing middle”, nice coverage of the term and problems getting them built.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/realesta ... story.html


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