77th/76th Street Corridor - Richfield / Edina

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby Drizzay » February 3rd, 2016, 1:04 pm

This half tongue-in-cheek and half serious, but stone is more durable than laminate.

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sdho
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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » February 3rd, 2016, 1:45 pm

blobs wrote:Stone countertops are a big differentiator for a lot of people, it sounds kinda silly but it kinda makes sense. Apartments inside really aren't that different from one another and a stone countertop can be a huge differentiator for a lot of people.
Although it seems like in-unit laundry and covered parking are also big differentiators for folks, and this renovation doesn't address those. I would vastly rather have ugly laminate in an apartment if I had a washer, than have shiny new granite and have to share a coin-operated machine in the basement.

But, I realize that's probably more involved than slapping down new counters.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby QuietBlue » February 3rd, 2016, 3:34 pm

Those units have hardly any counter space to speak of anyway -- just a tiny bit between the range and the refrigerator, and a bit on either side of the sink. From a tenant's perspective, it really doesn't matter what they're made out of when they're that small.

And yeah, I'd rather have in-unit laundry than fancy countertops any day. My post-apartment college had one back when they were much less common, and everyone I knew thought it was the most amazing feature ever (this was back in 2002-2003 when the apartment selection in the Twin Cities was much different). These units wouldn't really have the space for it, though, unless they took out a lot of closet space, and even then I'm not sure how that would work out with the plumbing, wiring, vents, etc.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby David Greene » February 3rd, 2016, 4:10 pm

blobs wrote:Stone countertops are a big differentiator for a lot of people, it sounds kinda silly but it kinda makes sense. Apartments inside really aren't that different from one another and a stone countertop can be a huge differentiator for a lot of people.
For someone on Section 8?

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby mattaudio » February 3rd, 2016, 4:18 pm

Section 8 isn't their target market anymore.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby David Greene » February 3rd, 2016, 4:19 pm

mattaudio wrote:Section 8 isn't their target market anymore.
Which is exactly the point I've been making. Gentrification with a dash of unethical dealings (at best).

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby twincitizen » February 3rd, 2016, 11:08 pm

If there's a bright side to any of this, it's that we may finally have a concrete example of gentrification that we can probably all agree upon.

"Gentrification" is notoriously hard to define and is so often used incorrectly by NIMBYs, hipsters, and ShittyPages writers alike to describe things that are not gentrification, one begins to question if it even exists. That said, I think you'd be hard pressed to find an argument that this isn't gentrification.

That doesn't mean it shouldn't happen or that I'm against this or anything. Just wanted to acknowledge that if gentrification exists, this is it.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby MNdible » February 4th, 2016, 1:02 am

What's the opposite of gentrification? Nothing stays static, so a 1960's era apartment complex that hasn't seen significant investment gets cheaper and cheaper and dumpier and dumpier, until eventually something has to give.

Options:
1. A non-profit housing provider steps up with a big chunk of government funding and buys the project, rehabs it, and uses the subsidies to artificially keep the rents low.
2. A for-profit company buys the project, invests in it, and raises the rents to cover their investment.
3. It deteriorates until eventually it needs to get torn down, and then...

Continuing the status quo indefinitely isn't really an option.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby winterfan » February 4th, 2016, 9:56 am

MNdible wrote:What's the opposite of gentrification? Nothing stays static, so a 1960's era apartment complex that hasn't seen significant investment gets cheaper and cheaper and dumpier and dumpier, until eventually something has to give.

Options:
1. A non-profit housing provider steps up with a big chunk of government funding and buys the project, rehabs it, and uses the subsidies to artificially keep the rents low.
2. A for-profit company buys the project, invests in it, and raises the rents to cover their investment.
3. It deteriorates until eventually it needs to get torn down, and then...

Continuing the status quo indefinitely isn't really an option.
Nothing stays static, but the complex still generates income which can be used to maintain the property. Perhaps there won't be a pet spa or granite countertops, but the money is still there to invest in basic maintenance.

My opinion is that Richfield (and maybe Best Buy, Bloomington, Southtown?) happily approved the sale, not only because of the number of police calls at this location, but also to fit in with new development happening around this part of 494.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby FISHMANPET » February 4th, 2016, 10:12 am

Perhaps the rents weren't high enough to cover maintenance? Or at the very least not high enough to cover the extensive maintenance needed after years of neglect.

The opposite of gentrification is probably filtering. This wasn't built as low income little a affordable housing, but it filtered into that> Unfortunately it filtered back up because there wasn't enough nicer housing to meet that demand.

An interesting thought hidden in all the gentrification hand wringing though: what if rents in the suburbs are too low to support new construction, meaning the only way to develop new higher end housing is to do something like this, buy an inexpensive building like this and gentrify it. I think it's more useful to take a deeper look at the system and figure out why it causes actors to behave as they do, rather than make it into some morality play where we blame individuals. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby QuietBlue » February 4th, 2016, 12:06 pm

There's been new high-end construction going on in my neck of the woods (Eagan) and it's been filling up with tenants, so it seems to be doable in the suburbs. Maybe not in all of them, though, and I've heard about similar things going on with other suburban apartment complexes, where a new owner buys them and starts making upgrades to charge higher rents. Nothing as extreme as this, though.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby Mikey » February 4th, 2016, 1:05 pm

A stacked washer / dryer combo only needs about a 3' square - it's not too hard to squeeze that out of a closet, even if it ends up inside a bedroom. (Combo washer dryers suck for maintenance, but I digress) If the kitchens really are that small, moving walls might happen anyways.
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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby Drizzay » February 4th, 2016, 1:59 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Perhaps the rents weren't high enough to cover maintenance? Or at the very least not high enough to cover the extensive maintenance needed after years of neglect.
I'm guessing this was an accurate description for the previous owner. They probably had to constantly refinance one of their "money-making" buildings in order to afford large maintenance jobs at this location.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby nordeast homer » February 4th, 2016, 2:30 pm

I have had professional interactions with previous owners and can confidently say that they did not have the budget to deal with even the minor maintenance items much less what was required to improve the place.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » February 4th, 2016, 2:35 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:An interesting thought hidden in all the gentrification hand wringing though: what if rents in the suburbs are too low to support new construction, meaning the only way to develop new higher end housing is to do something like this, buy an inexpensive building like this and gentrify it.
For what it's worth, less than a mile away (across the freeway in Bloomington), in an environment that's arguably less appealing (car dealerships and big box parking lots vs. office park), the Geneseee (http://geneseeapts.com/) is a new building with prices 1.5-2x the cost of the post-renovation Crossroads at Penn.

Perhaps the middle market is the gap they're filling, of course. Personally, I'd find the Oaks on Pleasant (easy walk from 66th & Lyndale) vastly more appealing, at only $50 more a month for a 1 br.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby David Greene » February 4th, 2016, 3:15 pm

MNdible wrote:What's the opposite of gentrification? Nothing stays static, so a 1960's era apartment complex that hasn't seen significant investment gets cheaper and cheaper and dumpier and dumpier, until eventually something has to give.

Options:
1. A non-profit housing provider steps up with a big chunk of government funding and buys the project, rehabs it, and uses the subsidies to artificially keep the rents low.
2. A for-profit company buys the project, invests in it, and raises the rents to cover their investment.
3. It deteriorates until eventually it needs to get torn down, and then...
4. Necessary maintenance (NOT massive amenity upgrades) is done and rents rise to cover the cost, but the owners continue to accept Section 8 renters and other subsidies.

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Re: 77th/76th Street Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby Mdcastle » February 6th, 2016, 7:29 pm

I'm extremely happy I never had to live in an apartment, but my sister and father did for a while, and laminate countertops wasn't in a the top 5 things they complained about- yes, not having en-suite laundry, but also noise from neighbors and not being able to make noise themselves, one neighbors rather aromatic cooking, parking out in the open were things they did. So I think "granite" is kind of code for "we're running a nice, classy place here".

Sean, if the owner said "If there's going to be so much backlash if I try to invest in my property to get more profit out of it, I'll knock the whole thing down and build a Lowe's", do you think the city would let him?

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Re: 77th/76th Street Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » February 7th, 2016, 9:16 am

Mdcastle wrote:Sean, if the owner said "If there's going to be so much backlash if I try to invest in my property to get more profit out of it, I'll knock the whole thing down and build a Lowe's", do you think the city would let him?
That would require a change to the comp plan designation, which is a pretty discretionary choice for a city. I don't think there would be the support to change from high-density residential to regional commercial to allow that, because of the displacement, loss of population, and the more severe impact regional commercial could have on SFH neighbors.

I'm not sure anybody in the city leadership really likes what's happened here -- save for the silver lining of the property being cleaned up -- but the reality is that the city had almost no say in it. There were no land-use approvals required at all, just building permits, which obviously can't be denied based on how we feel about a property owner's behavior.

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Re: 77th/76th Street Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby woofner » February 8th, 2016, 5:37 pm

One option for the city -- some would say a nuclear option -- would be to introduce an ordinance to condition issuance of rental licenses on acceptance of Section 8 vouchers. This should be done anyway, say I, and if the new owner knew that he would be required to take vouchers next time he renewed his license, he probably wouldn't go through the trouble of nonrenewing for tenants on Section 8. This strategy would be more or less effective depending on the specifics of rental licensing in Richfield, of which I'm mostly ignorant, but it would be a strategy that would send a message to the new owners. If the city council actually cared about the plight of the poor rather than just appearing to care.
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Re: 77th/76th Street Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » February 8th, 2016, 10:52 pm

At the Council meeting, the City Attorney seemed to suggest that cities could not require landlords to accept Section 8. However, I'm now wondering if misunderstood her, because it appears at least some large cities do, by barring discrimination on the source of income: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2 ... ion-8.html. Maybe she actually said that there *is no requirement* to accept Section 8, under current local/state/federal law. Which would definitely be true.

That is a difficult choice, because while it seems like a reasonable idea for a big development, it seems like a greater "ask" for a small landlord renting out a duplex or something. For them, the process of accepting Section 8 may actually be more onerous. Not sure how other places strike this balance -- or if they do.


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