Montage (Nye's redevelopment) - 116 E Hennepin Avenue

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
beige_box
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby beige_box » September 15th, 2015, 11:31 am

amiller92 wrote:
beige_box wrote: the high-income households who are actively looking to pay a premium for excluding minorities and poor people from their neighborhood.
Do these people exist? Or are they like the baby boomers who have house in Maple Grove and a one-bedroom downtown?
They both exist. In my original post about the baby boomers, I linked to an article featuring interviews with developers, who were pretty candid in stating that part of why they don't build condos is because a lot of folks looking to live in the city for the first time already own property elsewhere and are looking for a more "flexible" presence within the city limits. I think you underestimate how wealthy a lot of people are in our world of ballooning income inequality. Meanwhile, the race-based exclusion thing is so self-evident that it's practically a truism. Property values in America have always been tied to exclusion. Nowadays it's usually dressed up in terms of "crime" rather than blatant racism, but it's a double standard: Downtown and the Wedge, for example, are statistically more dangerous than Phillips, but the latter is still considered "more sketchy" to a certain wealthy set (and property values/rents correspond accordingly). Gee, I wonder why that is? Also, don't you see how a 6-story podium serves another purpose besides parking? How having your courtyard six stories removed from the street is an amenity in itself to a certain kind of person?

Overall, David Greene's point is spot-on. if you really wanted there to be more funding for public housing, there could be--if you used these forums to agitate for that, instead of trying to mock people who point out that the development status quo is bad for poor people and minorities.
Last edited by beige_box on September 15th, 2015, 11:38 am, edited 4 times in total.

amiller92
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby amiller92 » September 15th, 2015, 11:31 am

David Greene wrote:Just want to note here that this is an often-believed untruth. We have plenty of money to do whatever we want. Politically, we just choose not to.
This is a bit of a distinction without a difference. The money only exists if there are the votes to raise and spend it.

So, yeah, what you said is 100% correct.

Brenns
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby Brenns » September 15th, 2015, 11:42 am

LakeCharles wrote:
David Greene wrote:
FISHMANPET wrote:The problem of affordable housing in most cases is not evil developers conspiring to keep prices high or whatever, but a simple lack of supply.
No, it isn't that simple. The world doesn't work as it does in Econ 101.
So what is another way? Asking honestly. We do have a demand problem, at least to my eyes. So if you don't want to increase the supply, what are other solutions?
It's not that supply isn't part of the problem. If there is a lack of affordable (in this case, affordable simply meaning non-luxury) housing, adding MORE luxury housing isn't going to satisfy any existing supply problems - it's just drawing a disproportionate number of new wealthy residents into the neighborhood. As this trend grows, it becomes much more lucrative to cater new construction to wealthy consumers, and new construction and renovations of historic properties will favor the higher profit margins of the luxury market, pricing out developers of middle and lower in come housing. This even spills into the rental housing market - I've witnessed this myself, losing a duplex in NE at the end of my lease because my landlord was renovating and doubling the rent. Would I do the same? Absolutely! There are no economic incentives in place to do otherwise - which is where municipal government and smart planning need to come in.

When it comes down to it, development is great IF it contributes to the diversity, interest, and quality of life in the neighborhood. What I don't want to see is high end development turning my neighborhood into a boring uptown clone, where the Polish deli is replaced by Starbucks or an Ann Taylor. In the long term, a lack of economic diversity is not sustainable for residents OR developers, and people won't value a neighborhood that has no culture or identity.

As an aside, I find the debate around the Nye's project particularly interesting, as it involves the loss of neighborhood icon that arguably contributed greatly to the neighborhood's current popularity. Oh rony of ironies.

amiller92
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby amiller92 » September 15th, 2015, 11:47 am

beige_box wrote:They both exist. In my original post about the baby boomers, I linked to an article featuring interviews with developers, who were pretty candid in stating that part of why they don't build condos is because a lot of folks looking to live in the city own property elsewhere and are looking for a more "flexible" presence within the city limits. I think you underestimate how wealthy a lot of people are in our world of ballooning income inequality.
I'm not underestimating anything. If the people you're talking about exist, they are my neighbors in Loring Park. Heck, I even know some people who own in the Carlyle.

I know people with lake properties and properties in Florida. I know a Mayo physician who has a place in Rochester too. I know none with mid- or outer-ring suburban homes that also own or rent downtown. Regardless, there are probably a few out there, but in my experience, not nearly enough to bring up in this conversation.

Moreover, all of those people are living in what you've described as vibrant, diverse places.

And, of course, the tower here was supposed to be rentals, no?
Also, don't you see how a 6-story podium serves another purpose besides parking?
The podium sucks, no doubt. I'm not entirely positive that it's driven by the factors you posit, especially as the immediate surroundings here are not so diverse as to be "scary" (certainly less so that Downtown and Loring Park). But I'm entirely in favor of doing away the podium (and having less parking in general).
the development status quo is bad for poor people and minorities.
Worst for poor people and minorities: status quo with no development
Less bad: development status quo
Actively good: development plus public investment

For some reason, there doesn't seem to be a strong constituency for the third option, which sucks.

schmitzm03
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby schmitzm03 » September 15th, 2015, 11:53 am

David Greene wrote:
beige_box wrote:I'm not super convinced that concentration of poverty (especially the "racially concentrated" poverty idea) is a real problem if the government actually commits to providing services to those areas
THANK YOU
I think it is fair to critically examine the idea of racially concentrated poverty. I am sure there are some benefits to having relatively cohesive communities of support and potentially political power, which may be based on class and/or race (of course, that form of power cuts both ways).

The issue I see, however, with the assertion that concentrated poverty will not be a "real problem if government actually commits to providing services to those areas" is that communities characterized by high rates of poverty and comprised primarily of people of color tend not to have the political clout to hold government at just about every level accountable. It is obviously a morally wrong situation, but that is the world we live in. It seems like you're essentially saying that concentrated poverty (especially racially concentrated poverty) isn't a problem so long as our society would just stop being racist and letting money influence politics. I see those as incredibly important and essential aspirations, but I'm not sure how this particular project (or market rate housing in NIEBNA more generally) is going to effect them. I don't have any answers to the housing affordability crisis, but I'm not sure yours is a tenable position.

I appreciate your engagement with this issue. Do you think that the end result of your solution will be much better than this:http://www.epi.org/blog/from-ferguson-t ... gregation/, http://www.epi.org/publication/modern-segregation/. Our society has already tried concentrating affordable housing as a means of keeping out those "who are willing to pay premiums if it means not having to see non-White people, disabled people and so on," and I thought that experiment was a total disaster.

You seem to have clarified your position a bit...some market rate housing is okay, economically and racially diverse neighborhoods are desirable (just keep out the wealthy bigots). My impression is that most people who post on this board are actually on the same page in terms of the ultimate goal, but nobody has presented a silver bullet.

beige_box
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby beige_box » September 15th, 2015, 11:55 am

amiller92 wrote: Worst for poor people and minorities: status quo with no development
Less bad: development status quo
Actively good: development plus public investment

For some reason, there doesn't seem to be a strong constituency for the third option, which sucks.
The reason is because the entire conversation has thus far mostly existed on the terms of those with a vested interested in the development status quo. The whole "urbanism" movement has very deftly been steered and appropriated by the private developers. Let's change that!

MNdible
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby MNdible » September 15th, 2015, 11:57 am

Can I just toss into the conversation that work is nearly complete on a very large, massively subsidized housing project at the Pillsbury A Mill, located a few blocks from Nye's?

beige_box
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby beige_box » September 15th, 2015, 12:02 pm

schmitzm03 wrote: The issue I see, however, with the assertion that concentrated poverty will not be a "real problem if government actually commits to providing services to those areas" is that communities characterized by high rates of poverty and comprised primarily of people of color tend not to have the political clout to hold government at just about every level accountable.
Doesn't Cedar-Riverside disprove this? Racially (or rather, ethnically) concentrated poverty there has led to political representation for East Africans as well as stable affordable housing for that community. There are problems but increasingly that community DOES have the political clout to see that they are addressed, and the reason they have that clout is because, not in spite of, the fact that they are living "concentrated" together in a community. Meanwhile, many of the problems that do exist in areas of concentrated poverty stem more from the War on Drugs and excessive policing. These are government policies that actively decrease the stability and livability of those communities.
schmitzm03 wrote:You seem to have clarified your position a bit...some market rate housing is okay, economically and racially diverse neighborhoods are desirable (just keep out the wealthy bigots). My impression is that most people who post on this board are actually on the same page in terms of the ultimate goal, but nobody has presented a silver bullet.
I think so too, but again, I think the problem is that so many people here see the whole thing in terms of NIMBYS-versus-development. We need to push the conversation in a direction that moves beyond that paradigm.

beige_box
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby beige_box » September 15th, 2015, 12:06 pm

MNdible wrote:Can I just toss into the conversation that work is nearly complete on a very large, massively subsidized housing project at the Pillsbury A Mill, located a few blocks from Nye's?
"Artist housing" = affordable housing where discrimination is made perfectly legal, and families and the disadvantaged are excluded. Part and parcel of the private development status quo, even if public money is being used.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby mplsjaromir » September 15th, 2015, 12:08 pm

If you examine large wealthy urban areas that are affordable you see a pattern. They are in East Asia, they regularly tear down old buildings and replace them with new ones. They build luxury, but they also build lower cost units as well. More responsive to what people want to spend, less to aesthetic concerns of incumbents. A fairly simple formula that I hope can be replicated on some level on this side of the world.

schmitzm03
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby schmitzm03 » September 15th, 2015, 12:15 pm

beige_box wrote:
schmitzm03 wrote: The issue I see, however, with the assertion that concentrated poverty will not be a "real problem if government actually commits to providing services to those areas" is that communities characterized by high rates of poverty and comprised primarily of people of color tend not to have the political clout to hold government at just about every level accountable.
Doesn't Cedar-Riverside disprove this? Racially (or rather, ethnically) concentrated poverty there has led to political representation for East Africans as well as stable affordable housing for that community. Meanwhile, many of the problems that do exist in areas of concentrated poverty back stem more from the War on Drugs and excessive policing. These are government policies that actively decrease the stability and livability of those communities.
schmitzm03 wrote:You seem to have clarified your position a bit...some market rate housing is okay, economically and racially diverse neighborhoods are desirable (just keep out the wealthy bigots). My impression is that most people who post on this board are actually on the same page in terms of the ultimate goal, but nobody has presented a silver bullet.
I think so too, but again, I think the problem is that so many people here see the whole thing in terms of NIMBYS-versus-development. We need to push the conversation in a direction that moves beyond that paradigm.
I was thinking of Cedar-Riverside too. I think you're right to an extent, especially when it comes to getting individuals elected (which is an aspect of political power). I've worked with Abdi Warsame and other leaders in the neighborhood in the past and I think they are doing an outstanding job. The problem is that having one representative from the neighborhood does not necessarily equate to equivalent power at city hall. Would it be hard to believe that residents from Kenwood are more powerful than residents of Cedar-Riverside, despite the fact they both have just one council member?

I also know from community organizing in the neighborhood in 2011-12 that many who live in the Riverside Plaza complex were not entirely sold on the additional affordable housing that would be built as part of the Fine Associates project that is just now finishing up. IIRC, Fine Associates actually used the fact that some of the units would be market rate to get support from the WBCC board, which at the time was 3/4 East African immigrant.

I am not a particularly prolific poster (except today), but I agree that some on the board focus more on the NIMBY-versus-development angle than I would like. There are a lot of posters who don't, however, so I think it is unfair and inaccurate to paint the entire urbanism movement with such a broad brush. There is a actually a fair amount of ideological diversity on this board (though my impression is that there isn't much other diversity).

David Greene
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby David Greene » September 15th, 2015, 12:20 pm

schmitzm03 wrote:nobody has presented a silver bullet.
That's because there isn't one. It's going to take lots of different policy and, frankly, experimentation to come up with something better. This is not a short-term effort.

I do not have any answers but I'll bet the people over at MICAH, HJC, etc. have some.

schmitzm03
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby schmitzm03 » September 15th, 2015, 12:29 pm

David Greene wrote:
schmitzm03 wrote:nobody has presented a silver bullet.
That's because there isn't one. It's going to take lots of different policy and, frankly, experimentation to come up with something better. This is not a short-term effort.

I do not have any answers but I'll bet the people over at MICAH, HJC, etc. have some.
No kidding...maybe you should talk to them and let us know what you find out.

David Greene
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby David Greene » September 15th, 2015, 12:29 pm

schmitzm03 wrote:I also know from community organizing in the neighborhood in 2011-12 that many who live in the Riverside Plaza complex were not entirely sold on the additional affordable housing that would be built as part of the Fine Associates project that is just now finishing up. IIRC, Fine Associates actually used the fact that some of the units would be market rate to get support from the WBCC board, which at the time was 3/4 East African immigrant.
This is really important to understand. People are generally not in the "all affordable" and "no affordable" camps, regardless of race, income, wealth and so on. Mostly people want a healthy mix of options. People in less wealthy areas understand that adding some wealth can be a good thing. But at the same time, they want to maintain affordable housing stock so they can continue to live there, age in place, etc.

Some people in more wealthy areas want them to stay that way by keeping people out but even then in my experience it's a relatively small number of people that think that way. People cry "NIMBY" all the time about these areas but usually it's not development _per_se_ that residents oppose, but change in general, which is a natural human reaction. When you actually go and engage in conversation with people they are quite reasonable.

What would happen in the "yay development" crowd and the NIMBY crowd actually stopped to consider criticism from the "other side" and worked to understand the counter position. I think it would be nothing less than a revolution in how we do development.

David Greene
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby David Greene » September 15th, 2015, 12:30 pm

schmitzm03 wrote:No kidding...maybe you should talk to them and let us know what you find out.
I have many other things to do. Perhaps you can go talk to them yourself rather than asking others to do your legwork.

schmitzm03
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby schmitzm03 » September 15th, 2015, 12:35 pm

David Greene wrote:
schmitzm03 wrote:No kidding...maybe you should talk to them and let us know what you find out.
I have many other things to do. Perhaps you can go talk to them yourself rather than asking others to do your legwork.
Sorry, I should not have responded with snark. I didn't actually think there was a silver bullet (I don't believe in werewolves either).

phop
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby phop » September 15th, 2015, 12:40 pm

Something to add: developing a property with greater density such that valuation is significantly higher will increase the amount of property taxes collected. So allowing the development of high-value luxury properties should at least provide the opportunity for improved services in lower-income neighborhoods (hasn't this been borne-out concretely in the latest Minneapolis budget proposal?).

trigonalmayhem

Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby trigonalmayhem » September 15th, 2015, 12:43 pm

What I'm hearing is that people who have a problem with the lack of government investment in affordable housing subsidies are taking out their frustration on individual development projects that have nothing directly to do with that goal other than also being housing. Do you think bringing all new development to a halt because not everyone can afford it will end well in the long run?

And as much as it pains me to say as much, mndible made an excellent point earlier. The A-Mill is quite literally hundreds of units of affordable housing only blocks away. The 'artist' part of it is a joke if you actually look at the requirements. You can basket weave in your free time or whittle and never sell a single piece of art and still qualify. The artist distinction was probably to make the riverfront condo owners more comfortable with it, but doesn't really exclude anyone if they're in the income range and willing to be creative about their 'art' credentials.

trigonalmayhem

Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby trigonalmayhem » September 15th, 2015, 12:46 pm

Also the stone arch apartments have a lot of section 42 units if I recall correctly. Also relatively new construction in the area.

beige_box
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Re: Nye's Redevelopment - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby beige_box » September 15th, 2015, 12:51 pm

trigonalmayhem wrote:What I'm hearing is that people who have a problem with the lack of government investment in affordable housing subsidies are taking out their frustration on individual development projects that have nothing directly to do with that goal other than also being housing. Do you think bringing all new development to a halt because not everyone can afford it will end well in the long run?
My objective is try and intervene such that people whose hobby it is to actively cheer on high-profile projects like this one might think about using a tad more of their free time to actively cheer on public intervention that would make the housing market more equitable. Sorry if interrupted your "wow this building is tall, hooray!!"//"curse those NIMBYs, don't they want a city?!" mindless, politics-free circle jerk.


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