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beige_box
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Re: West Calhoun Apartments - (3118 Lake Street W)

Postby beige_box » April 25th, 2016, 1:37 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:Like I said, I very much sympathize with your overall message, but the details become difficult to understand. If you're using windows as a symptom of a much larger problem of building quality and how that affects the quality of life and social mobility of the future urban poor, you should just say that and back it up with something. Maybe an article like this that anecdotally highlights how construction 50 years ago struggles to stay above a minimum threshold of health and safety for lower-income renters due to a range of reasons including crappy landlords, economics, and original build quality and construction techniques. Though I will note, most of those small 60s walkups, which most Minneapolis residents would describe as cheap and undesirable, have bedrooms in their windows. But also, it'd be good to have some data on what % of all those units do meet or exceed health/safety minimums, how they did it, etc etc. And while we're talking about it, we should have the conversation about what really makes for minimum acceptable livability, since there are millions of American families who couldn't fathom the idea of living in an 850 square foot 1BR apartment in Minneapolis but many who make do and live a happy, fulfilling life. There are similarly millions of single Americans who can't fathom the idea of an apartment without its own kitchen and/or bathroom and less than 500 square feet of space, but there exist many people willing to make that tradeoff if it saves them money, convenience, or time.

Your argument seems to be less "let's build missing middle housing in large quantities and in many parts of the city and also not just in secluded areas of certain neighborhoods where zoning allows" and more "build lots of quality public housing." Primarily, it seems you're worried that the dumping of all these similarly-designed-and-built apartments will all collectively depreciate around the same time, leading to lots of issues, and that if only we were investing more public money in well-built housing that could be avoided. I'm very sure most on this thread will stand right there with you advocating for more public funding for housing. I'm less sure we can get the outcomes you desire simply be doing that. Public and non-profit housing has a long history in this country of having worse design than private market housing, and quality construction materials/techniques mean little with improper maintenance and upkeep funding, which has also proven tough to dedicate in the past (especially when large numbers of units are constructed in a short window then hit 30-40 year major renovation needs all at once, as you seem to be advocating for). If you want to say that other countries like Austria or Singapore have shown a way to do things, great, I agree, and we can work toward reforming the public side of the market and be nice to each other about it. For the same reasons you want people to have respectful conversation with you about those things (if I'm right about your goals and pragmatic ways to achieve them), I guess it'd be nice if that respect were reciprocated when people talk in earnest about building things like transit tunnels more cost effectively using techniques mastered in other countries to help make the lives of people who depend on buses or trains meaningfully better.
Thank you, that is a fair assessment of my position and a thoughtful critique of it. I will ruminate accordingly, suffice to say that I do not believe many of the people here who you say share my views on public housing funding do so in good faith.

David Greene
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Re: West Calhoun Apartments - (3118 Lake Street W)

Postby David Greene » April 25th, 2016, 1:59 pm

Archiapolis wrote:You placed a great amount of emphasis on the viability of large[ish] MFH projects with the opinion that interior one bedrooms are a "massive liability." I refuted the claim. You offered rather strong opinions without equivocation and even went so far as to claim that owners would burn their own buildings down in the future.
EOst didn't write any of that.

beige_box
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Re: West Calhoun Apartments - (3118 Lake Street W)

Postby beige_box » April 25th, 2016, 2:11 pm

To clarify, they might not burn down their own buildings; more like they would simply have them demolished through legal means and replaced by new apartments again, thereby negating the natural affordability argument.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: West Calhoun Apartments - (3118 Lake Street W)

Postby FISHMANPET » April 25th, 2016, 2:49 pm

I would say that "something bad may potentially happen in the future" is a bad reason to not doing anything, especially when the bad thing you propose is highly unlikely, and even if it were to happen, it still represents a better situation than "do nothing."

The places where these buildings being built are in high demand. People want to live there. They will live in new expensive apartments or they will displace existing residents in older more affordable existing housing. If we did nothing, those people would still try and live in these places. They would be accommodated by existing landlords doing cheap renovations and pocketing the huge rent increases. Or we can have the most radical anti-capitalist position possible, and soak these rich people for every penny they've got, in the hopes that the money ends up back into the banking system to help the existing community (though I'll be the first to admit this is currently not likely).

Your position seems to be that we should be building public housing instead of market rate housing, but the only reasoning I can see for that is that you don't like the kinds of buildings and the kinds of people that live in those buildings. But it's not like any of these projects were competing with public housing for sites. There isn't money for a massive investment in public housing right now. End of story. Maybe there should be (though I would say the best time would be in a dip in the economy when construction becomes much cheaper, construction costs are insane right now). But there's not. So you're presenting a false choice. You act like you're offering the choice of public housing for low income people vs luxury housing for the rich. But what you're actually offering is building more housing, or sticking your fingers in your ears screaming "la la la I can't hear you" and ignoring all the evidence that not building housing will not solve any problems.

Given your two actual choices, I know which one I'll pick every single time.

Archiapolis
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Re: West Calhoun Apartments - (3118 Lake Street W)

Postby Archiapolis » April 25th, 2016, 3:24 pm

David Greene wrote:
Archiapolis wrote:You placed a great amount of emphasis on the viability of large[ish] MFH projects with the opinion that interior one bedrooms are a "massive liability." I refuted the claim. You offered rather strong opinions without equivocation and even went so far as to claim that owners would burn their own buildings down in the future.
EOst didn't write any of that.
Apologies to EOst for false attribution but I think you know that the response was directed at the original author. As my response made clear, I'm not interested in ad hominem attacks.

I'd also add that your posts tend to be well written (even if I disagree with you most of the time) so I'd extrapolate from that that you are a pretty smart guy and you already knew who my response was directed towards. I'd go edit the post but it seems you could replace a few pronouns and the gist remains.

EOst
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Re: West Calhoun Apartments - (3118 Lake Street W)

Postby EOst » April 25th, 2016, 4:03 pm

Mcgizz wrote:Wow, I think your self righteous crusade of demeaning and belittling other posters on this site is beyond overzealous.
You're probably right! It's a good thing that you have the same right to call me on my bullshit as I do for others.

I'm not a saint. I have a temper, and I don't always keep it together the way I should. If I'm an ass, please do call me on it!
FISHMANPET wrote:Terrible ideas deserve condescension. This isn't some bullshit "the right answer is in the middle" nonsense. If someone like biege_box is going to come here and spew nonsense, it deserves to be put down for what it is: nonsense. We don't need to walk around it with kid gloves, we're all adults here.
Terrible ideas are spoken by real people. Real people don't deserve condescension. Being condescending to someone doesn't attack their idea, it attacks their person. It doesn't matter how "terrible" their ideas may be. Condescension won't change people's positions, it will harden them. If your goal is actually to bring about the future urbanist paradise instead of scoring points, then this is the single worst attitude I can imagine.
Archiapolis wrote:It appeared that you didn't understand what makes interior one bedrooms in large[ish] MFH projects viable so I tried to illustrate why they are indeed viable. I didn't personally insult your haircut or your favorite band. My haircut and my favorite music are kind of terrible actually.
I really don't mean to get into a back-and-forth here. But I honestly think you could have worded your post--and a lot of your posts, honestly--in a way that was less insulting. I do my best (not always with success) to assume that everyone on here is smart, funny, handsome, well-informed, and endowed with the very best of intentions. I don't think it's necessary to assume someone is lacking one of those qualities when interacting with them, which is exactly what your "questions" do.

You're clearly a really smart guy who knows a LOT about this topic and feels passionate about it. I don't want to seem like I'm attacking you! But we're all responsible for the tenor and quality of discourse around here. Little things do a lot.

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Back on topic, I really do believe that in the long-term, as the "new car smell" and hipness of these apartments gradually fades, it may well become significantly harder to market these window-lite apartments. I think the odds that residents will become Morlocks is pretty low, though.

Archiapolis
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby Archiapolis » April 27th, 2016, 7:50 am

Thank you for engaging even if we disagree in the end.

I submit that we are talking about civility of address on a forum dedicated to urbanism where 95% of us agree on 90% of the issues at hand. In the end, it seems we all want a beautiful, walkable, sustainable city and we are arguing about how to make that happen. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t life or death and the arguments should be rhetorical and philosophical (read fun/entertaining/engaging), it doesn’t mean that they have to be dispassionate.

I have said on other threads that I abstain from making ad hominem attacks and maybe I have faltered on that. If an instance of a personal attack can be found, I’ll apologize for it because it’s wrong. I get no pleasure from degrading or insulting anyone personally. With that said, I have strong opinions on urbanism, architecture and the built environment and I express them as articulately as I can with the object of swaying opinions “in the room” which is to say, those on the sidelines reading. As pointed out by others above, I will ridicule the ridiculous and I don’t feel bad about that. I need to emphasize that I am attacking IDEAS, not people. If those on the other side can craft a compelling argument to the contrary of mine and win the “hearts and minds” of observers then they’ll win the day. I will leave it to others to judge such as yourself as to what this says about my character but my ONLY interest is in making strong arguments for the kind of city that I want to see. I’m not a fascist and I have no money/power to carry out my singular vision for the city so there is very little to fear from me.

In the past, I’ve argued vociferously with David Greene on the SWLRT thread and slightly less so on the Bottineau thread. He felt/feels strongly about his opinion and I felt/feel strongly about mine. I think he is a smart person and that he cares about Minneapolis, the north side and equity - I believe that I’ve said as much on those threads. Even though I have disagreed with him strongly, I respect him and the fact that he is engaged. I’ve also mentioned in several ways/forms that I appreciate the fact that people on the forum care enough about urbanism, architecture, transit and the built environment to delve into it and offer opinions. I often close with sentiments like this when I throw opinions out there.

Everyone has a different threshold for taking offense. If we tried to calibrate to the most sensitive threshold, this forum would grind to a halt with groveling apologies prefacing every statement. The admins have found it necessary to disallow the abbreviation “imho” (“in my humble opinion”) and others which I find to be telling. If the admins have found it necessary to eliminate unnecessary preambles, it seems that there is value in getting straight to the point. There shouldn’t be a need to preface a statement on a forum like this with “in my opinion”s and “respectfully”s and so on - all of that should be assumed/inferred. Being trained to be an architect means that you are trained to scrutinize EVERYTHING and most of us can’t turn it off. Believe me when I say that I scrutinize everything that I do with intensity as well.

As you say, I am passionate about urbanism and these cities and I argue passionately for what I believe to be right. I do mock the preposterous while being fully prepared to be mocked should I offer statements that are worthy of ridicule - I’ve been burned on this forum and my hat is off to those who can win the day. I always try to support my comments with evidence and I expect others to do the same and may the best argument win. In direct response to one of your comments above, people may have good intentions (in itself arguable) but they are not always informed. When I challenge people, I expect evidence and support of an argument and they should expect the same from me (or anyone making a claim).

Lastly, I have made self-deprecating comments as a way to humanize my opinions (see haircut/music statement) and coupled with my oft-stated appreciation for people caring about urbanism, these cities and the built environment should at least give some indication that I am a person. In the flesh, I am light-hearted and I live, laugh and love with the same intensity that I support and defend my positions - that doesn’t mean that I’m always right.

Cheers.

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Anondson
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby Anondson » April 29th, 2016, 2:48 pm

Treating the health hazards of low quality building materials. [locked]

http://finance-commerce.com/2016/04/min ... materials/

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Anondson
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby Anondson » August 24th, 2016, 8:37 pm

It's turning out that if your home is going to be an investment, that buying a McMansion is a bad investment.

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/comm ... stment.ece

Other kinds of homes are still fine investments, in the upper price range New Traditional mansions for instance are desired and in demand.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby VacantLuxuries » August 25th, 2016, 8:12 am

Who would have guessed gigantic, poorly built homes would be a liability in the future?

RailBaronYarr
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby RailBaronYarr » August 25th, 2016, 8:45 am

Throwing some water on this. The article doesn't say McMansions have been bad investments. It says the price premium relative to the rest of the market has fallen. It doesn't say that their value (in real dollars) is less than when built - the one example we're given is a typical McMansion in Fort Lauderdale having increased in price from $477k 4 years ago to $611k today - a 28% gain and roughly 6.5% annual return. And it even points to complementary reasons the premium vs the rest of the market may have fallen: 1) most homes built since the crash have been larger homes that directly compete with the slightly older McMansions (I would argue there are many regulatory reasons for this, but also a higher share of homebuyers were wealthy people post-recession than in a typical market) and 2) the lack of new supply in moderate sized homes has caused that submarket to jump in price as demand has picked back up.

Or, yeah, Americans finally realized after decades of buying them that big ugly houses aren't desirable.

LakeCharles
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby LakeCharles » August 25th, 2016, 12:42 pm

And it said this trend didn't hold in the Midwest.

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mister.shoes
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby mister.shoes » August 30th, 2016, 1:01 pm

The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 12th, 2016, 1:19 pm

Wasn't sure where to put this, but... http://www.economist.com/news/science-a ... pofthetree

Nice little post discussing the emergence of timber construction, and how they're getting around some of the concerns. Mentions cost comparison for high rises vs steel/concrete.

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Anondson
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby Anondson » September 13th, 2016, 12:50 pm

A new residential home builder is focusing on small starter homes in North Minneapolis.

http://finance-commerce.com/2016/09/mod ... lis-plant/

grrdanko
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby grrdanko » September 16th, 2016, 11:06 am

Anondson wrote:A new residential home builder is focusing on small starter homes in North Minneapolis.

http://finance-commerce.com/2016/09/mod ... lis-plant/
I wish them the best of luck, but this is way over priced for the neighborhood. You can get this trailer house for $225000 or for $200000 you can get one of the nicest examples of a 1930's Craftsman or Tudor house.

$225000 makes this house priced in the top 5% of houses on the market in the area.

Prices in this area won't increase until there are things to do in the neighborhood and crime gets under control. The suburbs are more convenient to live in than North Minneapolis. There are no bars, restaurants, shopping etc. You end up with all the bad things of living in the city combined with all the bad things about living in the suburbs.

QuietBlue
Target Field
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby QuietBlue » September 16th, 2016, 2:04 pm

I mostly agree, though with the caveat that not everybody wants an old house, either for aesthetic or practical reasons, and therefore they might get a few buyers. But yeah, I don't see this taking off -- there are plenty of reasonably-priced homes in decent condition there as it is.

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Anondson
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby Anondson » September 17th, 2016, 9:35 pm

Housing our elderly destroys neighborhood character, and that's most important, say some in suburbs.

http://www.startribune.com/increase-in- ... 393842511/

seanrichardryan
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby seanrichardryan » September 17th, 2016, 11:11 pm

48' tall buildings will destroy America. Called it first.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Anondson
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Re: The economics of housing

Postby Anondson » September 17th, 2016, 11:14 pm

The guy who said the senior housing density will destroy walkability. Wut.


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