Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Redeveloping Detroit’s ‘urban prairie’

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,150

    Redeveloping Detroit’s ‘urban prairie’

    A number of regular posters on this site, IIRC, are based around the former “Motor City” and might have an answer to this question.

    What, if anything, are City authorities doing to encourage redevelopment of vacant or derelict lots within city limits? It seems to me that at current price levels some spec land-banking and developments would be attractive.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  2. #2
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    6,420
    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    A number of regular posters on this site, IIRC, are based around the former “Motor City” and might have an answer to this question.

    What, if anything, are City authorities doing to encourage redevelopment of vacant or derelict lots within city limits? It seems to me that at current price levels some spec land-banking and developments would be attractive.
    The city is focusing its efforts on strengthening the remaining quality neighborhoods, Downtown and Midtown. There is virtually no interest in developing within the vacant neighborhoods. The city is facing insolvency as we speak and may soon be taken over by the State, so most political efforts are concentrated on that right now.

    There was discussion this month about selling vacant, city-owned lots for $200.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,453
    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    It seems to me that at current price levels some spec land-banking and developments would be attractive.
    Attractive for what?

    Caveat: I was born there and only go back for weddings and funerals so don't follow the city's demise any more.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    You seem to forget that land is in abundance in North America. Detroit is not the only City going through this, but it is the largest City to shrink. Therefore there is far more urban land than is needed, particularlly in the Great Lakes/Northeast. The Detroit region is not the Former Motor City. There still are in incredible number of jobs that are centered here in manufacturing, engineering, and adminstration. The region as a whole has pretty much stopped developing for several years now as we have a lot more houses, offices, and factories than are needed. One of the biggest issues now is trying to maintain infastructure with less people putting into the kitty to pay for it. We have less people but the same number of roads, electrical and sewer hookups.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    5,741
    Sometimes I like to play Sim City in my head and think a great experiment would be to acquire as much property as possible in about 5 or 6 adjacent residential blocks with a commercial collector street running through them somewhere in Detroit and then redeveloping the lots into a new residential subdivision (and re/developing the commercial strip as well) as a giant PUD with all the units receiving heating and cooling off of a shared geothermal connection.

    In the end, the impediments blocking redevelopment of the vacant swaths of land in Detroit are largely the same as those in most any older, industrial, Midwestern city: relatively small residential lots, too much trouble involved in clearing title and combining lots, cheap greenfield development in the suburbs/exurbs, and lack of demand because of shrinking (or very slowly growing) population and employment.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,453
    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    In the end, the impediments blocking redevelopment of the vacant swaths of land in Detroit are largely the same as those in most any older, industrial, Midwestern city: relatively small residential lots, too much trouble involved in clearing title and combining lots, cheap greenfield development in the suburbs/exurbs, and lack of demand because of shrinking (or very slowly growing) population and employment.
    Don't forget the embedded graft and corruption. You must clear all that out before you begin.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Don't forget the embedded graft and corruption. You must clear all that out before you begin.
    I don't think thats inheirent to the Midwest though we sure have turned it into an artform.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    The city is focusing its efforts on strengthening the remaining quality neighborhoods, Downtown and Midtown. There is virtually no interest in developing within the vacant neighborhoods.
    That was my reaction too. Detroit should continue to demolish the vast amount of vacant, decaying homes. The lots could stay in a landbank with open greenspace as an interim use. It would be a mistake to try and attract development to the areas that have just been bulldozed. There is no demand. Instead development should be concentrated to strengthen existing neighborhoods.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,150
    A lot for 200$? Wow. Assumign there aren't large recurring ancillary costs how can one lose out? Sure, there may not be demand today, tomorrow or the day after that. But some / much of the infrastructure is already there so long-term one would think it would make more sense to develop than purely new greenfield.

    I'll let you guys know if I go ahead with it.

    From the aerial maps (which may be out of date, of course, it looks like there are vast semi-vacant areas within practically walking/biking distance of the CBD...
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  10. #10
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    The Mayor is already on record as wanting to abandon large parts of the City to right size it. He has however been mum about which areas he is going to keep and which are going to go. This has caused a lot of disinvestment outside of the no brainer neighborhoods, and has led to incrased crime (well the shrinking budget has a lot to do with that too). Should you buy a home in an area with no water, electricity, police or fire protection best of luck trying to resell it.

    The $200 lot program is being offered in areas with growth and these are only offered to those who already own and occupy a home on an adjoining property. http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/...ale-in-detroit
    Last edited by DetroitPlanner; 30 Mar 2012 at 3:37 PM.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  11. #11
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    This weekend's newspaper (Freep) had an article in it. Many others have seen the articles about Detroit's vastness and how it can hold San Francisco, Boston, and Manhatten completely in its boundaries without them overlapping. This was a new twist. It said all of the empty parcels in Detroit equal approximately 40 square miles. How big is 40 square miles? Its bigger than Paris!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,453
    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    Assumign there aren't large recurring ancillary costs how can one lose out?
    At meaningful scales, by never being able to develop that land to do anything with it. Might as well invest in Spain or Portugal or Greece or Bulgaria or Waziristan or Nigeria or South Sudan or or or or or or or or
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 5
    Last post: 07 Jun 2012, 5:13 PM
  2. Replies: 23
    Last post: 10 Nov 2009, 5:17 PM
  3. Redeveloping urban housing authority land
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 17 Jun 2008, 1:11 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last post: 26 Oct 2005, 4:39 PM
  5. Replies: 31
    Last post: 25 Mar 2004, 10:03 PM