I recently read an article about a new development in a city where I have done a great deal of work. The community development director was quoted gushing about a new development project. This would be low-income senior apartments, part built by the housing authority and part by a private developer. They would be built on a redevelopment site on the river.
This is a nice location. As I mentioned, it is on the river, at the edge of downtown, and adjacent to a park. You would be right if you thought it could command some high value condominium development. In fact, there was a proposal for the site before the economy tanked. There is not that much demand now, but there will certainly be at some future time. I cringed when I heard that the City approved the low value development. It is a long term wasted opportunity to bring much needed high density, owner occupied, hagh value residential uses into the river corridor. Instead there will be low income seniors who will not have the same impact in spending at nearby businesses, encouraging investment in redevelopment, adding higher income residents in the neighborhood, and creating valuable property to add to the tax roll.
It is simply a case of doing what you can now, rather than saving your best opportunities for a time when the market can support the best use. I wonder if the same thing is occuring in other communities.