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    Published on 16 May 2012 7:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Economic Development
    2. Housing

    Hawkeye66 writes:

    There are several old blocks with 80% degraded structures in our city, we are looking at re-development on a block scale. We have envisioned some mixed use development in a few of these. Has anyone used an RFP or other method to find a developer for these types of projects? I had this in mind: The City would consider doing the teardowns and lot acquisitions and sell it for a reasonable price working with the developer on more dense housing. The water, sewer and roads are already there. Some of the blocks adjacent blocks are commercial already, so it would sort of be a mixed use. ...
    Published on 04 May 2012 7:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Housing
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    jamesrouse writes:

    Planners: The next APA Policy Breakfast is on the topic of the rise of rental housing. Much discussion is about GEN Y not seeking homeownership as it was common for the Baby Boomers (their parents). Many have said they are to living a flexible lifestyle and do not see homeownership as a key LIFE PATH. GEN Y has saw the GEN X and Baby Boomers (and some of their peers) purchase homes during the height of the market only to be saddled with an empty asset. They seek out unique, diverse and very interesting neighborhoods. It is more a matter of urban design, than tenancy in a building (e.g. they don't care if a national real estate developer holds the mortgage).

    ...
    Published on 19 Dec 2011 7:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Housing
    2. Urban Design
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    UrbaneSprawler writes:

    I'm curious to get opinions on this. In the sketch below it shows a multifamily development where the units on the bottom front (with a 30' setback) an arterial street with traffic in the range of 30,000 vpd. Above these units are parking, followed by garages, and then an internal street system. My opinion would be that this south half of the photo would be better off "flipped" with the bottom units fronting the internal street and the parking lot and garages face the arterial. The planners around the office have dismissed this concept. I suspect it's due to wanting to avoid showcasing the back of garages and parking along the arterial street and perhaps making the arterial street feel more pedestrian friendly as a result (though it may be fenced anyway and then no longer visible). In my non-planner view, the units would benefit noise-wise from being further setback from a busy roadway and the units would help better "frame" the internal street system, which without units on both sides of the internal street, loses an opportunity to create a more vibrant internal street system and internal neighborhood as a whole. What am I not getting I guess in having my opinion? ...
    Published on 12 Dec 2011 8:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Economic Development
    2. Housing

    By Michael Stumpf, AICP, CEcD

    Two homes of a similar size and age, on equally-sized lots in the same neighborhood, should have more or less equal value. On the face of it, this seems like a reliable statement and is the basis for several home value websites such as Realtor.com or Zillow.com. These services rely on such basic assumptions in developing algorithms to calculate expected home values based only on data from sources such as assessment roles (providing information such as lot and building size) and recent home sales in the vicinity. But what about other factors not apparent in the data? What if one home is a beautifully restored 1900’s Craftsman bungalow in a quiet neighborhood across from a park, while the other is a poorly maintained and nondescript ranch house on a four-lane arterial surrounded by industry? While obvious to us, the computer cannot “see” these differences and will suggest similar values for the homes, significantly over- or under-estimating their value. ...
    Published on 05 Dec 2011 7:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Housing
    2. Land Use and Zoning
    Article Preview

    Richmond Jake writes:

    The following images are the result of an interesting story (at least to me). The structure left behind was one of four, attached townhouses. Three of the units, A, B, and D, were foreclosed. The bank wanted them demolished thinking the beachfront property was more valuable vacant. Hold on there, the owner of unit C wanted to keep his standing. The bank went ahead with the demolition of their three units, one on the west side and two on the east, and this is the result: ...
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