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Apartment living

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2
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Hi,
I'm a planning student at uni in Belfast and i'm currently working on a project entitled 'Do city centre luxury apartments have the capability to generate and sustain a self-conrained community of residents?'

At the minute i'm just trying to get an overall perspective on the attitudes of professional planners regarding said apartments, so any opinion at all from anyone would be very welcome.
Cheers
 
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Marty,

If I recall correctly, the city of Charlotte, NC had big revitalization schemes and I went on a field trip with a developer who was doing luxury apartments very close to downtown to an extent of success. You might try contacting their ec.dev. board or planning dept. This link might help.

http://www.charlotte2010.com/index.htm

good luck!

kelly
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,464
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29
Apartments

Just remember: In the United States, apartments, and "those people" that live in them are EEEEEEVILLLL-even when the rents are higher than the mortgages of the blessed, sacred single family home dwellers! So, you should always try to DISCOURAGE apartments whenever possible. I would suggest you copy our whole NIMBY philosophy.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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7,903
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34
I think Toronto is one of the few cities in North America that doesn't follow that pattern. There is quite a large percentage of rental tenants, and there is an acceptance of apartment living. Although we have an affordable (read rental) housing crisis, the condo market is absolutely nuts here - it seems like everybody and his brother want to build 50+ storey condo towers, in different parts of the City. A lot of the condo units that are sold end up being rented out (which is what I'm living in right now). Construction of pure rental buildings is somewhat discouraged by a tax structure which penalizes rental buildings more than condo buildings.

Toronto did a study on downtown housing a number of years ago which focussed on the transportation impacts of increasing housing in the downtown. The City made a concious decision about 30 years ago to dramatically increase the amount of housing in the core, and the result has been one of the most vibrant and livable downtowns in North America.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,464
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29
On a serious note, Transplanner:

One issue we are facing is what you describe: "Condos" used as rental units. In our town (an outer suburb of San Francisco), these projects, often older buildings, are subject to absentee ownership by San Francisco slum lords (they all seem to be dentists, for some reason) who use the units as tax write-offs and provide no maintenance, management, or upgrading.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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7,903
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34
Condos here tend to be newer buildings, and not owned by a single individual. Various people buy up units as an investment and rent them out - and because they still have to pay the maintenance fees to the condo corporation, there are no problems with upkeep, etc. I guess if one owner held title to all the units you could have some problems like you describe...
 
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Actually, I've been told that the problem with apartment dwellers is not that they are evil, per se, but that they don't vote republican, and that is why apartment projects should be discouraged.
 
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Marty87,

I am an apartment dweller, although not a luxury apartment dweller. I sit on a neighborhood scale planning committee for the neighborhood I live in, which is area with the highest residential density in Oregon. I am betting that this is a lower density than what is thought of as high density in Ireland. We have a great deal of high end apartments (for sale and for rent) in buildings ranging from 4 to 15 stories. Almost all of the new construction in the area, however, is townhouses. In the US, outside of very large urban cores, living in an apartment is seen as being less than ideal. The people who tend to buy luxury apartments are generally people who do not have children and people whose children who are now adults and have moved out. Apartments are not percieved as being suitable family housing in this country. While people do raise children in apartments, it is not the main stream idea of housing for families.

For that reason, apartments are seen as being part of the "life cycle of housing" for young people (who have not yet had children) and older people (whose children are now adults). It is not generally thought of as a sustainable long term community. You can certainly find examples, but they are not typical. I know about 80 people who live in my neighborhood- not a statistically accurate sample, but one to give you an example. Of these people, 1 has lived in an apartment for 12 years and 2 have lived together in an apartment for 6 years. None of them have children living at home. The rest of my neighbors live in houses, are saving up to purchase a house, or do not make enough money to ever be able to own a house or an apartment/condo.

You have to realize though, that America has much more land than many countries and is willing to spread housing out over much of it. Access to detached single family homes is vast here, unlike much of Europe.

I hope this helps!
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
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7,181
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30
Hi Tammy...

What do you do for Portland?

I just moved to a small town near Eugene...
 

Norris

Member
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13
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Marty87

Try some field research. Fly easyjet to Liverpool John Lennon and then go on to Manchester. Spend the early evening around the pubs and bars around Castlefield to begin with. You can witness people coming home from work and meeting friends neighbours here. The other end of town attracts an even maturer crowd who use city centre pubs as their locals. Manchester has definately established a town centre residential community, although I know one or two who live there (they are younger and hangout in the chop house or grinch etc.) its older people who either don't have kids or whose kids have lft the nest.

On you're way back to the airport compare Manchester to Liverpool. There are hundreds of apartments selling like hot cakes here - but come into the town centre on a Sunday and its still quite dead. It would make an interesting study to follow the development of city living in Liverpool City Centre. Town centre residents recently established a residents forum.
 

green22

INACTIVE
Messages
101
Points
6
I live in Kew Gardens ,Queens and there are plenty of children in these apartment buildings.I notice that some apartments seem to have older people living in them ,but this is because many apartments do not allow pets or children to live in them.The apartments that do ,get a lot of children.There are some people who think that that they must move out to the suburbs to have children ,but much of their reasoning is based on the cheaper housing and condo prices out there.More space for the buck,better schools? Most new yorkers do not think that apartments are bad for children,only that you need an extra bedroom(besides most apartments won't let you have 3 people in a 1 bedroom apt.)As for outdoor play space parents take their children to the park,who could afford this big a lawn and this much play equipment in their yard?Yes,I know the "american dream",many would rather have a small lawn and 1 slide as long as it is just for themselves, and behind a fence.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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29
Hey, Green22. There was a great article on NewColonist.org that touches on your comment. The writer compared the large, new luxuroius house of a friend, in sprawling outer suburbia, with his own 900 square foot house. Because his city house exists in a true mixed-use neighborhood, he effectively lived a richer life (although he was not doctrinaire about it and recognized some people, a majority, prefer the privatized life of suburbia.)
 
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