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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A’s preferred stadium site criticized for causing gentrification, killing waterfowl | Field of Schemes

Won’t somebody think about the ducks?????

The [Golden Gate Audubon Society], which has more than 7,000 members in Oakland and nearby cities, said the proposed ballpark in the Eastlake neighborhood would be disastrous for nearly 200 species of ducks, herons, songbirds, nesting cormorants and fish that make their homes in Lake Merritt, the nation’s oldest wildlife refuge.

“We’re not antibaseball. We love the A’s, but we want them to stay where they are,” said Cindy Margulis, the executive director of Golden Gate Audubon. “When you put in a stadium and have all the additional cars and traffic, there will be additional contaminants coming into the lake. Oakland is a creative, imaginative city, and I think they can do better.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2017 at 09:28 AM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, stadium deals

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   1. Tim D Posted: September 19, 2017 at 10:07 AM (#5534251)
Sounds like another non-starter for the A's. Environmentalists, politicians and the neighborhood all against it. Would the Giants let them share for a year or two while the Coliseum was demolished and re-built? Or would the A's end up using Laney Jr. College as their home field?
   2. Traderdave Posted: September 19, 2017 at 10:43 AM (#5534282)
I think the Coliseum is a better choice, but this is a silly objection.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 19, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5534294)
I ####### hate nesting cormorants. Kill all those #############.
   4. Flynn Posted: September 19, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5534311)
8 acres for a site? That is tiny. And they're not gonna be allowed to tilt half the stadium over the surrounding roads like the Twins did for Target Field, not with one of those roads being 880 and CA's earthquake laws.

I'm also surprised that Libby Schaaf is signalling she's unhappy the A's chose the Laney site. I thought she was rolling the red carpet out for them. I'm a little concerned. I can see why the A's don't want to be at the Coliseum, there's nothing there and ballparks are better in urban neighborhoods, but with the Bay Area terrified about gentrification, this might go wrong.

   5. Traderdave Posted: September 19, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5534352)
Schaaf has been lukewarm about the site but hasn't rejected it.
   6. Traderdave Posted: September 19, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5534355)
Flynn:

You still in London or back in the States?
   7. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: September 19, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5534416)
A friend of mine had this hot take:

"We want the new ballpark to part of the community, we just don't want it, like, IN the community...but we definitely want it in the city somewhere so we can take pride in it existing."
   8. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 19, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5534461)
Gentrification is the dumbest argument ever for being against building anything.

That said I don't have any opinion on the site, good, bad or indifferent. I am sympathetic to wildlife though.
   9. Khrushin it bro Posted: September 19, 2017 at 01:30 PM (#5534463)
the proposed ballpark in the Eastlake neighborhood would be disastrous for nearly 200 species of ducks, herons, songbirds, nesting cormorants and fish that make their homes in Lake Merritt, the nation’s oldest wildlife refuge.


I think seagulls will thrive there.
   10. Traderdave Posted: September 19, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5534474)
Instead of "gentrification" say "progress." It means the same thing but is easier to spell.
   11. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 19, 2017 at 01:47 PM (#5534481)
Gentrification is the dumbest argument ever for being against building anything.

Yes, it sure is sad when new buildings and stores replace run down slums.
   12. Lassus Posted: September 19, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5534520)
Pretty sure the arguments against gentrification aren't against progress or new buildings per se, they are against telling people who aren't rich, "fuck you, get the fuck out, rich people want to live here".

I mean, it's what is going to happen anyhow, but acting like there's no reason at all to dislike the process isn't entirely fair.
   13. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 19, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5534521)
So what % of the objection is
A) pure NIMBY, such as #7's source
B) Sincere objections over a duck being displaced
C) The right palms haven't been greased, yet
D) Anti-progress (gentrification concerns)
E) Costs to the public
   14. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 19, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5534525)
Pretty sure the arguments against gentrification aren't against progress or new buildings per se, they are against telling people who aren't rich, \"#### you, get the #### out, rich people want to live here".

I mean, it's what is going to happen anyhow, but acting like there's no reason at all to dislike the process isn't entirely fair.


Not what I am saying at all. Once more, gentrification is a terrible reason to be against building things. That doesn't mean you have to treat people like garbage or that there are not other reasons to be against building new things. But gentrification is a bad bad reason to be against new building.

A good reason might be environmental. Another good reason might be a lack of affordable alternatives for those currently using the existing structures. But the solution to those two valid concerns is to address those specific issues.
   15. jmurph Posted: September 19, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5534527)
Pretty sure the arguments against gentrification aren't against progress or new buildings per se, they are against telling people who aren't rich, \"#### you, get the #### out, rich people want to live here".

Displacement is a much different (and much more rare!) thing. That people think gentrification is the same thing, and/or is a problem per se, makes it kind of hard to talk about these things. When anti-gentrification activism is almost universally tied to "stop building! No more development!" kind of nonsense, it's pretty hard to take it seriously.
   16. Tim D Posted: September 19, 2017 at 02:51 PM (#5534534)
Here we go......
   17. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 19, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5534544)
Gentrification is the dumbest argument ever for being against building anything.

I have no problem with gentrification. Neighborhoods change, mostly for the better when investments are made. I am not sure how mush improvements are made when a stadium is built. It is not used that much and just sits there most day. Very few employees.

A friend of mine used to live in north London, right near Arsenal stadium. He hated home match days. Streets clogged, noisy, full of drunks. And he and I were Arsenal supporters.

   18. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 19, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5534557)
Pretty sure the arguments against gentrification aren't against progress or new buildings per se, they are against telling people who aren't rich, \"#### you, get the #### out, rich people want to live here".

"The rich" being short hand for anyone who didn't already live there. No one says \"### you" to people, the market prices them out.

   19. Traderdave Posted: September 19, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5534559)
The immediate vicinity of the planned area is not residential, there won't be many (if any) homes or apartments leveled for the new park. A few blocks away it becomes heavily residential, but if that brings "gentrification" it will be a boon to the existing property owners' valuations. If they dislike ballgame traffic they can sell at a (presumably) higher price than they'd have gotten sans ballpark.
   20. Traderdave Posted: September 19, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5534560)
No one says \"### you" to people, the market prices them out.


Oakland has rent control, so the benefits of higher prices will be effectively stripped from owners and transferred to non-owners.
   21. Captain Supporter Posted: September 19, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5534624)
You can be certain that there will be self styled environmentalists who can and will find objections to any proposed site.
   22. Traderdave Posted: September 19, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5534654)
You can be certain that there will be self styled environmentalists who can and will find objections to any proposed site


True indeed. That's one of the many reasons why the Coliseum site is the better one. It would have zero or very few environmental objections because it's already in place with stadium, parking, freeway exit and BART.
   23. DL from MN Posted: September 19, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5534664)
This spot is 3 city blocks away from the lake with Laney College in between. The ducks will be fine.
   24. GregD Posted: September 19, 2017 at 05:11 PM (#5534669)
If they were bulldozing residential buildings for the site, I could totally see a gentrification argument and no one should confuse Urban Renewal with "progress". But my understanding is that literally no one lives on the site and that it is not a prime target for new residential development--of either the affordable or unaffordable variety--because of its location. Calling the tear down of some administrative buildings an act of gentrification makes the term pretty meaningless.
   25. Traderdave Posted: September 19, 2017 at 05:21 PM (#5534677)
Correct that there is no residential on the site. The fear is that the nearby residential neighborhoods will become more desirable and more expensive as a result. It's silly, but that is what people are jawing about.
   26. Khrushin it bro Posted: September 19, 2017 at 06:21 PM (#5534709)
Once the A's vacate the Coliseum location it will be turned into low income housing. That has been a plan for a long time.
   27. A triple short of the cycle Posted: September 19, 2017 at 08:23 PM (#5534744)
I believe the Coliseum Transit Village is to be built in the BART parking lot.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2017 at 08:38 PM (#5534756)
Funny to say, but I've enjoyed the waterfowl of Lake Merritt. When we lived nearby it was a nice place to walk and a nice play to take little kids and the birds are a definite known feature of the area. But I'll take a better stadium over the damn ducks.
   29. A triple short of the cycle Posted: September 19, 2017 at 08:47 PM (#5534758)
Has anyone superimposed a baseball stadium on this site? (Does it fit?) Seems like an obvious thing to do but I don't think I have seen such a graphic. If the field were oriented as the Coliseum, with home plate facing NE, the channel would be running parallel to the third base line so no splash hits.
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 19, 2017 at 08:48 PM (#5534760)
The objections raised here - displacing the homeless, traffic impact, and environmental effects - are all things that the local government can address in some manner while getting the stadium done, if they are so inclined. If they can't get it done, you have to wonder if they ever will.
   31. Brian C Posted: September 20, 2017 at 12:20 AM (#5534888)
The objections raised here - displacing the homeless, traffic impact, and environmental effects - are all things that the local government can address in some manner while getting the stadium done, if they are so inclined.

So true. If Oakland wants to do right by the homeless, they can go ahead and do so regardless of whether the ballpark is built there or if the A's move to Tokyo.

Aside from Traderdave, who understandably seems to simply like the A's where they are, a lot of these concerns sound like concern trolling by NIMBY types.
   32. Lassus Posted: September 20, 2017 at 08:26 AM (#5534920)
Aside from Traderdave, who understandably seems to simply like the A's where they are

I asked in he earlier thread, but didn't get an answer. What exactly is the problem with renovating on the current site? Could it really be more expensive than demo and construction of a brand new stadium? Do people just want to move because they want to move?
   33. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5534923)
Lassus ... I find downtown stadiums really exciting and cool. I used to work in Jack London Square and live near Lake Merritt. My old office would have been a 20 minute walk to this site, my house would have been 30 minutes. I would have gone to so many baseball games.

And both of those are neighborhoods that are positively bursting with energy, growth, pride, innovation. A downtown baseball stadium would be a new focus for civic pride. Oakland is still a fairly small city ... the stadium would immediately become THE place.

The Coliseum site does not feel a part of Oakland, it's just a concrete pad surrounded by highways and warehouses.
   34. Lassus Posted: September 20, 2017 at 08:54 AM (#5534928)
The Coliseum site does not feel a part of Oakland, it's just a concrete pad surrounded by highways and warehouses.

It would follow that I don't quite grok this, given I lived in San Francisco ('96-'99) and would BART in and out to avoid Candlestick, and that was basically it for my Oakland experience.
   35. Traderdave Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:07 AM (#5534930)
Aside from Traderdave, who understandably seems to simply like the A's where they are


I'm far from alone. Polls done by local newspaper & radio say a solid majority of Oakland residents think they should build at the Coliseum site.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5534986)
EDIT: Nevermind.
   37. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5535052)
Pretty sure the arguments against gentrification aren't against progress or new buildings per se, they are against telling people who aren't rich, \"#### you, get the #### out, rich people want to live here".

Especially when the people saying FU, GTFO aren't the ones being displaced.

NOTE: That's a generic comment, and I have no idea whether it actually would apply to the Oakland proposal. I always liked the Coliseum, but I can easily understand why the A's would want a new ballpark.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The rich" being short hand for anyone who didn't already live there.

If anyone can afford to live in the non-rent controlled buildings of most gentrified cities, he sure as hell ain't poor, or he's spending half his salary on an apartment.

the market prices them out.

To an extent that's true, but "the market" is often greased with enormous tax breaks for developers. It's no accident that developers and city governments are joined at the hip like Siamese twins.



   38. A triple short of the cycle Posted: September 20, 2017 at 12:56 PM (#5535092)
What exactly is the problem with renovating on the current site?

The current site is in a bleak and dangerous neighborhood with no nice bars, restaurants, etc. There are no attractions outside of the stadium and its parking lot. The big thing going for the site is the BART station and freeway access.
   39. Greg Pope Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5535107)
Correct that there is no residential on the site. The fear is that the nearby residential neighborhoods will become more desirable and more expensive as a result. It's silly, but that is what people are jawing about.

Chicago's had this problem. They made a really cool open space called the 606 with green space, bike trails, walking trails, and event space. Then property values went up and the people living around there complained. I don't get it. I mean, I get that nobody wants their property taxes to go up, but your house went up in value due to nothing that you did or money you had to put into it, and you're complaining? And it's clearly better for the city as a whole.
   40. Traderdave Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5535110)
The big thing going for the site is the BART station and freeway access.


I've seen estimates that the infrastructure aid offered by the city amounts to about 200MM, a sum that would be zero or tiny at the Coliseum. That's not a big thing, it's a HUGE thing.

The area North of 66th Avenue, for example, could be developed into residential and entertainment far more cheaply than that, and such development would be a greater long term benefit to the city & its residents & taxpayers than a stadium would ever be. Think of Emeryville as an example. It was an industrial brownfield and a dead zone 30 years ago. Since its redevelopment its population has tripled and the number of jobs in the city has increased sharply as well.

If I may paraphrase Ms. Stein, there is no there there at the Coliseum, but there isn't all that much more there at Peralta, and getting some there going at that site will be a whole lot more expensive than it would be at the Coliseum. Note that is before traffic & other impacts are even considered.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5535113)
If anyone can afford to live in the non-rent controlled buildings of most gentrified cities, he sure as hell ain't poor, or he's spending half his salary on an apartment.


Why would you expect non-rich people to be able to live in the prime areas of the most desirable cities?
   42. Traderdave Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:22 PM (#5535118)
To an extent that's true, but "the market" is often greased with enormous tax breaks for developers. It's no accident that developers and city governments are joined at the hip like Siamese twins.



The issue with "gentrification" in Oakland, and indeed the entire Bay Area, is about supply. Jobs have boomed, housing stock has barely ticked upward. Tax breaks for developers, if they exist in Oakland,* would increase supply, which would help ease the housing crunch.


*There is of course the much-maligned Prop 13 which is little help for new construction and can actually hinder it. New buildings aren't subject to rent control, but that's not really a tax break. What tax breaks are there in Oakland? I don't know of any.
   43. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5535124)
It's like Republican Mad Libs!

Tax breaks for ____________ [type of business] would increase ____________ [desirable thing], which would help ease ____________ [problem].




Note: Just a joke, not an effort to turn thread into OTP.
   44. Traderdave Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5535134)
Yea, it does sort of sound like the Republican broken record, but right now in the Bay area, ANYTHING to stimulate new housing is sorely needed.

(Excess regulation, NIMBY-ism etc are much greater problems though.)
   45. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5535143)
The current site is in a bleak and dangerous neighborhood with no nice bars, restaurants, etc. There are no attractions outside of the stadium and its parking lot.

From the team's POV, that's not a bug; it's a feature. All the dollars spent by fans at offsite bars and restaurants are dollars not being spent inside the mallpark.
   46. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:48 PM (#5535151)
If I may paraphrase Ms. Stein, there is no there there at the Coliseum, but there isn't all that much more there at Peralta


This just seems very wrong to me. Peralta is like a 12 minute walk from vibrant areas. I don't know how far you need to walk to get to a nice neighborhood from the Coliseum, because I value my life and would never walk anywhere from that place.
   47. jmurph Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:49 PM (#5535152)
It's like Republican Mad Libs!

Tax breaks for ____________ [type of business] would increase ____________ [desirable thing], which would help ease ____________ [problem].

I'm a flaming liberal and have never voted anything but Democrat. But my fellow travelers are generally wrong on housing/development, I can admit that. There are a lot of youngish, mostly online writers/journalists on the (in my opinion) correct side (Yglesias being the most prominent example, probably, along with other Vox people), the tide seems to be turning.
   48. Traderdave Posted: September 20, 2017 at 01:54 PM (#5535163)

This just seems very wrong to me. Peralta is like a 12 minute walk from vibrant areas. I don't know how far you need to walk to get to a nice neighborhood from the Coliseum, because I value my life and would never walk anywhere from that place.


It's not THAT bad. It's primarily industrial and while I'm not likely to be walking 12 minutes from there anytime soon, it's not a daytime gunfire zone, which East Oakland does have elsewhere.

But there is no reason your bars and restaurants couldn't spring up across 66th, with far less public money expended.
   49. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2017 at 02:04 PM (#5535177)
But there is no reason your bars and restaurants couldn't spring up across 66th, with far less public money expended.


They haven't yet.
   50. Traderdave Posted: September 20, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5535183)
Rezone the neighborhood, fast track permits for housing and voila. For a whole lot less $$$ than Peralta.

And it's important to note the role of housing here. In SF, many thousand new rear round residents of SOMA have done more to develop nightlife than the ball park has. You keep saying that attractions are "just" a mile from Peralta. People can walk from the BART ramp or the parking lot in much less time than it would take them from Peralta.
   51. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2017 at 02:44 PM (#5535218)
(Excess regulation, NIMBY-ism etc are much greater problems though.)


This is the problem. Too little new construction to match pace with the economic growth. Demand outstrips supply and prices go up. That is not "gentrification" that is economics 101 and no amount of talking points (liberal or conservative) will change it.

Something must be done to kick start supply. Not magic beans, but actual efforts pointed towards more supply. And that has little or nothing to do with the ballpark no matter where it is honestly, except for displacing existing or future construction or using/creating resources used for construction.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 03:46 PM (#5535286)
This is the problem. Too little new construction to match pace with the economic growth. Demand outstrips supply and prices go up. That is not "gentrification" that is economics 101 and no amount of talking points (liberal or conservative) will change it.

Something must be done to kick start supply. Not magic beans, but actual efforts pointed towards more supply. And that has little or nothing to do with the ballpark no matter where it is honestly, except for displacing existing or future construction or using/creating resources used for construction.


The basic issue is that the population has doubled since 1950, and the amount of land near desirable city centers hasn't increased at all. Add to that a huge decline in the average size of household, and the demand for housing units has probably quadrupled. Given that increasing density in these areas is going to either run up against the limits of infrastructure (see Mahattan) or fundamentally change the character of the city, there's no solution.

If you want affordable housing, you're not going to live within 15 minutes of the urban core.

When my wife and I bought our house, for the same price we could get 3000 sq ft on 1/3 of an acre in a very nice suburb 45 minutes from GCT, or a crappy 2 BDR apt. in a neighborhood that was a slum 15 years ago. It wasn't a hard choice.
   53. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2017 at 04:34 PM (#5535331)
The basic issue is that the population has doubled since 1950, and the amount of land near desirable city centers hasn't increased at all.


Sort of, but not really. Even in Earthquake land there is plenty of room to build many more multifamily residences of all types (including high end ones). More housing can be put in place, which will decrease the price overall of housing (because different kinds of housing really are substitutes for each other and ... you know supply, demand).

now if one insists on single family dwelling with a yard ... well good luck with that in many urban cores. But even there putting additional housing in the core should reduce the pricing and increase availability of suburban housing.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5535340)
Sort of, but not really. Even in Earthquake land there is plenty of room to build many more multifamily residences of all types (including high end ones). More housing can be put in place, which will decrease the price overall of housing (because different kinds of housing really are substitutes for each other and ... you know supply, demand).

now if one insists on single family dwelling with a yard ... well good luck with that in many urban cores. But even there putting additional housing in the core should reduce the pricing and increase availability of suburban housing.


They're building plenty of high-end housing in NYC. It doesn't really make anything else more affordable. Mostly gets bought up by foreigners as investments.
   55. The Good Face Posted: September 20, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5535347)
They're building plenty of high-end housing in NYC. It doesn't really make anything else more affordable. Mostly gets bought up by foreigners as investments.


Ding. There are a lot of wealthy people in various 3rd world countries or places where the rule of law is shaky who are eager to stash some of their money in comparatively non-crappy countries where the rule of law is comparatively strong. This is a problem in places like Australia/New Zealand too.
   56. Traderdave Posted: September 20, 2017 at 05:59 PM (#5535388)
They're building plenty of high-end housing in NYC. It doesn't really make anything else more affordable. Mostly gets bought up by foreigners as investments.


That happens in the Bay Area as well, and when it does, it effectively reduces the supply of residential housing unless the owner leases it out all year as a standard rental. Some such foreign owners will Air BnB it here & there, but that doesn't help the residential supply.

It's a tough problem to address. We can't very well ban foreigners from legally acquiring property. Ownership and property rights are core American values, and in any case it would be hard to enforce.

That said. it's damn near impossible to know to what extent this is happening. I have no data, nobody does, but I get the feeling it's being blown out of proportion in the Bay Area. It is frequently cited as a cause of housing crunch, sometimes as THE cause, and there's usually a tinge of xenophobia or even outright bigotry in those screeds.



   57. Zach Posted: September 20, 2017 at 06:36 PM (#5535400)
The basic issue is that the population has doubled since 1950, and the amount of land near desirable city centers hasn't increased at all. Add to that a huge decline in the average size of household, and the demand for housing units has probably quadrupled. Given that increasing density in these areas is going to either run up against the limits of infrastructure (see Mahattan) or fundamentally change the character of the city, there's no solution.


I'd say the basic issue is that ever since 1950, people have been dealing with population increase by subdividing housing that was not overly large or overly well constructed in the first place. So the basic character of the city is "slumlord chic."

You present Manhattan as having the same problem, but apartments are much cheaper in Manhattan, and generally of higher quality. I was pricing both cities last year when I was looking for new jobs, and there was no comparison.
   58. Traderdave Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:33 PM (#5535499)
When you say "both cities" is the other SF?

If so, please elaborate. I ask because I have a close relative considering a move from NY to SF and would like to offer whatever color I can. Did you see places in person or online? Please explain what you mean by "higher quality" and whatever other opinions you can offer
   59. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:39 PM (#5535502)
They're building plenty of high-end housing in NYC. It doesn't really make anything else more affordable. Mostly gets bought up by foreigners as investments.


So your claim is increasing supply doesn't impact prices? I am pretty sure that is not how these things work. Pretty much the only way* to lower the price of housing is to build more housing.

* OK you could pass regulations or maybe kill a bunch of people, but I think those are bad options.
   60. Flynn Posted: September 21, 2017 at 05:52 AM (#5535610)
You still in London or back in the States?


Still in London, my man, although I'll obviously keep you posted.
   61. manchestermets Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:01 AM (#5535618)
It's a tough problem to address. We can't very well ban foreigners from legally acquiring property.


You can take a good look at where the money they're using to buy it has come from though. In London, there's a strong belief to put it mildly that the property market has been skewed by the amount of money laundered through it.
   62. PreservedFish Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:10 AM (#5535622)
I've got a friend that's a journalist that went on a tour of a brand new NYC luxury high-rise a few years ago. Something seemed off about the gym or playroom and he commented to the tour guide about it. The tour guide admitted that such amenities were basically just afterthoughts because they didn't actually expect much occupancy in the building.
   63. The Good Face Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:55 AM (#5535714)
We can't very well ban foreigners from legally acquiring property.


We can't?

You can take a good look at where the money they're using to buy it has come from though. In London, there's a strong belief to put it mildly that the property market has been skewed by the amount of money laundered through it.


Real estate in some of the most desirable cities in the Anglosphere is a great place to stash ill gotten gains if you're a foreign kleptocrat.
   64. Flynn Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5535739)
Banning non-owner-occupied foreign property purchases and getting the gubmint back in the public housing market seem like some pretty good ways to address the housing crisis. Something radical is going to happen, tax breaks aren't going to cut it.
   65. Traderdave Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5535795)
Banning non-owner-occupied foreign property purchases


...is un-American. Seriously. Property rights and economic freedom are two of the pillars of our society.


getting the gubmint back in the public housing market seem like some pretty good ways to address the housing crisis.


The gubmint doesn't have a particularly good record with housing.

Something radical is going to happen, tax breaks aren't going to cut it


In the Bay Area, zoning reform and reduction/removal of regulatory burdens will do the trick. NIMBY's abuse the hell out of CEQA to stop new construction, for example, and large areas are zoned single family only with minimum lot sizes. These are just a couple of the many roadblocks to housing around here. A great deal of housing could be constructed after regulatory reform.
   66. The Good Face Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5535810)
In the Bay Area, zoning reform and reduction/removal of regulatory burdens will do the trick. NIMBY's abuse the hell out of CEQA to stop new construction, for example, and large areas are zoned single family only with minimum lot sizes. These are just a couple of the many roadblocks to housing around here. A great deal of housing could be constructed after regulatory reform.


Zoning and regulatory reform? That sounds like the sort of thing what might involve the gummint. None for me thanks, Free Market Jesus will fix it if we just pray hard enough and don't pollute ourselves with impure thoughts.
   67. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:56 AM (#5535862)
In the Bay Area, zoning reform and reduction/removal of regulatory burdens will do the trick. NIMBY's abuse the hell out of CEQA to stop new construction, for example, and large areas are zoned single family only with minimum lot sizes. These are just a couple of the many roadblocks to housing around here. A great deal of housing could be constructed after regulatory reform.


And with more supply of housing comes a decrease in the price of housing. Supply, meet demand.
   68. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5535869)
C) The right palms haven't been greased, yet


Howie told to us this summer that in New Jersey, if you inquire why a project isn't moving along, the pols will explain that "Mr Green hasn't been heard from yet."
   69. Flynn Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5535901)
...is un-American. Seriously. Property rights and economic freedom are two of the pillars of our society.


Personally, I think people paying half their income to rent a crappy apartment is un-American, but YMMV. Justice for all was the end part of that freedom and liberty motto. Are empty homes owned by CCP officials really justice?


The gubmint doesn't have a particularly good record with housing.


Because the people who want the gubmint to stink at housing make it so. Even the people in Pruitt-Igoe said their problem was a lack of maintenance and opportunity around their house, not that putting people in tower blocks intrinisically makes them sell drugs and get violent. The UK would have a much higher murder rate if that was true.

In the Bay Area, zoning reform and reduction/removal of regulatory burdens will do the trick. NIMBY's abuse the hell out of CEQA to stop new construction, for example, and large areas are zoned single family only with minimum lot sizes. These are just a couple of the many roadblocks to housing around here. A great deal of housing could be constructed after regulatory reform.


Hasn't this been the answer to everything since, at a minimum, Ronald Reagan? And all it's gotten us is spiralling inequality.
   70. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5535920)
Yay, more Republican Mad Libs!

"In _______________ [area], ____________ [type of law that prevents corporations from doing whatever they want] reform and reduction/removal of regulatory burdens will do the trick."
   71. jmurph Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:44 PM (#5535924)
Hasn't this been the answer to everything since, at a minimum, Ronald Reagan? And all it's gotten us is spiralling inequality.

The Bay Area, really California in general (and some other places), hasn't built enough housing stock to keep up with population growth. For literally decades. This isn't a controversial assertion.

   72. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5535925)
Even the people in Pruitt-Igoe


Well, I'll be, so that's where the title of the Phillip Glass piece from Koyaanisqatsi came from (as well as the footage in the movie).

I'd never heard of them before.

   73. Traderdave Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5535940)
Personally, I think people paying half their income to rent a crappy apartment is un-American, but YMMV. Justice for all was the end part of that freedom and liberty motto. Are empty homes owned by CCP officials really justice?


Dude, are you really suggesting we discriminate who is allowed to own property or not, or whom an owner can sell it to, based on national origin? Did you take a sip of Jeff Sessions kool aid before you wrote that?

In the Bay Area, zoning reform and reduction/removal of regulatory burdens will do the trick. NIMBY's abuse the hell out of CEQA to stop new construction, for example, and large areas are zoned single family only with minimum lot sizes. These are just a couple of the many roadblocks to housing around here. A great deal of housing could be constructed after regulatory reform.



Hasn't this been the answer to everything since, at a minimum, Ronald Reagan? And all it's gotten us is spiralling inequality.


The supply demand imbalance in housing has done more than any other economic trend to increase inequality in California and particularly in the Bay Area. Housing cost is the primary reason CA has the highest poverty rate of any state. The deregulation I (and many others) call for isn't based on anything remotely partisan or political, it's just good old fashioned supply and demand, a concept that even Lenin grasped, even if he didn't like it.

Seriously, Flynn, you're a very smart guy, but you're hiding that in this thread.


Here's a link about CA's poverty rate. Google <California poverty housing cost> and you'll find a lot more.
   74. Zach Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:50 PM (#5536002)
When you say "both cities" is the other SF?

If so, please elaborate. I ask because I have a close relative considering a move from NY to SF and would like to offer whatever color I can. Did you see places in person or online? Please explain what you mean by "higher quality" and whatever other opinions you can offer


I was looking at financial sector jobs in SF and NYC. I was living in Berkeley, and researching on the Internet.

I don't have documentation or anything, it just seemed like at the same price level, the New York apartments were nicer, larger, and had more amenities.

The "subdivide 1950s starter homes to make eight small apartments" thing might be more Berkeley / Oakland than SF proper.
   75. Flynn Posted: September 22, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5536697)

Dude, are you really suggesting we discriminate who is allowed to own property or not, or whom an owner can sell it to, based on national origin? Did you take a sip of Jeff Sessions kool aid before you wrote that?


Why not, when we're not talking about owner-occupiers but investors? There are limits on foreign investment on lots of things that could affect national security. Jeff Sessions would have no problem with landlordism, one would suggest his life's dream is to one day become a landlord of a cotton plantation. :-)

The supply demand imbalance in housing has done more than any other economic trend to increase inequality in California and particularly in the Bay Area. Housing cost is the primary reason CA has the highest poverty rate of any state. The deregulation I (and many others) call for isn't based on anything remotely partisan or political, it's just good old fashioned supply and demand, a concept that even Lenin grasped, even if he didn't like it.


But what gets deregulated and to what extent? Do we build on wetlands by the Bay? Are we plunking 20 story apartment blocks in mostly low-slung residential neighborhoods? Zoning and EIRs can be a pain, but at least some of them are gonna be necessary, and removing some hurdles isn't going to lead to a dramatic boom in housing construction. For one thing, developers are perfectly OK with sitting on empty land to keep housing prices high.

If this issue is poverty, then the best course of action is massive state and federal involvement in constructing housing for poor people. No other entity is going to have the resources and scale to make a dent in poverty.

Seriously, Flynn, you're a very smart guy, but you're hiding that in this thread.


I'm now in a country where a major housing crisis in the 1950s was averted through massive amounts of housing be built by the government for people, by both Labour and Conservatives, effectively decommodifying housing for two generations. It was only when that was stopped that housing began to become an investment again, and it's been a pronounced negative for the country as a whole. People not being able to afford to live within 50 miles of their house just isn't normal, and it needs to stop. I think small, incremental half-solutions is going to lead to a much stronger shift in the political system (in a way to a good portion of the Democratic Party being sick and tired of any healthcare solution but single-payer) than going big and going home.
   76. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 22, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5536700)
People not being able to afford to live within 50 miles of their house just isn't normal, and it needs to stop.


AMEN! People should be able to live in their house, not 50 miles away. Living 50 miles away from your house is nuts. Wait, what?
   77. Brian C Posted: September 22, 2017 at 10:48 AM (#5536705)
AMEN! People should be able to live in their house, not 50 miles away. Living 50 miles away from your house is nuts. Wait, what?

It seems pretty obvious he meant "within 50 miles of their job" and just mistyped.
   78. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 22, 2017 at 10:49 AM (#5536706)
It seems pretty obvious he meant "within 50 miles of their job" and just mistyped.


And I hope it was obvious I was joking/having fun with it. But maybe not.
   79. Traderdave Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:26 AM (#5536743)
But what gets deregulated and to what extent? Do we build on wetlands by the Bay? Are we plunking 20 story apartment blocks in mostly low-slung residential neighborhoods? Zoning and EIRs can be a pain, but at least some of them are gonna be necessary, and removing some hurdles isn't going to lead to a dramatic boom in housing construction.


Two things will make prices drop: a weakened economy and additional supply. I *hope* it's the latter you prefer but this thread makes me less than 100% sure...

I'm not sure how up to date you are on Bay Area housing issues. A few random notes and comments:

Supply in the Bay Area is significantly constrained by zoning and most particularly CEQA abuse. I recall when you visited my home you liked the neighborhood. It is charming and a great place to live, which is why I borrowed a ton of money to live there. You are probably not aware that structures larger than a duplex have been banned in my town for almost 50 years. Apartment rents in town have more than doubled in 5 years. There is a pretty clear cause & effect here.

This is only one tiny example, there are countless other such restrictions in the Bay Area, most notoriously in Marin County, which has a population of only about 250,000 due to extreme zoning and other such restrictions.

Here's a piece on CEQA abuse & how it prevents new housing. Keep Googling & you'll find more


On one hand you seem to get that supply will help with affordability, as you cite with the massive govt investment in housing in the UK, but don't really grasp how zoning et al restricts that (referring to your line about 20 stories in a low slung neighborhood -- which is EXACTLY how to accomplish a needed shift in the supply curve without forcing 50 mile commutes.

There is tremendous demand for housing here that the free market could meet -- if it was permitted to.


Full disclosure: I don't want my idyllic neighborhood transformed by massive apartment blocks. I am a bit of a hypocrite and a typical NIMBY in that respect ("I'm all for new housing, just not here") but I am at least an honest, clear thinking & well informed hypocrite.

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