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Old 10-28-2012, 04:45 PM
 
30,394 posts, read 28,558,830 times
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Here's an interesting perspective on the Betline.

Quote:
The biggest critique centers on gentrification. “Since it’s inception, the BeltLine has received almost no criticism from self-identifying progressives,” says Atlanta Indymedia. This despite the fact that it is basically a “gentrification project for white people,” which involves the “forced displacement of Black families from the city.” The argument here is twofold: the Beltline runs through communities, such as the Old Fourth Ward and Reynoldstown, that have been traditionally working class and African American, but which have already begun to be transformed by largely white, middle-class urban newcomers who fix up the housing stock and raise property values, eventually pricing out the older residents because of rising property taxes and rents. In short, the Beltline is a means to further a process already in motion—as another Indymedia contributor puts it, “a line to serve not workers but, largely, a handful of tourists to view the newly gentrified (= de-blacked) areas along the loop to complete the process begun with the destruction of Atlanta’ public housing that drove thousands out to South DeKalb and Clayton.”

Concerns about gentrification are legitimate, albeit frustratingly complex, and we will return to them in a moment. Critics are not just upset that the Beltline will foster rising property values along its path, but that it will accelerate a process that has already transformed neighborhoods like Candler Park into havens for the white middle class, who send their kids to “good” local schools, or Grant Park, where the new settlers are anxious to get their children into the Neighborhood Charter School (i.e. not mixed in with the poor and dysfunctional public schools in their district). But the gentrification issue is one that emerges pretty much any time projects to improve quality of life in cities threaten to actually improve the quality of life—and thereby entice the homebuyers who drive up property values.

The more worrisome critiques raised about the Beltline involve funding and priorities. Critics allege that the project is pilfering funds that were diverted from property taxes meant for Atlanta Public Schools (APS)—in essence, making poor people of color pay for the amenities enjoyed by white homebuyers who are pushing them out of their neighborhoods and putting their own children in charter schools, a choice that further saps APS of students and funds.

More....Is the Beltline Bad for Atlanta?
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,772 posts, read 8,257,044 times
Reputation: 4769
I don't like this article at all.

When I read through it I feel like the author read up just enough on the issues some complain about to sort of understand the complaints, but he really hasn't read up on the details.

Given the State Supreme Court ruling several years ago he was blatantly incorrect about the part of school funding.

The single biggest problem I have is his short-sightedness on the premise that this is taking largely un-utilized or under-utlitized properties that don't function well in today's economy and allows something new to be built on them.

He says,
"In any case, TAD-funded development remains risky, given that it mortgages current development on fantasies of future growth. It is like getting a home loan not on the basis of your current income, but a raise you think you might get a couple of years from now. It also makes clear that the intent of the project is expressly to raise property values—the central driver of gentrification."

What he is conveniently leaving out or not understanding is the project isn't just increasing values of existing homes, but making land that isn't used anymore....used. That is the core of the increase in property values.

It is taking industrial properties that are no longer economically viable and no companies are moving in, but no one wants to redevelop because of the cost of cleaning up the old site. The property basically is close to worthless and doesn't have much of a tax-digest at all!

If we can clean it up and build condos on it with a few amounts of retail businesses, then the property value goes through the roof. The reason is the land serves an economic function again. He makes it sound like we are just building parks to boost property values of existing housing, as opposed to making unused land function again.



As far as the myriad opinions on gentrification and fear or whites moving in... The city of Atlanta can't just exist to house all of the regions poor and low-middle income residents. If Atlanta is to return to viable fiscal shape, they need neighborhoods in more areas that can be desirable to more people and attract more middle-of-the-road residents.

I just can't buy in to an argument that we can't make our communities better, simply because white people with more money will move in.

I also feel like he is over-relying on arguments against the T-SPLOST for arguments against the Beltline program as a whole. To some extent that is unfair. Lets say we never get transit up and running or regional funding or sales tax funding, that alone isn't enough of an argument we shouldn't do what we are doing now without transit, which in itself is working. He also starts off talking about how complex all the different financial sources are and thus far it is pretty simple and mostly self-funding via the TAD. I think he is talking up the bit federal spending this has attracted so far a bit too much.

He also lost me when he started the article about a long argument/narrative from a different part of the country that did something entirely different from us and has different dynamics. Their growth boundaries have nothing to do with the Beltline, yet that is his introduction? I just can't take it seriously.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
10,030 posts, read 4,171,554 times
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How is gentrification a bad thing?

Why would be want to keep economically blighted areas in the city core from improving?

Makes no sense.

Great post cwkimbro.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,772 posts, read 8,257,044 times
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Oh and one last thing....

He woefully over-relied on -some- progressives and tea partiers coming together to not support the TSPLOST, meant those groups were coming together to not support the Beltline.

That doesn't appear to be the case and is a huge a difference.

TSPLOST Beltline
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:46 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,120 posts, read 37,191,131 times
Reputation: 15576
So in the Beltline we have the makings of a diaspora.
Good God, who are these people?
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:52 PM
 
8,875 posts, read 11,235,778 times
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Your house became more valuable....boo hoo hoo!!!!

If you like living in a blighted area so much, just sell your house for a huge profit. Then you can go buy several houses in another blighted area of town.

Problem solved.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Dunwoody)
2,047 posts, read 4,095,306 times
Reputation: 970
I find it hard to see gentrification as a race issue. It is moreso an economic class issue, especially in a town like Atlanta. I've got friends who are urban pioneers and they're black. Given the low price that many of these properties are selling for pretty much anyone could do the same. Of course, when I say anyone, I mean anyone middle class. Obviously Atlanta is bursting at the seams with black middle and upper class folk. I'm sorry some will be displaced, but it is lack of miney, not racewhich is the culprit.

I cannot argue against something like the Beltline which will markedly improve blighted areas in the name of progressiveness. From a purely pragmatic standpoint gentrification means more tax revenues, period. More tax revenues means better schools and infrastructure.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:08 PM
 
3,317 posts, read 4,909,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Your house became more valuable....boo hoo hoo!!!!

If you like living in a blighted area so much, just sell your house for a huge profit. Then you can go buy several houses in another blighted area of town.

Problem solved.
To be fair, many or most of them rent.

But yeah, the article basically just boils down to the gentrification debate. Most of the other arguments are extremely tenuous.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:11 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,636,855 times
Reputation: 3529
The author has an interesting take on it and frankly I'd probably agree with it.

It makes a strong case for doing away with property taxes too but that's a dead horse that's been beaten many times before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Your house became more valuable....boo hoo hoo!!!!

If you like living in a blighted area so much, just sell your house for a huge profit. Then you can go buy several houses in another blighted area of town.

Problem solved.
TJL, picking up and moving is precisely what the author is talking about. Gentrification.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:14 PM
 
8,875 posts, read 11,235,778 times
Reputation: 7246
Quote:
To be fair, many or most of them rent.
Then I have even less pity because you don't need to go through the hassle of selling before moving.

If you rent, you could afford a place before it got nice. That doesn't mean you have the right to keep affording it because others came in and did a lot of hard work and made it valuable.

The reverse is also true. If you live in a place that starts to go to the dogs, the rent will decrease and you can either stay in a declining area to save money or move on to another area that is nicer that you can afford.

You aren't entitled to have a location freeze in value the day you move there.
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