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Old 03-02-2017, 12:23 AM
 
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That article sounds WAY off. $569 is NOTHING. You can't get a highrise site in Seattle for that price anymore, with some buildable sites going in the four figures per square foot. Even a site zoned for six stories will be around that. Manhattan must be much higher.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:27 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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For a single family home, probably coastal Southern CA. For example, $12,475,000 for a undeveloped 10,502 sq ft lot. That's almost $1,200 sq ft for dirt. And that's for a property that will only allow one house versus multiple units/high rises for places like Manhattan.

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Dana-Point...9/home/7204325
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
That article sounds WAY off. $569 is NOTHING. You can't get a highrise site in Seattle for that price anymore, with some buildable sites going in the four figures per square foot. Even a site zoned for six stories will be around that. Manhattan must be much higher.
That's a conservative average. There are numerous sites that fetch far higher, and pre-crash, the average was crazy high. Here's a NYT blog article from mid-2008 citing $2100/sf for one sale. https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2...r-vacant-land/
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
You certainly can't build a 50-story building in a lot of places. You could probably build one on less than 0.1% of the U.S.'s land area. Certainly you couldn't build one in Beverly Hills, or any of the other major "mansion districts" of the country, even though a developer would make well over an order of magnitude more money doing that than just building another mansion.
Sure, there are areas where height restrictions dictate a maximum height of buildings (DC, San Jose, buildings near airports, etc.) but that's the exception, not the rule. There's no law that would prevent you from building a 50 story building in the middle of rural Texas, is there? But what would be the point? The ROI isn't there.

And there are certainly plenty of cities where a 50 story building would be eagerly welcomed and where land would cost pennies on the dollar compared to NYC. But again, the business case often isn't there.

It's an issue of supply and demand for the most part, with height restrictions playing a very small role in most areas.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by UnderTheLiveOaks View Post
Sure, there are areas where height restrictions dictate a maximum height of buildings (DC, San Jose, buildings near airports, etc.) but that's the exception, not the rule. There's no law that would prevent you from building a 50 story building in the middle of rural Texas, is there? But what would be the point? The ROI isn't there.

And there are certainly plenty of cities where a 50 story building would be eagerly welcomed and where land would cost pennies on the dollar compared to NYC. But again, the business case often isn't there.

It's an issue of supply and demand for the most part, with height restrictions playing a very small role in most areas.
You appear to be right that a lot of rural areas in Texas do not have zoning. I will admit I grew up mostly in New England, where every single scrap of land, no matter how rural, has a town government which sets up its own zoning laws. In Pennsylvania it practically speaking works the same way, although the names are different (townships and boroughs, not towns). I don't even tend to think about unincorporated county land as a result, and to the extent I do, I just presume that the counties set the zoning rules (similar to Fairfax County in Virginia.

I think you are wrong about a new 50-story building being eagerly welcomed in "plenty of cities." Speaking of my own city, I know a developer planned to put up a 26-story condo building in a neighborhood outside of downtown, but it was rejected as being "too tall" for the area. I think many cities are like this - AOK with tall buildings downtown, but not if they're elsewhere. Particularly if you're talking about building a tall building in Manhattan style, which would mean without designated parking for the units.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:01 PM
 
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I hear where you're coming from, but I live in a mid-sized city in the south, and a tower crane would be a welcome sight.

But this whole conversation is a bit of a tangent. I stand by my assertion that buildings are tall in Manhattan because the land is in high demand, rather than the land being in high demand because you can build tall buildings there. High-rises aren't cheap to build, so there would need to be a clear business case for building them, and that all comes back to demand.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTheLiveOaks View Post
I hear where you're coming from, but I live in a mid-sized city in the south, and a tower crane would be a welcome sight.

But this whole conversation is a bit of a tangent. I stand by my assertion that buildings are tall in Manhattan because the land is in high demand, rather than the land being in high demand because you can build tall buildings there. High-rises aren't cheap to build, so there would need to be a clear business case for building them, and that all comes back to demand.
I'm not in disagreement. But the original point was comparing land in Manhattan to land in Beverly Hills, or elsewhere in upscale coastal parts of California. I can assure you if it wasn't for zoning, you would be seeing 50-story residential buildings going up in neighborhoods like that, as there is plenty of demand. Thus if you cut away the height/unit/parking restricts, land values would skyrocket. Not to Manhattan levels of course, as Manhattan also prices in all the surrounding amenities and land scarcity. But it would close the gap considerably.
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Old 03-02-2017, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I'm not in disagreement. But the original point was comparing land in Manhattan to land in Beverly Hills, or elsewhere in upscale coastal parts of California. I can assure you if it wasn't for zoning, you would be seeing 50-story residential buildings going up in neighborhoods like that, as there is plenty of demand. Thus if you cut away the height/unit/parking restricts, land values would skyrocket. Not to Manhattan levels of course, as Manhattan also prices in all the surrounding amenities and land scarcity. But it would close the gap considerably.
You sound like Manhattan has no zoning or something. Practically all of Manhattan (90+%?) has zoning and height restrictions, except very few special areas like Hudson Yards. There are plenty areas of Manhattan zoned specifically for lowrise development like Soho, and they are expensive as hell.
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