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Old 08-18-2011, 12:02 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,670,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
Probably why the newer developments usually include an assortment of townhomes.
yes, there are certainly people who prefer something other than a SFH for reasons having nothing to do with location. The posted statistics from the study didnt show how "prefers SFH or not" maps to "prefers near transit" or "favors convenience over size".



If you look at the DC Urban Turf site, just about all the new multifamily projects in the pipeline in NoVa are within a mile or less of an existing, under construction, or planned passenger rail facility, except for one project in Chantilly (and even that isnt too far from the silver line) - and only one that I recall (in the REX corridor about a mile from huntington metro) of those isnt walking distance.

Now Im not sure if DC UT is overlooking some other projects - they may be. If they are accurate, though, thats an interesting pattern. We used to have many high rise apts built in NoVa in places far from frequent transit and not close to the core (Annandale and Fairfax circle being two examples)

Note I have changed the topic from THs, mainly cause I dont know an equavalent source. My sense is that THs are still built in more distributed locations much more frequently than the multifamily units.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:06 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,670,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
Probably why the newer developments usually include an assortment of townhomes. BTW Donald Trump just bought a townhouse down the street from here. Maybe he didn't want to do yardwork.
since he was brought up in Forest Hills, in Queens, NY, he might be sticking to his roots. he probably likes the community feel with his neighbors close by. Plus saving on heating costs from having a common wall.

the Don got his stake from his dad, who made his money building places like this

http://trumpvillageapts.com/
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,007,803 times
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Unfortunately what homebuyers want is often quite different from what they will pay for and what developers can make the most money on. Seems since the 80s developers around here have determined they can only make money on giant brick McMansions for affluent buyers and cheap townhouses for the less affluent or those living closer in. Apparently there's no profit here in 1,500-2,000 sq. ft SFHs.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:13 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,670,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Unfortunately what homebuyers want is often quite different from what they will pay for and what developers can make the most money on. Seems since the 80s developers around here have determined they can only make money on giant brick McMansions for affluent buyers and cheap townhouses for the less affluent or those living closer in. Apparently there's no profit here in 1,500-2,000 sq. ft SFHs.

given the scarcity of vacant land closer in, its not surprising thats not profitable in the closer in jurisdictions in NoVa. I mean it hardly makes sense to tear down a 1500 sq foot house to build another 1500 sq foot house, does it?

I thought there were houses like that being built pre-bubble at least in PWC and Stafford, and maybe in LC? Maybe some now, though the overhang of homes from 2006 and earlier must impact that.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:18 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,400,020 times
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Another issue is that traffic is so incredibly bad here that it's a much bigger ordeal to *drive* to a (hypothetical) shopping area that might be relatively near to your suburban neighborhood. In other words, the last thing on a harried commuter's mind during those precious few hours (s)he actually gets to spend at home is: "I wanna go out there [in my car] again!"

BTW, I plan to raise my (future) children in an urban setting.

Last edited by Alicia Bradley; 08-18-2011 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,935,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
GGW is a group blog, and the different contributors vary.
They vary only in their identities, but not in their viewpoints. I have yet to see a post that defends the idea of the bucolic car-friendly suburb on GGW. Which is fine; the blog belongs to one guy (David Alpert), and he has every right to make it reflect his views.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I certainly see lots of support for townhomes, and plenty for older single family homes in urban nabes (read any of the posts about Anacostia)
Of course! They're careful to disavow anything that would smack too overtly of gentrification and make it too obvious that what they support will raise property tax assessments and thus end up pushing out older African Americans. (When it's any other group, GGW's attitude seems to be "That's life.")

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Mostly the focus is on DC , but there are a few about the suburbs - lately a bunch on TOD possibilities in PG, and a whole bunch on the Silver Spring curfew issue. Not that many on NoVa, but a few, more on transit issues than on housing issues though.
I've been reading GGW for several years now, and it consistently advocates for increased density--in NOVA as well as DC. Look at this post from earlier in the year, about the Ravenwood neighborhood, not far from Annandale. The neighborhood wanted to stop the developer from building more density (townhouses in this case)--and yet GGW supported this. Anyone who opposes increased density in their neighborhood is dismissed as a NIMBY. Don't want a condo tower looming over your backyard? Go away, NIMBY! (Interestingly, they were all for NIMBYism when it came to Arlington's opposition to the HOT lanes on 395. And when the widening of I-66 was being discussed.)

GGW's columnists (and most of its commenters) would like to see innocuous, low-rise, neighborhood-based shopping centers with free parking be turned into towering condos with lots of retail and no free parking. A while back, they posted this screed proposing to turn a beloved local shopping area (near our old neighborhood) into a dense regional retail monstrosity. Thank God this never happened.

Likewise, they're all too happy to see Potomac Yard be turned from the uncharming-but-useful retail destination it currently is into another Clarendon.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 08-18-2011 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:20 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,670,321 times
Reputation: 2493
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Unfortunately what homebuyers want is often quite different from what they will pay for and what developers can make the most money on. Seems since the 80s developers around here have determined they can only make money on giant brick McMansions for affluent buyers and cheap townhouses for the less affluent or those living closer in. Apparently there's no profit here in 1,500-2,000 sq. ft SFHs.

so I did a quick redfin search on SFH's under 2000 sq ft built later than 2000.

Not many. In some cases the sq ft looks like a typo, based on the pic.

But the apparently genuine ones are NOT cheap. Not at all. Given that it doesnt cost much more to build something bigger, its probably not logical to build that small on the rare vacant lot close in.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,613,293 times
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I think developments like Brambleton and the Kentlands/Lakelands (in Maryland) are so popular because it meets a lot of people's wish lists - it has the newer and bigger homes along with the "walkability to destinations" aspect. In this area, because there are so many jobs in the Dulles corrider, Brambleton may also meet the "close to jobs" need for many people. I find that developments such as these tend to command a premium over comparable developments without the walkable to "destination aspect."

While I personally prefer a "real, walkable town" over a planned development like Brambleton, I would definitely much prefer living in such a planned development over one that isn't walkable to destinations. In fact, we are looking at a development similar to Brambleton in the Chapel Hill area because the downtown there is all college students. So if we want walkable, we'll probably go to such a planned walkable to destination community. As far as I can tell from the research I have done, this community commands a premium over similar homes that don't have a grocery store, movie theatre, pool, school, restaurants, and stores that you can walk to.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:28 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,040,806 times
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What people SAY they want in surveys is one thing. What they actually buy is another. "Smart" growth planners have been trying to get people to live in congested urban/inner suburban communities for a long time, but a substantial number of family buyers still want a SFH with a garage for the cars and a yard for the kids, and they don't want to live near busy streets and noisy commercial areas. They'd like to be able to walk to a coffee shop/library/pool/school, but they want to drive to a nearby grocery store/Target and park in the giant free lot right outside.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:33 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,670,321 times
Reputation: 2493
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
They vary only in their identities, but not in their viewpoints. I have yet to see a post that defends the idea of the bucolic car-friendly suburb on GGW. Which is fine; the blog belongs to one guy (David Alpert), and he has every right to make it reflect his views..

no, none of them are pushing more car friendly suburbs. Theres a big difference between that and saying there should be hirise condos everywhere. They are pushing denser and more transp options, which can include a variety of housing forms.


.
Quote:
Of course! They're careful to disavow anything that would smack too overtly of gentrification and make it too obvious that what they support will raise property tax assessments and thus end up pushing out older African Americans. (When it's any other group, GGW's attitude seems to be "That's life.").
I see a variety of positions on how and whether to maintain income diversity. I have never seen them argue against say, circuit breakers to hold tax assessments constant for the elderly or other solutions like that. They arent of course in the camp that thinks high crime, poor schools, and inconvenient access are good ways to hold housing costs down. Its NOT for everyone.


..
Quote:
"I've been reading GGW for several years now, and it consistently advocates for increased density--in NOVA as well as DC. Look at this post from earlier in the year, about the Ravenwood neighborhood, not far from Annandale. The neighborhood wanted to stop the developer from building more density (townhouses in this case)--and yet GGW supported this. "..
Thats a close in area. I followed that on annandale blogspot - i could see arguments both ways. Im not surprised that GGW would support THs in such a case. Thats not quite supporting condos everywhere. If they are supporting high rise condos in the suburbs anywhere away from rail transit, Id be slightly surprised.

..
Quote:
"Anyone who lives in a neighborhood that opposes something, no matter how unwelcome, is a NIMBY. Don't want a condo tower looming over your backyard? Go away, NIMBY!"..
They are pretty supportive of the folks who oppose the outer beltway/western bypass, who could also be accused of being NIMBYists. NIMBY plays both ways.


..
Quote:
"GGW's columnists (and most of its commenters) would like to see innocuous, low-rise, neighborhood-based shopping centers with free parking be turned into towering condos with lots of retail and no free parking. A while back, they posted this screed proposing to turn a beloved local shopping area (near our old neighborhood) into a dense regional retail monstrosity. Thank God this never happened."..
That didnt read like a screed to me, but more of a discuission.

..
Quote:
"Likewise, they're all too happy to see Potomac Yard be turned from the uncharming-but-useful retail destination it currently is into another Clarendon.
My understanding is that Pot Yd has been envisioned as a place for hirises since it was sold by the railroad (other than a brief flirtation with a stadium) . The big box stores were built as place holders till the time for redevelopment was ripe - they were never intended to be permanent, either by the developer, or by the city of Alexandria. All the public policy debate has been about the exact extent of density when the area is redeveloped - I have not heard that anyone, even the local nabe assns has ever seriously suggested keeping the big boxes indefinitely.

Last edited by brooklynborndad; 08-18-2011 at 01:19 PM..
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