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Old 11-09-2011, 10:53 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,644,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKyank View Post
lets face it, there's a reason that no one chooses to live there
But that premise is false. An increasing number of people are choosing to live Downtown, and judging from waiting lists, even more people would like to live there and will as soon as more suitable units are brought to market.

I also think it is obviously unwise to ignore the experiences of other cities. Again, several other U.S. cities had an area that was similar, and that was developed in recent years into more of a residential and tourist neighborhood. In fact, we have the exact same company that was behind a lot of that in Philly's Central City, PMC, now investing in a bunch of projects in Downtown Pittsburgh.

So let's start from the actual facts--the Downtown population has been rapidly increasing, and large players like PMC are investing in Downtown on the apparent conviction those trends will continue. I don't see why it is so difficult to just acknowledge that much.

Quote:
but chastising people for not loving downtown more then their neighborhood for more then their place of work isnt going to help anything.
I agree with you there. Again, I just don't see this as a zero-sum game--Downtown can continue to develop as a live/visit/play area without taking anything away from the existing neighborhoods.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
But that premise is false. An increasing number of people are choosing to live Downtown, and judging from waiting lists, even more people would like to live there and will as soon as more suitable units are brought to market.

I also think it is obviously unwise to ignore the experiences of other cities. Again, several other U.S. cities had an area that was similar, and that was developed in recent years into more of a residential and tourist neighborhood. In fact, we have the exact same company that was behind a lot of that in Philly's Central City, PMC, now investing in a bunch of projects in Downtown Pittsburgh.

So let's start from the actual facts--the Downtown population has been rapidly increasing, and large players like PMC are investing in Downtown on the apparent conviction those trends will continue. I don't see why it is so difficult to just acknowledge that much.
Don't get me wrong, I think its great what developments are going on downtown, and there is indeed a market there...and as far as central districts go, even the high-end stuff is very affordable compared to many other cities, and I wish it the best. Though I don't necessarily share your optimism that tons of people are actually wanting to move there at the moment, i think that will be a slow process that will require many more amenities then are available at the moment to attract residents. Pretty much the only selling point at the moment is the extremely close proximity to work for some people; more everyday type amenities need to be in place for people to choose living there over a nearby neighborhood that does offer those things.

The high-end residential places were also supposedly in huge demand when the projects were announced as well, but most of those still have vancancies years after.

Regardless, I was mainly objecting to the people that hypocritically want people to support downtown with a passion while they don't do it themselves.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Due North of Potemkin City Limits
1,237 posts, read 858,932 times
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Now if we could have half Miami's weather.........
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:52 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,644,951 times
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It is really just the condo projects which have been slow--the apartment projects all seem to develop waiting lists. That plus the fact that experienced entities are investing in developing more apartments suggests a little "optimism" is warranted.

Incidentally, I think it is a little odd to say proximity to work/school is less important than proximity to "every day" amenities. Going to work/school is something you actually do every day. A grocery store--the thing everyone keeps saying Downtown needs--is more something you do every week or less. So what actual "every day" amenities is Downtown missing, such that it would outweigh having a walking commute each day? In fact, people with walking commutes sometimes go home for lunch, or to walk the dog . . . that makes it a TWICE a day trip.

That said, of course different residential areas have different markets, and it would be silly and unnecessary to claim everyone should want to live Downtown. But in a metro area of over 2 million people, just 1% being interested in living Downtown would be over 20,000 potential residents . . . and yet that still would only be a fraction of the people working there.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Leesburg
799 posts, read 697,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
So I'm actually interested in more people living in Downtown and visiting Downtown, and generally I'd agree that no special effort needs to be made specifically with respect to nightlife--that will follow, and indeed already is following, from increased residency and visitation, which in turn will encourage more residents and visitors, creating a self-reinforcing cycle.

So if you thought I was suggesting otherwise--that some particular effort needed to be made to support nightlife specifically--then that may explain part of our apparent disagreement.



Really? One of my goals is just to have more people living within a short walk of Downtown jobs. How could you get that result elsewhere in the City?

Again, though, you seem to have the impression that my ultimate goal is more nightlife Downtown, and that's not at all my view--the ultimate goal is more residents and visitors Downtown. More amenities available outside work hours is important to me only insofar as it serves that goal.



Depending on what you mean by "place making strategies", I might not disagree. Downtown doesn't need to be "made" as a place--it already IS an important place. I'd characterize my argument as more along the lines of getting the maximum value out of that place.

Heck, these days apartment projects Downtown seem to instantly develop waiting lists. I do think that indicates an undersupply of housing Downtown relative to demand, a condition which I believe is well worth addressing, but that is in some sense the exact opposite of suggesting Downtown needs a "place making strategy".
I think I have a better sense of your position. My participation in this thread concerns the goal of increasing nightlife vitality downtown. I contend that this goal is not important. More people living within walking distance of work? More people living and visiting downtown? That's a separate issue.

I understand the obsession (to parallel my initial post in this thread) with more people living and visiting downtown. I can see how that might be important and even necessary. In and of itself, a more vibrant nightlife downtown is pointless. Along those lines, I doubt a more vibrant nightlife would do much to attract more residents and visitors downtown. That is putting the cart before the horse.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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I don't think it should be ALL about the night life though...

I think what other's are trying to point out is that some ppl would like to have suburban amenities downtown, to shorten their commute but without depriving them of conveniences.

Like in Europe, where most people don't live in suburbs, they live in the city, in smaller places (which equals LESS consumption of water gas, electric blah blah blah) but where they can have a bakery, meat shop etc right there, so they don't have to trek for miles to find bread.

Believe it or not, it would be so much better of most people could walk to work rather than hop in the car and drive for miles.

Others can have their acre lots in the suburbs, but I think the OPTION should be available to those who want a city life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
That "so what?" is why I started that post by referring to a prior post. But to repeat, the concrete uses I foresee as Downtown becomes a more vibrant visit/play/live neighborhood are:

(1) "It will help Downtown employers attract high-value employees, particularly newcomers to the region."

(2) "It will be a logical base for visitors to the region, which feeds into it being a general marketing tool for the region."

(3) "And more people living there will help improve the overall efficiency of the region (including in terms of energy, health, the environment, transportation, and so on)."

That's not just a "civic pride" argument.



I'd give two different answers to those two questions--no to the first (these developments are not "necessary" in any strict sense), yes to the second (these developments are important). Although rather than "important", I might use a term like "very helpful".
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Incidentally, I think it is a little odd to say proximity to work/school is less important than proximity to "every day" amenities. Going to work/school is something you actually do every day. A grocery store--the thing everyone keeps saying Downtown needs--is more something you do every week or less. So what actual "every day" amenities is Downtown missing, such that it would outweigh having a walking commute each day? In fact, people with walking commutes sometimes go home for lunch, or to walk the dog . . . that makes it a TWICE a day trip.
The problem though is that downtown is competing with areas that offer the best of both worlds. Just taking myself, I can walk to work & live in an area that's filled with amenities & bustling nightlife + has free parking to boot if I want a vehicle.

Like I said, I do believe downtown has lots of potential & is moving in the right direction, I just feel it needs to offer alot more then it currently does for it to become a heavily sought after residential area when you have what are in my opinion much more attractive living options in close proximity.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKyank View Post
The problem though is that downtown is competing with areas that offer the best of both worlds.
Obviously some people can both live and walk to work/school in Shadyside, the South Side, Bloomfield, Oakland, and so on, and I have consistently noted we should continue to support such neighborhoods and try to develop more.

But no other neighborhood has so many jobs as Downtown (and it also has some schools). And for a person working (or going to school) Downtown, it then becomes a forced tradeoff--a daily walking commute and a weekly non-walking trip for groceries, or a daily non-walking commute but a weekly walking trip for groceries. Given that forced tradeoff, I don't think it is surprising an increasing number of people are interested in the former deal.

Quote:
I just feel it needs to offer alot more then it currently does for it to become a heavily sought after residential area when you have what are in my opinion much more attractive living options in close proximity.
I don't know what you mean by "heavily sought after area". But what we know is that Downtown's population has been growing at a rapid rate in recent years, we know that there are waiting lists for recent apartment projects, and we know that serious entities are investing in developing more residential units. So it doesn't appear that the value proposition offered by Downtown is currently serving as a constraint on potential demand.

Of course maybe potential demand will indeed run out at some higher level--a sign of that happening would be developers finding that they are unable to rent out their new apartment units (which, again, to my knowledge has not yet happened). But of course increased residency will continue to support increased amenities (maybe even the ever-elusive grocery store at some point), so Downtown's value proposition will continue to improve.

Accordingly, it is also entirely possible that potential demand will keep growing until you start reaching serious supply constraints. In that scenario, instead of new apartments being left vacant, the limited supply of apartments will experience increasing rents. And in fact that is more consistent with what we are seeing so far.

In short, it is easy to theorize that no one would want to move Downtown without a grocery store, or whatever else one might have in mind that Downtown lacks. But such theories don't make sense of what we are actually observing, and it really isn't hard to understand why--in fact surveys of Downtown residents tell us exactly what I suggested above, namely that their most common reason for their choosing to live Downtown is convenience of location to work/school.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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I meant live in a neighborhood & also walking downtown for work, mainly thinking of the southside as in my case or also the north side & to a lessor extent the strip as better living options for downtown to compete with.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:41 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,644,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKyank View Post
I meant live in a neighborhood & also walking downtown for work, mainly thinking of the southside as in my case or also the north side & to a lessor extent the strip as better living options for downtown to compete with.
So, it is well known that the number of people willing to do a walk starts to drop off sharply after about 1/4 a mile, and really plummets after about 1/2 a mile.

Even if you are standing right at 10th and E. Carson, it is still almost a mile to get to the edge of Downtown. Similar issues arise with the North Side and Strip--most of where you can live in those neighborhoods puts you well outside of 1/2 a mile to get just to the edge of Downtown.

Of course some people will still consider those walkable commutes, but we know that most people will not. Hence it is perfectly reasonable to expect Downtown itself to attract people who work or go to school Downtown and particularly value a walking commute.

And again, we know that is exactly what is happening--Downtown resident surveys indicate this is their top factor for living Downtown (proximity to work/school, and the second factor is accessibility to everything else).
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