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Old 12-03-2008, 09:09 AM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,355,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wCat View Post
I understand the need for personal community involvement by residents, but many areas don't have all the resources within the community to rebuild their infrastructure. I personally feel it's important to involve outsiders with revitalization. It invites new ideas, fresh growth, open arms to new neighbors and also life into an often very stagnant or dying economic foundation to support the local businesses.
It's not that outsiders aren't welcome, it's that developers who are trying to flip houses and have no real investment in the community are not the ideal people to help revitalize a community.

I know exactly what jmata's referring to. My neighborhood has seen an amazing resurgence, and while many of us are technically 'outsiders' in that we didn't already live here before and had no family ties to the neighborhood prior to moving here, we bought into the neighborhood and became part of the community. Yes, it takes a bit longer for the houses to be fixed, and streets to get cleaned up, but in the meantime these people are working to make the whole community a better place. They shop in local stores, eat in local restaurants and cafes, participate in the neighborhood garden, send their kids to the local school, not just flip a house trying to make some $$$.

Since the neighborhood has started to take off, I have seen many developers come in and try to cash in, the result is shoddy work and vacant properties. I'm not wholly opposed to developers improving properties so others can buy an already restored home, I just don't think developers often have the interests of what's best for the community at heart. That's not their purpose.Their purpose is to make money on a quick flip.

What has made the difference in our community, is a commitment by the community and local leaders (although this wavers back and forth at times) to real local progress. Not just bringing in a new Starbucks. Some things are big and require major backing (getting rid of Victoria Courts). Some things are small: neighborhood work parties. It takes more time, but in the long run is worth it.

Last edited by Chaka; 12-03-2008 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:32 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 13,711,684 times
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Chaka....I didn't fall off the turnip truck ya know? .....I understood the greedy developer reference. And yes, that "greedy" part would be unwelcome.

Not all developers are greedy, however, and it's unfair to both sides to nix outside help based on some illogical notion without a complete analysis or project development plan. Unfortunately developers have to fight that stereotype.....sort of like crooked lawyers. That doesn't change the fact that we still need them. Some developers that are truly interested in revitalization fall in that category. They are trying to make a difference and a living just as many of us are.

"Outsiders" being beyond the "residents" (new or old) are very much needed to often bring in the right kind of experience to rebuild, renew and restructure old communities. Not every community is equipped with the resources or connections (among residents) to pull off a successful project.....and every community needs to keep their options open to discussions. It's up to the community leaders to be responsible and objective.

This idea that it has to stay within the community also carries the concern of glad handing favors to buddies and connections with people who may not be qualified to be involved. That happens a LOT in small communities and it can be even more costly down the road.

The bottom line is a good system of checks and balances demanded by the residents and implemented by the communities leaders.

Last edited by wCat; 12-03-2008 at 10:48 PM..
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:29 AM
 
824 posts, read 1,601,499 times
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Really interesting comments. This is really the classic double-edge of gentrification: how does a neighborhood get rid of the "bad stuff" that no one wants (crime, graffiti, etc.) and get the "good stuff" that most folks want (improved houses, new shops, services, etc.) without losing the very thing that made the neighborhood special in the first place? Places like Prospect Hill and Tobin Hill are just starting to struggle with this.

Unfortunately, there's not a good answer. New investment in a neighborhood almost requires an outside investor (or developer). And all developers are motiviated by profit; if I don't make a profit on a deal, guess what? I don't get to do another one (no matter how great the project was for the neighborhood).

I think it's a little naive to expect people to invest in a neighborhood unless they believe there's a high liklihood that they can make a profit. But that doesn't always mean profit is their only motivation.

And while it's true that most developers are only focused on the short-term and have no idea what makes neighborhoods work (like the group building those awful townhomes in Tobin Hill), there are plenty of "good" developers who believe it's possible to make money and do build a project that benefits the community. All you need to do is look to Southtown for confirmation....Blue Star, St. Benedicts, King William Lofts, Camp St. & ChrisPark, Southtown Lofts..........all built by developers.

It's important for neighborhoods to work in concert with developers to guide the project (as much as is practical) so that it will benefit the neighborhood over the long-term. And it's even more important for the neighborhood to work with the city and embrace form-based codes and other planning tools that provide for sustainable development.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:39 AM
 
4,796 posts, read 13,711,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvlpr View Post
Really interesting comments. This is really the classic double-edge of gentrification: how does a neighborhood get rid of the "bad stuff" that no one wants (crime, graffiti, etc.) and get the "good stuff" that most folks want (improved houses, new shops, services, etc.) without losing the very thing that made the neighborhood special in the first place? Places like Prospect Hill and Tobin Hill are just starting to struggle with this.

Unfortunately, there's not a good answer. New investment in a neighborhood almost requires an outside investor (or developer). And all developers are motiviated by profit; if I don't make a profit on a deal, guess what? I don't get to do another one (no matter how great the project was for the neighborhood).

I think it's a little naive to expect people to invest in a neighborhood unless they believe there's a high liklihood that they can make a profit. But that doesn't always mean profit is their only motivation.

And while it's true that most developers are only focused on the short-term and have no idea what makes neighborhoods work (like the group building those awful townhomes in Tobin Hill), there are plenty of "good" developers who believe it's possible to make money and do build a project that benefits the community. All you need to do is look to Southtown for confirmation....Blue Star, St. Benedicts, King William Lofts, Camp St. & ChrisPark, Southtown Lofts..........all built by developers.

It's important for neighborhoods to work in concert with developers to guide the project (as much as is practical) so that it will benefit the neighborhood over the long-term. And it's even more important for the neighborhood to work with the city and embrace form-based codes and other planning tools that provide for sustainable development.
A voice of REASON!!! Thank you!
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,615 posts, read 12,791,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
Since the neighborhood has started to take off, I have seen many developers come in and try to cash in, the result is shoddy work and vacant properties. I'm not wholly opposed to developers improving properties so others can buy an already restored home, I just don't think developers often have the interests of what's best for the community at heart. That's not their purpose.Their purpose is to make money on a quick flip.
I saw some of that on Flip this House - San Antonio a few weeks ago. If only the buyers knew about the problems covered up in the bathroom... It looked like they only focused on the appearance rather than underlying structural issues. Guess it makes for better tv (or profits...).
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:27 AM
 
4,796 posts, read 13,711,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba steve View Post
I saw some of that on Flip this House - San Antonio a few weeks ago. If only the buyers knew about the problems covered up in the bathroom... It looked like they only focused on the appearance rather than underlying structural issues. Guess it makes for better tv (or profits...).
Just a note about that show....and flippers in general. They don't actually qualify as a "developer" in the big scheme of things. HGTV has not done us any favors by attempting to teach DIYers to flip houses. The SA show in particular is awful! I don't have a problem with people buying homes to restore and make a profit. It's no different than someone buying an antique and selling it at a premium for a little extra spit and polish.

A whole community structure is another thing however. That's where a master plan is critical to breathing life into an area that desperately needs it.
A credible and experienced developer almost HAS to be part of that process.

Don't get me wrong....I am NOT a developer and don't have any reason to promote using one, other than it's basic common sense. I've seen good and bad. It's just the "baby and the bathwater" mindset that is troubling.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:19 PM
 
7 posts, read 20,160 times
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Yes I totally agree that most of these issues are City Wide matters and more people should get involved and basically CARE. But in this area there is a grave injustice occuring where if your not in the "IN CROWD" you pretty much don't matter.
As a leader and a memer of the Westside Taskforce we look forward to addressing these injustices and as a leader of the Westside Democrats, we look forward to bringing changes in public office where our representatives have proceeded to create or allow these injustices. wCat I value your opinion and feel you made some good points. Perhaps we can talk some day.
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Thanks for your response.

Last edited by BstYet2Be; 12-06-2008 at 12:08 AM.. Reason: Posting your website is not permitted per ToS! In addition, request replies by DM, not by email address
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:22 PM
 
7 posts, read 20,160 times
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Scuba Steve thanks for your comment.
You know reading these post have made me come to realize something. Maybe the only way to really impact or change this status Quo is by changing leadership.
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Thanks again.

Last edited by BstYet2Be; 12-06-2008 at 12:10 AM.. Reason: Solicitations/advertising is not permitted per ToS
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:26 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 13,711,684 times
Reputation: 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmata146 View Post
Yes I totally agree that most of these issues are City Wide matters and more people should get involved and basically CARE. But in this area there is a grave injustice occuring where if your not in the "IN CROWD" you pretty much don't matter.
As a leader and a memer of the Westside Taskforce we look forward to addressing these injustices and as a leader of the Westside Democrats, we look forward to bringing changes in public office where our representatives have proceeded to create or allow these injustices. wCat I value your opinion and feel you made some good points. Perhaps we can talk some day.
Moderator cut: newsletter website and email address removed - use DM's for replies
Thanks for your response.
JM....thanks for your comments. I totally understand about the injustices you are talking about. I do think, however that it's not exclusive to Prospect Hill or even the Westside. I find that the "in crowd" is very much in the minority....so that leaves greater San Antonio in need of assistance. That falls on our City Council in addition to our neighborhood community leaders. Would you agree with that?

Last edited by BstYet2Be; 12-06-2008 at 12:10 AM.. Reason: updated quote
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:48 PM
 
7 posts, read 20,160 times
Reputation: 13
Yes I totally agree.
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