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Old 12-30-2014, 09:26 AM
 
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Lots of people want to move back to the core--the problem is, there isn't much housing in the core, and because these areas are zoned commercial, builders often don't want to build residential units in commercial areas because they get smaller rents. In cities where incentives or other measures were taken to convert vacant commercial space to residential, populations are surging upward. Downtown Los Angeles is the ideal example: they had a population of 15,000 in 2000, and the city changed building codes so anyone who wanted to convert an old office (1980 or older) to residential could do so by right, without having to provide more parking, and otherwise just clearing bureaucratic hurdles out of the way. Today there are more like 45,000 people living in downtown LA, and new buildings under construction amidst the old office buildings turned into residential!
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rzzzz View Post
No. Seattle is not more expensive when compared to income. Average household income in Seattle is almost $40,000/yr more than in Portland. Yet a mortgage payment is only about $400/m more than in Portland. Also, Seattle has far more physical growth boundaries compared to Portland. However, this has nothing to do with the topic of the thread anymore.
Go back and look at the very link you posted. Seattle's housing is more expensive than Portland's. Median home price to median income ratio if 4.5 vs only 4.2 for Portland. As others have mentioned. Geographic development barriers in Seattle exist, but they are much more loose than Portlands growth boundaries. The article that you posted doesn't say what you seem to think it does.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Lots of people want to move back to the core--the problem is, there isn't much housing in the core, and because these areas are zoned commercial, builders often don't want to build residential units in commercial areas because they get smaller rents. In cities where incentives or other measures were taken to convert vacant commercial space to residential, populations are surging upward. Downtown Los Angeles is the ideal example: they had a population of 15,000 in 2000, and the city changed building codes so anyone who wanted to convert an old office (1980 or older) to residential could do so by right, without having to provide more parking, and otherwise just clearing bureaucratic hurdles out of the way. Today there are more like 45,000 people living in downtown LA, and new buildings under construction amidst the old office buildings turned into residential!
It really depends upon how you define core and what metro you're talking about. I personally define core as the older part of the city, which depends upon metro age. In many large metros, that's the CBD, older residential areas that are roughly adjacent to the CBDs that are appreciably more dense than post war residential areas, and infill that occurs in both plus older industrial corridors. There is demand for residential in these areas, but there are hurdles: crime, schools, etc. With respect to CBDs, I agree that doing things like freeing developers from parking requirements helps. The biggest problem w CBDs being lively places dates back to Euclidian zoning favoring separation of use. After a few decades of this policy, we were left with employment centers that couldn't be 24-7 because hardly anyone lived there. Most people don't want to live where there are no people around. Not in an urban setting anyway. What has helped in this respect is availability of aging commercial that doesn't extract optimum rents. If developers keep building more Class A commercial, a backlog of C isn't going to see the light if day for office use. Supply of superior office space depresses rents enough to put older structures in play for residential. If a critical mass of residential is met such that there are people downtown in the evenings, then the trend feeds on itself. More people out at 8pm = more people wanting to live downtown. It's a long process in most places.

Indianapolis is on no ones list of really urban downtowns. For its metro size, it punches above its weight, but it's not at all comparable to larger metros. It's taken the city 25 years to see the seeds of what it is now starting to generate in terms of new downtown residences. Maybe 1000 or so more next year with other amenities also in the pipeline. To add those units, they needed a base of people already living in the area (maybe 10,000 or so). I wouldn't at all be surprised if that figure doubled in the next 10 years. I also wouldn't be surprised if it hit 50k over the next 30. It just takes a lot if time to undo what separation if use did from about 1940-1980 though.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by armory View Post
DC is vibrant/hustling weekdays 8-6. To be more accurate it is like a balloon which is inflated/deflated daily as most of downtown is as one large office building. People go there to work and leave as soon as they can. There are pockets of activity but NOVA is more active.

When was the last time you were in D.C., 1990?
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by FBJ View Post
I don't remember DC having much of a downtown, is it small?

D.C. has the second largest downtown in the nation behind NYC. It runs from Foggy Bottom through Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Penn Quarter, Mt. Vernon Triangle, Northwest One, to NOMA.

A second downtown is forming south of the National Mall that runs from the Eco District through the Wharf, Waterfront Station, Buzzard Point, to Capital Riverfront/Navy Yard.

I don't think there is a city anywhere in the nation that has changed at the speed Washington D.C. has. It has been a hot topic among historians and urban planners nationally. The gentrification has been unprecedented in the nation's capital since around 2005.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:02 AM
 
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Yeah, DC has an enormous downtown. Probably second largest in the U.S.

Is it second best in the U.S.? Probably not. But it's almost certainly second largest.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MDAllstar View Post
D.C. has the second largest downtown in the nation behind NYC. It runs from Foggy Bottom through Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Penn Quarter, Mt. Vernon Triangle, Northwest One, to NOMA.

A second downtown is forming south of the National Mall that runs from the Eco District through the Wharf, Waterfront Station, Buzzard Point, to Capital Riverfront/Navy Yard.

I don't think there is a city anywhere in the nation that has changed at the speed Washington D.C. has. It has been a hot topic among historians and urban planners nationally. The gentrification has been unprecedented in the nation's capital since around 2005.
I'd love to see a source for this. It appears to me that the claim is based more upon how a downtown boundary might be randomly drawn than a truly meaningful comparison. For example, just about every cvs ranking I've ever seen has Midtown Manhattan, Chicago, and downtown Manhattan 1-2-3 in rankings if CBDs. DC is usually way down the list. If we want to start including a wider area, that's fine. It just needs to be done for other cities as well.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:33 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
I'd love to see a source for this.
Let's not, there are a number of threads on city vs city on this. Arguing over the specifics of Downtown DC is off topic for the thread.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Let's not, there are a number of threads on city vs city on this. Arguing over the specifics of Downtown DC is off topic for the thread.
Didn't realize that. Thanks.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:40 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
I'll point that most of the northern US has not grown that fast, and below the American average. So it would be surprising if Michigan grew at the US average. Michigan grew 11.6% since 1970, New York state has grown only 8.2% since 1970. Not saying metro Detroit has done well economically recently.
True, but 1981, 82 and 83 saw huge population losses in Michigan; almost 100,000 in 83 alone.
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