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Old 05-16-2012, 02:39 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,868 posts, read 12,035,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
I didn't say the houses behind the Safeway would drop so much in value as to be considered cheap (certainly not under $500K); I said that the addition of multiple people's windows overlooking a backyard will lower that home's market value. (Surely you would not debate that point.)
I'm not 100% certain they will decline, but I don't feel confident saying no. They might. Too many variables.


Quote:
If the owners don't like living with the new development behind them, they will try to sell..)
yes, and if they don't like the dog barking down the block they will sell. Zoning is not a guarantee nothing will ever change. And homeowning comes with risks. however it is the case that none of the homeowners whose homes increased in value as RBC developed seem inclined to give the value away.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
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Ive never heard of a SFH going down in price when a strip mall is removed and improved to a better facility that has better pedestrian and less vehicular accommodations. The people in that area are probably celebrating that the awful parking lot is going away. I also think you are over estimating what 35 ft is. Thats the height of regular roof lines.

The penthouse is a mechanical space for HVAC equipment, it is located so that no one can see it from street level (stepped back at an angle of repose). Even if the building is 45 feet tall, it will appear in all accounts to be 35. This also ensures exactly what you are afraid of WONT happen. When you build a new building, it becomes almost impossible for someone to build something bigger (atleast for a generation) because the original owner must first make back their investment. Instead of an actual high rise, in this case you are getting a 3story upgraded grocery instead of the crappy, parking infested traffic magnet from before.

This is making the urbanist case, not the other way around. I feel like you are fighting improvement for the sake of an ideology against some sort of height. I assure you there will be 0 shadow from a 35 foot building when there is a road in between (roads are typically anywhere from 30' to 60' in width. And the house is likely not on the face of the right of way.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:50 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,754 posts, read 10,199,551 times
Reputation: 3938
1. It's not a strip mall--just a Safeway and a parking lot.

2. I'm not completely against redeveloping it, as I've said. I just don't want to see new residences put atop the new Safeway, and I don't want to see something 45 feet tall plus penthouse.

3. In my neighborhood, "regular roof lines" are way less than 35 feet.

4. There won't be any road between anything. If you look at the PDF you'll see the area in question.

5. Re. "parking infested traffic magnet": This Safeway is not a magnet for anything. Trust me on this. The parking lot is never crowded, ever. Again, I would be OK with and even welcome some types of redevelopment--hardly a resolute ideological stance--but what's being proposed I believe is too tall. If it were smack in the middle of Ballston, I would not be saying that. But this property abuts a neighborhood of detached houses.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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I'm surprised that they want to build there (Safeway). Isn't it separated, and a bit far, from Ballston?
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
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Does it say that its a residential penthouse? Because often non-architects and architects have different opinions on what a penthouse is. Sometimes a penthouse is a mechanical penthouse (no residence just AC units and vents) sometimes its an actual livable space penthouse. This makes a big difference in what the actual perceived elevation is.

I would argue this really isnt an urbanism project, it sounds (since its likely to remain by right) that the grocery parcel owner wants to renovate, not to provide any new density or anything (atleast not sizable enough to call this a redevelopment). Technically anything that moves 5000 sf on a developed site is considered a redevelopment, but again thats technical speak, by no means does that mean its going to become an urbanist retail area.

Dunno, I have been so packed at work I can't speak intelligibly anymore. Sorry if I rambled. PS Carlingtonian, I appreciate your point of view, it helps prepare urbanism believers for the kinds of retorts that we usually get when we address public policy decisions. I understand your concerns, that you didnt buy your place so that it would be on the verge of redeveloping. I will tell you this much though, I would worry about mcmansions more than urbanism redevelopment. In the part of arlington you are in, no one in their right mind would try to consolidate a bunch of very expensive homes individually from homeowners (all at a hefty price and have to sit on the investment for years until every last lot is purchased). Redevelopment in Arlington because of this fact follows a path of least resistance, the property that already is rezoned for some form of small time mid density/commercial, and is all one or two parcels owned by one land manager. It might cost slightly more to buy these type of properties, but the fact that you dont have to wait 15 years to consolidate all the lots makes up for that fact.

McMansions only have to get 1, 2, 3 lots together to build their monstrosities, much more damaging to the region, and much more likely to make houses around it's values go down (and they dont contribute any benefit to taxes, in fact mcmansions make the jurisdiction net losers when 3 properties become 1 typically).
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:14 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,754 posts, read 10,199,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
Sorry if I rambled. PS Carlingtonian, I appreciate your point of view, it helps prepare urbanism believers for the kinds of retorts that we usually get when we address public policy decisions. I understand your concerns, that you didnt buy your place so that it would be on the verge of redeveloping. I will tell you this much though, I would worry about mcmansions more than urbanism redevelopment. In the part of arlington you are in, no one in their right mind would try to consolidate a bunch of very expensive homes individually from homeowners (all at a hefty price and have to sit on the investment for years until every last lot is purchased). Redevelopment in Arlington because of this fact follows a path of least resistance, the property that already is rezoned for some form of small time mid density/commercial, and is all one or two parcels owned by one land manager. It might cost slightly more to buy these type of properties, but the fact that you dont have to wait 15 years to consolidate all the lots makes up for that fact.

McMansions only have to get 1, 2, 3 lots together to build their monstrosities, much more damaging to the region, and much more likely to make houses around it's values go down (and they dont contribute any benefit to taxes, in fact mcmansions make the jurisdiction net losers when 3 properties become 1 typically).
Rambling is a fine tradition here, one that I indulge in myself on occasion!

I agree that McMansions are also a huge threat. We have several nearby. I've learned to live with them. Re. the lots they're on: I've actually noticed the opposite happening; they'll take one large lot and subdivide, putting several homes there. One of the most egregious examples is the new houses at Carlin Springs and N. George Mason, where there used to be one large, fieldstone Colonial with a two-car garage and a gargantuan backyard. Now it's 10 McMansions, each with no backyard. We actually get sales flyers in the mail inviting us to visit them. Grrr...

Again, I'm not against all commercial development. I've seen dowdy, run-down strip malls that I think could stand to be replaced. I just think that developers are often greedy and instead of putting in a nicer version of what was there, want to extract every last dollar by putting in four or five stories where there used to be one.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,868 posts, read 12,035,792 times
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Bluemont Safeway Looks to Sell Development Rights | ARLnow.com

based on these comments, looks like a lot of people in the area are looking forward to this - either they dont mind the modest increase in height, or think the retail improvements will more than offset that. Sounds like it could INCREASE the value of properties there.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:12 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,868 posts, read 12,035,792 times
Reputation: 2602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
I just think that developers are often greedy and instead of putting in a nicer version of what was there, want to extract every last dollar by putting in four or five stories where there used to be one.

why is that any greedier than someone who bought in a neighborhood, and has seen signficant appreciation, opposing anything that might slightly lower their property values - when that change could provide more people a chance to live in such a nice area, and to live closer to their work, to transit, to biking facilities.

There's greed all around.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:19 PM
 
2,734 posts, read 5,184,615 times
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Tysonsengineer said: "McMansions only have to get 1, 2, 3 lots together to build their monstrosities, much more damaging to the region, and much more likely to make houses around it's values go down (and they dont contribute any benefit to taxes, in fact mcmansions make the jurisdiction net losers when 3 properties become 1 typically)."

I agree with Carlingtonian in his reply to this. From what I have observed in Arlington, it is much more common to see a single, quarter acre or slightly larger lot divided into two, with a McMansion placed on each, or a McMansion is placed on an existing lot. Rarely are two or more lots combined in order to build a McMansion, probably because (a) you don't see adjoining Arl. lots or tear downs for sale at the same time very often and (b) for about the past 8 years or so, the land has been so expensive, that a McMansion on a double lot would cost about $500K more than one on a single lot, and much more than one that is built on a subdivided lot. Most people aren't able or willing to pay that much for the land, but a lot of people don't mind buying a big house on a small lot. So, builders don't consider it necessary, or even desirable, to buy more than one lot, in order to cram a McMansion on it.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,123,394 times
Reputation: 1503
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
Tysonsengineer said: "McMansions only have to get 1, 2, 3 lots together to build their monstrosities, much more damaging to the region, and much more likely to make houses around it's values go down (and they dont contribute any benefit to taxes, in fact mcmansions make the jurisdiction net losers when 3 properties become 1 typically)."

I agree with Carlingtonian in his reply to this. From what I have observed in Arlington, it is much more common to see a single, quarter acre or slightly larger lot divided into two, with a McMansion placed on each, or a McMansion is placed on an existing lot. Rarely are two or more lots combined in order to build a McMansion, probably because (a) you don't see adjoining Arl. lots or tear downs for sale at the same time very often and (b) for about the past 8 years or so, the land has been so expensive, that a McMansion on a double lot would cost about $500K more than one on a single lot, and much more than one that is built on a subdivided lot. Most people aren't able or willing to pay that much for the land, but a lot of people don't mind buying a big house on a small lot. So, builders don't consider it necessary, or even desirable, to buy more than one lot, in order to cram a McMansion on it.
Not sure how they are doing this on some of the smaller lots, but fair enough.

Either way, that plays into my point, its even easier for McMansions to happen when they can simply buy 1 lot and turn it into two or 3 monstrosities, now they dont even have to wait to accumulate.

Unlike mcmansions highrises have very very very stringent zoning requirements including sight line analysis, shadow analysis, architectural review, urban review, etc etc the list goes on for miles compared to mcmansions. And for a high rise development of 3 or so to be built requires about 3 or 4 acres, or about 16 lots (very hard to even accumulate). And even if you accumulate it, now that you own it, you would have to hold onto it for decades until it FINALLY would theoretically be up for rezoning. Thats a long time to own a property that you spent dozens of millions when one could just buy the commercial property completely away from houses, in an urban core already zoned for high rise, and build there.

In development, if you are sitting on a vacant or underused property for a decade, you've already lost your butt, that is a nightmare scenario for all but the longest of the long players.
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