Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
2,500,000 members. Thank you!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-26-2012, 03:55 PM
 
2,736 posts, read 5,420,312 times
Reputation: 2305

Advertisements

"Now Coveted: A Walkable, Convenient Place" By CHRISTOPHER B. LEINBERGER


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/op...me&ref=general

"...Mariela Alfonzo and I just released a Brookings Institution study that measures values of commercial and residential real estate in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, which includes the surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland. Our research shows that real estate values increase as neighborhoods became more walkable, where everyday needs, including working, can be met by walking, transit or biking. There is a five-step “ladder” of walkability, from least to most walkable. On average, each step up the walkability ladder adds $9 per square foot to annual office rents, $7 per square foot to retail rents, more than $300 per month to apartment rents and nearly $82 per square foot to home values..."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-26-2012, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,073,928 times
Reputation: 6920
correlation doesn't mean causation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2012, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,291,607 times
Reputation: 1504
CAVA, lets put it this way, grocery stores and unique retail options dont like being in strip malls where parking creates a vast buffer from them to where residents are. Thats why less walkable areas get lower end options like Wal-Mart, Target, Shoppers, and Giants (no offense but those are your traditional low price offerers).

In walkable areas where there is an inherent population of non-drivers, ie the critical threshold of 1/2 mile residents who wouldn't necessarily drive and therefore less parking is needed, you see a sudden spike in higher end retail like your HTs, Whole Foods, and even better true local markets run by actual people and not multi-nationals. When you have an actual owner or leaser run "mom and pop" they take pride in their retail space and make sure that it remains as attractive as possible on the outside and inside, where as lower end retailers often times could care less what their road frontage looks like.

When you incorporate retail into the neighborhood you see huge benefits. This study just backs that idea. Now they come at it a dumb way, and I would agree if you said it might be a chicken and egg scenario, where nicer neighborhoods breed better development which breeds better housing prices and the cycle would continue. Whether it is the planner who creates the concept from genesis or a neighborhood which evolves to this point is a matter of time/policy. But I wouldnt say that there isnt some form of cause occurring. It isn't just magic that nice walkable areas become nice expensive neighborhoods. The fact remains people when given the option of having nice things to do would rather do that then jump in a car go on a freeway for every daily routine.

Think of the walkability as an amenity, its not everything but like having a pool or nice back yard, or high end finishes, it is one of the reasons a neighborhood is higher priced.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2012, 12:27 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,025,497 times
Reputation: 2866
Funny - I thought Wegman's went to Western Fairfax and points further west and south because it wanted plenty of parking where the rents and/or construction costs were lower. Would love to have one in our comparatively walkable suburb, where many residents have WS in the 60s and 70s. Oh well, at least we have a Balducci's. I've lived in too many walkable areas where many of the retail options were bodegas, restaurants that sell unhealthy food, and liquor stores to subscribe fully to the theory than dense developments always attract the type of high-end retail TE describes.

By the way, I don't think many areas in Fairfax or Loudoun were even part of the study area in the Brookings study. I'm not sure it tells you much about the future of affluent areas that aren't considered walkable. It may suggest that the best path forward for some low-income areas like Temple Hills, MD is to try and enhance their walkability, which is sometimes easier said than done. Obviously there have been some amazing success stories like Columbia Heights in DC, which has the advantages of a Metro station, very nice architecture and its setting in a city where taxpayer money has flowed liberally. In the space of 20 years, it has gone from being a bit of a no-man's land to a fairly desirable urban neighborhood, albeit one that still has a fair amount of random crime.

Last edited by JD984; 05-27-2012 at 01:01 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2012, 12:44 PM
 
531 posts, read 1,420,377 times
Reputation: 287
In Loudoun, Harris Teeters and Wegman's are located in strip malls that are no different than Giant and Safeway in terms of walkability.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2012, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,291,607 times
Reputation: 1504
And I'm sure in Loudoun they do fine, Thumbs up

I never said Wegmans btw, and also HT generally goes atleast into towncenters based on the plans I have done with them in the past. IE they like being a flagship of mixed use developments. Can I see where the HT in Loudoun is on a map to verify this is not the case?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2012, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,073,928 times
Reputation: 6920
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
CAVA, lets put it this way, grocery stores and unique retail options dont like being in strip malls where parking creates a vast buffer from them to where residents are. Thats why less walkable areas get lower end options like Wal-Mart, Target, Shoppers, and Giants (no offense but those are your traditional low price offerers).

In walkable areas where there is an inherent population of non-drivers, ie the critical threshold of 1/2 mile residents who wouldn't necessarily drive and therefore less parking is needed, you see a sudden spike in higher end retail like your HTs, Whole Foods, and even better true local markets run by actual people and not multi-nationals. When you have an actual owner or leaser run "mom and pop" they take pride in their retail space and make sure that it remains as attractive as possible on the outside and inside, where as lower end retailers often times could care less what their road frontage looks like.

When you incorporate retail into the neighborhood you see huge benefits. This study just backs that idea. Now they come at it a dumb way, and I would agree if you said it might be a chicken and egg scenario, where nicer neighborhoods breed better development which breeds better housing prices and the cycle would continue. Whether it is the planner who creates the concept from genesis or a neighborhood which evolves to this point is a matter of time/policy. But I wouldnt say that there isnt some form of cause occurring. It isn't just magic that nice walkable areas become nice expensive neighborhoods. The fact remains people when given the option of having nice things to do would rather do that then jump in a car go on a freeway for every daily routine.

Think of the walkability as an amenity, its not everything but like having a pool or nice back yard, or high end finishes, it is one of the reasons a neighborhood is higher priced.
Quaint notion about the non-drivers.. However,I've noticed people around here who love these '"walkable" areas usually own a Bimmer and a giant SUV.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2012, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,291,607 times
Reputation: 1504
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Quaint notion about the non-drivers.. However,I've noticed people around here who love these '"walkable" areas usually own a bimmer and a giant SUV.
Mk, yep, tons of people in Old Town Alexandria driving around in BMWs and SUVs. Lots of college kids in Arlington doing that too. Eastern Market, man SOOOOO many pretentious a-holes with over priced cars. What about Columbia Heights and U Street, man those jerk hipsters with all that money just shoving it in our faces while the rest of us poor folk schlep on foot.

The only walkable area in this region I have seen with that stereotype is georgetown, and that is not really the residents of gtown, those are the over paid jerks who work at all the lawfirms in georgetown and live in Greatfalls or the rest of over priced fairfax.

Cool deal though, I guess its dependent on what you think a walkable neighborhood is. If you are talking about Landsdowne or faux walkable areas in Fairfax then I agree. These are slapping lipstick on a systematic pig, and are painted to look like smart growth but really are about as car centric as one can be because they are single use BS.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2012, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,073,928 times
Reputation: 6920
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
Mk, yep, tons of people in Old Town Alexandria driving around in BMWs and SUVs.
I know Old Town pretty well, and most residents have a car or two stashed somewhere. Why do you think it's so hard to find a parking spot? Not just because of the tourists. Same with areas like Capitol Hill. This isn't a non-car culture like you find in NYC. There are no areas in NoVA with a large percentage of car-free residents. Most Old Towners still hop in the car to go to the big box stores in Potomac Yards to do their shopping. The quaint "walkable" zones are really more for the tourists.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2012, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,291,607 times
Reputation: 1504
Based on statistics found on this website (thanks City-Data) yer likely wrong. Only 60% of Arlington residents drive alone to work, and around 35% use no vehicle. Alexandria has about 65% drive alone to work and around 25% don't use a vehicle.

Well that doesnt sound like that much, of course they would do that since they live next to metros.

Well in Franconia springfield, about 75% of households use vehicles alone, and only about 15% dont use a car and that is an area that also has metro. The difference? Complete lack of walkable areas and terrible land use policy. Continuing down the slippery slide of poor planning we now come to Fairfax city, also a 75-15 split, and manassas?

Well manassas actually has a railroad station, and yet the split is 75% drive alone and 7% dont use a vehicle.

These are commute statistics, but they mimic what you see on retail vibrancy. You can say that making a system walkable doesn't help retail as much as you want, the fact remains that people who lease the spaces and land owners disagree, and so does the market.

The market also shows that those very areas (Arlington and Alexandria) saw basically no dip in the worst of the recession, in fact they went up in price. Areas in the farther suburbs went down in price significantly, in many cases 25% or greater. What happened? Well cream rises to the top, and when push comes to shove and people question the actual worth of an area, location always came up on top and size always fell to the bottom.

You can try to revise that history but its what happened. If you disagree talk to the tens of thousands of people trying to live in inner suburbs and the city where life is simply and irrefutably easier, yes even for the precious children who evidently have to be treated like the proverbial Home Econ. egg as to not crack their fragile surface.

Sorry, I just find it ridiculous to even argue this, of COURSE people want to be able to walk to the grocery store and walk to restaurants and walk to work. If you disagree, then you are likely in dire need of a good walk. Are there annoying rich people who also live in these areas and still drive every where? Yes they are dumb for dealing with 20 minutes of searching for parking when they could take a 10 minute walk.

And the reason why Alexandria has "packed parking" is because if you take the 3 parking garages at Tysons 1, that is literally equal to the number of parking spaces in all of old town/braddock alexandria. ALL of it. It appears like every one is driving and parking because the roads are smaller and the few parking spaces are taken. If you get annoyed about it, try doing what I do and leave the car behind, way faster to get around because unlike the rest of NOVA the people of alexandria have basically said if you don't live here then we don't care, good luck getting around. And guess what? More people want to live there so they can enjoy those walkable areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top