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Old 04-21-2016, 07:21 AM
 
2,074 posts, read 3,423,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Well now we are about to get into "what is a city and what is a suburb"? I strongly suspect that what you are calling "suburb" is actually located within the city. So exactly what is it you do not like - i) whether the location is actually within a city, ii) whether the location is "downtown", or iii) the appearance of the building/structure?
I already said what I don't like about suburban office parks. Feel free to enjoy them if you want.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
What kinds of businesses? Look at a city like Houston - what would you call the CBD? Look at how much of the commerce and activity is located somewhere else.
I don't know enough to comment about Houston, but there are plenty of examples of cities with at least one clear CBD (or multiple ones) that have been attracting employers from the suburbs, completely contrary to what you wrongly believe is the case.
For example, take Chicago - one of the densest, most urban cities in the country, with a clear downtown core with lots of skyscrapers.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/reale...e-search-again

"McDonald's is resuming its search following a wave of headquarters relocations to downtown from the suburbs, including Kraft Heinz, Jim Beam maker Beam Suntory, sports data firm Stats and Motorola Solutions."

Kraft Heinz headquarters to move to Chicago - Chicago Tribune

"In moving to the city, Kraft Heinz follows companies like Hillshire Brands, Walgreens, AT&T, Mead Johnson and Aon — all of which have set up shop or moved their headquarters downtown in recent years. The Kraft Heinz statement on Thursday included a familiar corporate call to establish a "dynamic new culture, based on meritocracy, speed, efficiency and collaboration, in a new downtown Chicago open-office space.""


Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Many of the really big ones have. However they already have a significant investment downtown and a "comfort zone" of remaining where they are. They are not located there for convenience of employees.

Locating downtown is unnecessary for many of these places. Some (like the examples given in the article) are due to history, unavailability of alternatives, and the fact that the company already has a significant presence where it is. I wouldn't say any of them are in a "CBD" nor do they have any reason to move to a CBD. While daydreaming urbanophiles are concerned with form over substance as to why businesses aren't locating in some high density "CBD", finding ways to attract businesses downtown, or putting out hype material about non-existent trends ... what I've seen is companies streaming not just away from "downtown" or the "city" but completely out of one state and into another.
No one is denying that there are examples of companies leaving downtowns for suburbs. But that's not the argument. The fact that many leave isn't strong enough to support your insane blanket statement that downtowns are "infeasible" for businesses and no businesses would have a reason to locate there. There are also plenty of recent examples of businesses staying in downtowns DESPITE the availability of alternatives or actually MOVING downtown from the suburbs. See the above links about Chicago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
I'll continue to watch businesses where you are exit the area because the costs and talent pool are more attractive in the areas the businesses are moving to.
Sure some businesses exit the CBD, but others move in. Just because a CBD is not feasible to ALL businesses does not mean it is infeasible for ANY. That's the distinction you're missing.

It seems like you've noticed a few trends in your area, wherever that is, and extrapolated them to the country as a whole, including cities you've never visited and clearly have no knowledge of. Maybe there is NO reason for businesses to move to the cities near where you live (doubtful but let's just say that for the sake of argument), and there are probably other places around the country similar to it, but many other places are not like that.

I know you really WANT to believe that cities eveywhere are dying but you have to look at the world as it is, not as you want it to be. This desire of yours seems to be driven by irrational animosity against those who have different life preferences than you (constant railing against urbanophiles). I might personally dislike office parks and I myself don't want to work there, but I never said anything bad about those who do.

By the way, I see the same problem with the article in the OP. I don't agree with its assumption that every business should abandon the office parks for the city. The problem is you've made the exact same wrong assumption that one way is the best for everyone, just in reverse.

Last edited by stateofnature; 04-21-2016 at 08:02 AM..
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:39 AM
 
Location: RI, MA, VT, WI, IL, CA, IN (that one sucked), KY
41,939 posts, read 34,611,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sstsunami55 View Post
Have you ever heard of induced demand? Basically, if more roads are built, they quickly fill up and become congested. Building new roads doesn't relieve congestion in the long run.
Bingo
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:30 AM
 
Location: College Hill
2,903 posts, read 3,292,486 times
Reputation: 1803
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
...

Note what one of the commenters stated in the article:
I love these suburban office parks. Cheap office space, easy to drive to, no parking fees, no urban “crush of humanity.” Any downsides are more than outweighed by the upsides.
Who really disagrees with that?
I do. I consult so I have a number of clients in these hideous green outposts, largely in Rhode Island and the Boston area. They are totally car centric -- there is no place to go without using a car. They are all without public transit options. There is no cultural swag, no opportunity to interact with society. And being car- centric and lacking public transit, these fortresses are typical white and suburban, apart from the Indian enclaves of developers, bussed in en masse from their temporary residential apartments by their contractor.

I could not survive working in such a desolate environment, but then I'm not addicted to a car, I know how to walk and to enjoy an urban experience.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:13 PM
 
3,168 posts, read 4,126,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfieBoy View Post
I do. I consult so I have a number of clients in these hideous green outposts, largely in Rhode Island and the Boston area. They are totally car centric -- there is no place to go without using a car.
But what value is your opinion? They aren't there to serve you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfieBoy View Post
They are all without public transit options. There is no cultural swag, no opportunity to interact with society.
They are supposed to be working during the day - not reminiscing about swag or "interacting with society". You know some people and businesses actually try to have productive work during the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfieBoy View Post
And being car- centric and lacking public transit, these fortresses are typical white and suburban, apart from the Indian enclaves of developers, bussed in en masse from their temporary residential apartments by their contractor.
Public transit - you mean to make it convenient for you rather than the employer or employees. Seems like the employer is even providing private transit for employees/contractors. The business isn't there for you. "Public transit" means it would be forced to locate where local government has decided to put public transit. Maybe that's not a good area for the company. Maybe it's too expensive for the company. Maybe the company is more concerned about the company's business rather than "inducing demand" in public transit. I don't find your complaints particularly compelling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfieBoy View Post
I could not survive working in such a desolate environment, but then I'm not addicted to a car, I know how to walk and to enjoy an urban experience.
Yet this is where your clients are located - so you aren't relying on public transit or "CBD" living or working to begin with.
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:07 PM
 
Location: College Hill
2,903 posts, read 3,292,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
But what value is your opinion? They aren't there to serve you.


They are supposed to be working during the day - not reminiscing about swag or "interacting with society". You know some people and businesses actually try to have productive work during the day.


Public transit - you mean to make it convenient for you rather than the employer or employees. Seems like the employer is even providing private transit for employees/contractors. The business isn't there for you. "Public transit" means it would be forced to locate where local government has decided to put public transit. Maybe that's not a good area for the company. Maybe it's too expensive for the company. Maybe the company is more concerned about the company's business rather than "inducing demand" in public transit. I don't find your complaints particularly compelling.


Yet this is where your clients are located - so you aren't relying on public transit or "CBD" living or working to begin with.
Uh, this is no longer the 19th century. People in these green dots are not factory workers or piece workers, they are largely in finance, insurance and R&D. They do not punch a clock, they are well-paid professionals. They have something called a "lunch hour" to do as they wish and often they wish to shop, eat at other-than the company swill barn, or otherwise engage with society. That is very difficult to do in these faux company town squares, nestled in the safety of a highway interchange.

GE is moving from the subs to Boston, and that is just one indicator that corporations value the quality of workers to be found in cities, and many of these workers do not desire to own or drive cars and use public transit. Smart companies seek these people and offer, in many cases, generous subsidies on transit.
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:26 PM
 
3,168 posts, read 4,126,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
I already said what I don't like about suburban office parks. Feel free to enjoy them if you want.
My point was that your opinion is irrelevant. The businesses there could care less. I could care less. You don't like them, so what? They don't ask for and don't care about your opinion. Why do you think your opinion is even relevant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
I don't know enough to comment about Houston, but there are plenty of examples of cities with at least one clear CBD (or multiple ones) that have been attracting employers from the suburbs, completely contrary to what you wrongly believe is the case.
For example, take Chicago - one of the densest, most urban cities in the country, with a clear downtown core with lots of skyscrapers.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/reale...e-search-again

"McDonald's is resuming its search following a wave of headquarters relocations to downtown from the suburbs, including Kraft Heinz, Jim Beam maker Beam Suntory, sports data firm Stats and Motorola Solutions."

Kraft Heinz headquarters to move to Chicago - Chicago Tribune

"In moving to the city, Kraft Heinz follows companies like Hillshire Brands, Walgreens, AT&T, Mead Johnson and Aon — all of which have set up shop or moved their headquarters downtown in recent years. The Kraft Heinz statement on Thursday included a familiar corporate call to establish a "dynamic new culture, based on meritocracy, speed, efficiency and collaboration, in a new downtown Chicago open-office space.""
None of these are manufacturing anything - these are all executive function offices. They have no reason to even go downtown. The Kraft Heinz statement is just marketing hype. If I were a shareholder, I would want to know why they would be needlessly expending resources by locating in higher rent areas. I wouldn't be moved by the lame fluff pitch you quoted. It might float well in urbanophile circles but it is meaningless pablum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
No one is denying that there are examples of companies leaving downtowns for suburbs. But that's not the argument. The fact that many leave isn't strong enough to support your insane blanket statement that downtowns are "infeasible" for businesses and no businesses would have a reason to locate there. There are also plenty of recent examples of businesses staying in downtowns DESPITE the availability of alternatives or actually MOVING downtown from the suburbs. See the above links about Chicago.

Sure some businesses exit the CBD, but others move in. Just because a CBD is not feasible to ALL businesses does not mean it is infeasible for ANY. That's the distinction you're missing.
There is not much of a reason to locate "downtown" in what you refer to as a CBD. There is no similarity other than a geographic one concerning the location. If they are customer driven then downtown is probably not a great location for many of them. Downtown is certainly not a good choice for manufacturing or most service businesses. There is no real reason why the companies you identified would be "better off" downtown. As for companies exiting - yes the "high density" places also tend to have high turnover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
It seems like you've noticed a few trends in your area, wherever that is, and extrapolated them to the country as a whole, including cities you've never visited and clearly have no knowledge of. Maybe there is NO reason for businesses to move to the cities near where you live (doubtful but let's just say that for the sake of argument), and there are probably other places around the country similar to it, but many other places are not like that.
A "CBD" probably works great for smaller towns. However, they are generally over-hyped for anything larger. There is no reason why McDonalds, Kraft Heinz, Jim Beam, Stats, or Motorola Solutions need headquarters near each other or downtown. Jim Beam isn't made there and it's owned by a Japanese company - doesn't seem to make any sense why it's located there at all. McDonalds complaint is that its current offices in Oakbrook are old and dated. Kraft Heinz and Hillshire Brands didn't give a lot of reasoning but they are both getting rid of employees as part of their moves. It might be that downtown was the only area that had office space sufficient to accommodate the size of these companies - but there is no inherent reason why they need or should relocate to downtown otherwise indicated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
I know you really WANT to believe that cities eveywhere are dying but you have to look at the world as it is, not as you want it to be.
To the extent I ever discussed a city dying - it was coupled with "come and go" and pointing out that birth or growth comes in other areas. The dying of one and birth of another are perfectly natural. I'm not the one trying to forestall death or prevent life. I'm not particularly obsessed with the idea that growth should only occur in a city center. It is the urbanophiles that seem obsessed with labeling things as "urban" or "suburban" (accompanied by disdain of course) and who seek to destroy the latter. Those "suburban" areas can and do become cities of their own and there is nothing wrong or evil about that - it is no different than the cycle of life applied to lifeforms, buildings, equipment, etc. in other contexts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
This desire of yours seems to be driven by irrational animosity against those who have different life preferences than you (constant railing against urbanophiles). I might personally dislike office parks and I myself don't want to work there, but I never said anything bad about those who do.
Well you're entitled to your opinion. However, I believe I've generally identified what I perceive to be poor logic, poor rationale, and fuzzy definitions utilized by urbanophiles in these discussions. The marketing pitch given above in conjunction with a proposed move by Kraft Heinz is an example of nonsensical rationale. There is no substance behind any of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
By the way, I see the same problem with the article in the OP. I don't agree with its assumption that every business should abandon the office parks for the city. The problem is you've made the exact same wrong assumption that one way is the best for everyone, just in reverse.
You're entitled to your opinion. I didn't suggest "one way is best for everyone". The rationale used for CBD in the article was poor. A CBD might be useful for a small town or city but then you wouldn't have the rest of the rationale (public transit, etc.) often used to explain why a business should locate there. When you get to a larger city, you haven't shown why there is something synergistic or special about a business locating "downtown" as opposed to elsewhere in the city. Trying to pull everything downtown is expensive and inconvenient for most employees (who aren't living downtown by the way) and expensive and not particularly helpful for most businesses. So give a better reason to locate downtown as opposed to away from downtown.

I enjoyed reading the article - it simply added to the "no substance" part. It was a whine. I also gathered (again) from this article that the urbanophiles sharing the author's opinion expect high incomes, to have their personal aesthetic, goods, and services preferences to be met by those immediately around them - simply to be low level drones with no real responsibilities during work hours. The author seems concerned about isolationism during the workday. If you want to "interface with society" get a sales or a call center job. Of course hopefully you would be focusing on your company's products and services. If you aren't then why does your employer need to be providing you with a place for "interacting with society" during the work hours?
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:46 PM
 
Location: College Hill
2,903 posts, read 3,292,486 times
Reputation: 1803
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
My point was that your opinion is irrelevant. The businesses there could care less. I could care less. You don't like them, so what? They don't ask for and don't care about your opinion. Why do you think your opinion is even relevant?



...
Who cares what you think?

What you think is unimportant. No one cares if you think, that is, if you think you think. No one on Snow Street asks your opinion, and no one I know knows you, so you don't count. What gives you this delusion that people care what you think?

DON'T TELL ME, as I Don't Care What You Think.
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:47 PM
 
2,074 posts, read 3,423,094 times
Reputation: 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
My point was that your opinion is irrelevant. The businesses there could care less. I could care less. You don't like them, so what? They don't ask for and don't care about your opinion. Why do you think your opinion is even relevant?
You explicitly asked "who disagrees?" that suburban office parks are so great. I gave my opinion that I don't think they're so great. If you didn't want opinions, don't ask for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
None of these are manufacturing anything - these are all executive function offices. They have no reason to even go downtown. The Kraft Heinz statement is just marketing hype. If I were a shareholder, I would want to know why they would be needlessly expending resources by locating in higher rent areas. I wouldn't be moved by the lame fluff pitch you quoted. It might float well in urbanophile circles but it is meaningless pablum.

LOL so when provided with counterexamples to your obviously wrong statement, you just act like you know more than the company in question. A large company like Kraft Heinz wouldn't move corporate headquarters without spending a lot of resources studying where is the best place to go. That doesn't mean they necessarily made the right decision - just that they have studied this a lot closer than you have and are a lot more likely to know what is best for their company than you are.

Same goes for all the other near dozen companies mentioned in the articles. It's a lot more likely that there is value in being located in the city that you simply fail to see rather than that ALL of these companies from various industries are acting based on nothing but "meaningless pablum."

Tons of other examples: Companies Trade Suburbs for City Life - WSJ

"Earlier this month, online travel agency Expedia Inc. said it plans to relocate its headquarters from a Seattle suburb that it has called home for nearly 20 years to the city’s downtown. That announcement was the latest in a string of high-profile companies making moves from the suburbs back to the city."

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...-moving-to-nyc

"For decades, New York has been known as the town companies left when they needed to expand and couldn't afford the higher salaries and rent. But a reversal is taking place among tech firms: Companies are moving here.


Then there's Infor, a 9-year-old software giant with $2.8 billion in revenue, which in June will shift its headquarters to the Flatiron district from suburban Atlanta. "To get [the business] to the next level, we needed to build a strategy around innovation," said CEO Charles Phillips, explaining Infor's headquarters move and its decision to create a design division here to modernize its business software products."


So ALL of these businesses are just miscalculating? I don't buy it. You can repeat over and over all you want that "there's no reason" for these businesses to do this, but that doesn't mean there isn't a reason. It just means you don't see the reasons because you are unfamiliar with how cities work. What's the last city you set foot in and how long ago was it? How many major cities across the U.S. have you been to? It sounds like not many.

Some companies want to attract the "urbanophiles" you hate so much. Chicago, New York, Seattle, etc. are full of highly educated people who prefer living in cities to suburbs and don't want to have to drive out to the suburbs to get to work. Many of them don't even own a car. It's no surprise that some businesses might try to locate in places where they can easily attract that type of person. It doesn't matter if these "urbanophiles" might make up a relatively small amount of the population of the greater metro area - many businesses are trying to attract a very specialized type of employee.
Other businesses might not be trying to recruit the type of people that tend to prefer cities, so being in a city would be less valuable for them. But that doesn't mean it doesn't work for some companies.

While a lot of the predictions about America shifting to more urban living preferences might be wrong, it's clear that at least some segment of society is increasingly choosing to live in high-density urban environments, and it just so happens that it's a specific segment that is very attractive to some employers.

http://jedkolko.com/2016/03/30/urban...ost-americans/

"Let’s focus on the 25-49 year-olds, which includes all of the age groups more likely to live in higher-density urban neighborhoods in 2014 than in 2000. Even within this group, the trend toward urban living is limited to those with college degrees, and those without school-age children. Within this age group, people with four or more years of college were 5% more likely to live in urban neighborhoods in 2014 than in 2000, and 17% more likely to live in higher-density urban neighborhoods – a big increase. But only one-third of adults 25-49 have four or more years of college. The other two-thirds, including those with no college at all, became less urban over this period."

Note the thrust of this post is debunking the claims of a shift toward urbanism. But there doesn't need to be society-wide shift towards urban preferences for there to be a shift among some specific segment.

Even for companies who are trying to appeal to more than just city-dwellers, being in the downtown core can make sense. For example, in the Washington DC area, it can be extremely time-consuming to commute from a Virginia suburb to a Maryland suburb. Employers based in downtown DC can put themselves in more of a halfway point between these suburban areas so they can attract employees from both Maryland and Virginia, whereas if they were based in one of the suburban areas it would be difficult to get potential employees from the other side of the metro area to make the commute. Still, certainly a lot of jobs are in the suburbs, and for some businesses that's more advantageous. It's really a case-by-case thing, and it's not something you can make broad generalizations about, as you are doing.

Chicago is similar - if a business is in the suburbs north of the city it's going to be harder to attract employees who live south of the city. The Loop is a more centralized location. Of course not all businesses are trying to recruit metro area-wide, so this might not matter to many.

Last edited by stateofnature; 04-21-2016 at 03:01 PM..
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:06 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,349,701 times
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
But fails to make any real coherent arguments about why locating in the city is different. If you put a big company like Apple in New York City, what's different other than employees taking more public transportation?

If you cleared out the interior of the office I work in and installed linoleum and drafting tables, then it would pretty much look like that Bell Labs drafting studio, except with a view of Midtown instead of suburban NJ.
Except the article wasn't making a central city-vs-suburb argument. It was describing suburban office campuses, places initially built to be a walled, if pastoral, city of sorts. You drive there, sit in your office for the day, then drive home. You could also do those core isolating features in an office tower, really, so, again, it's not city-vs-suburb. And not every article or argument has to offer a counter-proposal; it's of great value to sometimes simply describe how something happened or how something touted as new and different is actually just a repackaging of something old.
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:09 PM
 
9,891 posts, read 11,001,018 times
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And even if a lot of workers live in the suburbs, a lot of companies still choose to be in CBDs with commuter rail access because it allows them to attract workers from an entire metropolitan area whereas in a suburban setting, the company would only be able to attract nearby workers.
This is north east America life. Not the same in other parts of the country. They put their facilities, where the quality of worker lives, for an easy commute, to attract employees.
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