I think ARC had much less influence that you give it credit for. In fact, I don't see anywhere in this article where you mention what specific influence they had. The sprawl in the Atlanta metro area had more to do with the pervasive myth you mention early on. A lack of geographical limitations, government subsidized single family homes (FHA back mortgages, tax credits, etc.), the federal's government focus on highway / road investment in lieu of other transportation methods, cheap energy costs, keeping building materials and fuel costs down, and a lack of regional cooperation (or a lack of desire to cooperate) to keep any sort of sprawl in check.
I'd be interested to hear what control ARC has had on any development patterns, in the past and/or in the present. Their LCI is nice, but if people want to move further out, sprawl will continue despite ARC's recommendations or intiatives.
Doesn't the government own a lot of the vacant / underused lots downtown? I also think there is merit in heavily taxing vacant land and parking lots. In the case of parking lots, while it might increase the price of parking, that in turn would reduce the demand, making squatting on this land less appealing. I'm not sure if the government can target certain land uses, but half of south downtown seems to be comprised of land (being held cheaply) by squatters with no incentive to develop, but simply to hold until they get their exorbitant price. However, if half of south downtown is like that, and no one is willing to take the first step, then no one is ever going to get the price they want for their parking lot / vacant land, then nothing will ever get done.
Thomas, any truth to the rumor you've campaigned Arthur Blank to name the team the Atlanta Hotspur?
I think the city itself desperately needs an east / west light rail line (along North, Ponce, or 10th), linking the east and west neighborhoods with the core, and providing access to the current MARTA infrastructure. Outside of that, I think a lot of neighborhoods desperately need a local grocery to realize their full potential. Places like Glenwood and downtown (Fairlie Poplar) come to mind.
What vision, Joe? They have no vision, no Plan B, they simply voted no because, "OMG, roads r bad". While some of the road projects were new roads, the majority were for infrastructure improvements like fixing old bridges, necessary road widening, and turning roads into complete streets (something Sierra Club trumpets).
Sierra Club takes credit for MARTA doing their own in house cleaning? TSPLOST or no, this would've happened.
An Exciting Opportunity for Transit in Clayton (and beyond)? What. The. Hell. There is no opportunity, they're hanging their hat on "the potential expansion of MARTA beyond Fulton and DeKalb Counties." This has nothing to do with voting no on TSPLOST.
State Funding for Transit a Historic First. What? The state was funding Xpress, the state is still funding Xpress, in just a different way. Great.
Atlanta Forges Ahead on Complete Streets Infrastructure. This would be happening at a larger and more impressive rate with more funds. A lot of the TSPLOST funds that would've gone to road infrastructure would've done this very thing.
Plan B is Happening! - I think this last statement sums up Sierra Club. Plan B is happening? What is Plan B? "And we are pleased to report that much of what we envisioned as components of that plan - from improved transparency and openness to state funding for transit to more targeted and strategic funding of local transportation needs - is now beginning to happen." Ok, so what is Plan B? They don't have a Plan B.
So... their Plan B is... ? All I see is stuff happening that would've happened regardless of TSPLOST or not and the Sierra Club is trying to take credit for.. something?
"A frequent refrain during the T-SPLOST campaign was that "there is no Plan B" for moving forward on transportation if the referendum did not pass. We rejected this notion, arguing instead that a "Plan B" was not only possible but necessary."
So you rejected the notion that there is no Plan B, arguing that a Plan B is possible and necessary, but that there is no Plan B? Sierra Club is retarded.
The issues I foresee is many of these companies are buying up thousands of homes in a variety of markets on, for the most part, credit. They're simply speculating that 1) home prices are going to go up to a point where they can sell for a targeted return and 2) that in the meantime they'll have the ability to maintain the properties, lease the properties, cater to tenant's needs when things break, etc. when these companies have no experience doing so. Do they have the infrastructure in place to handle thousands about thousands? Is that infrastructure accounted for in their estimates? They're buying places for cheap, sure, then they're spending $10-$60,000 to fix them up, sure, they've accounted for that. But what about repairs that naturally occur with rental properties? What if they can't get the target rents in certain areas that they thought, because each neighborhood is unique and it's not simply, "You can get $1.5 / SF in Atlanta." What about the manpower needed to show units, lease units, maintain, etc? I know the article stats some firms are working with local leasing companies, but we're talking about an insane number of units coming to market. And then, if they packaged these rental units into securities, institutional investors will be the one footing the bill should this speculation not work out, not the companies themselves. And even if it doesn't work out, are these companies assuming they'll just be bailed out like their MBS counterparts?
All Comments »
Atlanta City Guide
Powered by Foundation
Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation