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Re: a few things

Posted by MikeW on October 19, 2000 at 17:35:28:

In Reply to: a few things posted by TenantNet on October 18, 2000 at 19:07:50:

: A few things:

: First, drop the presidential politics -- which have nothing to do with local tenant issues.


:Even if we think Bush is a butthead, the Dem. party is hardly pro-tenant, despite what they say.


: Second, it was the RGB, not DHCR that imposed the "poor tax."

A point of fact

: Third, recognize that the "gentrification is good" poster was trolling

Well, countertrolling. The spammer started it.

:and reacting with two-dimensional and surface thinking, and probably has no idea what he is talking about (and yes, that might also apply to some of the protestors from the original post).

I have a fine idea what I'm talking about.

:It's a complex subject that can't be adequately fleshed out here. You need to define exactly what it is, its direct and indirect impact (on which segments of the populacce), how does that affect broader public policy and socioeconomic stability of parts of the region. Only then can you honestly talk about the tax base, local business, etc. And for value judgments, an honest look may reveal that short-term "improvements" may not be in the best interests of the long-term stability of the tax base. So anyone on this subject, use caution, don't troll and don't get too far out. This is a "tenant" forum.

The economic aspects are pretty clear. At least in NYC, this pattern repeats every decade or so. We've seen it in Soho, Tribeca, the East Village, Lower East Side, Dumbo/Williamsburg. Take an abandoned or run down neigborhood, get some (usually artsy type) pioneers who take over underutilized spaces and make them hip, this filters into the entertainment business (bars/clubs etc) people who start taking over the commercial space. The LLs will take advantage of this to start raising rents, but they're not usually driving the process. Someware along the line the news media picks up that this is the 'new hip' neighborhood. This brings the yuppie types with money and the developers. Eventually the preexisting tenants (assuming we're talking about a residential area) and even the pioneers start feeling money pressure. They can either dig in (which is quite possible in NYC, due to rent regulation) or move on (possibly with a nice amount of buyout money). The low income types will end up in another low income neighborhood, or leave the city (which, due to other cost factors, is not a wonderfull place to be if you don't have some money to play with). The pioneers will (if they're smart) have entrenced themselves (through regulation, or, properly, through buying the property), or they, or the next generation, will scout out the next "hot" neighborhood, fullfilling their destiny as the start of the real estate evolutionary process.

I don't see what's so complicated. The question is what, if anything, the government should do about it. My answer is nothing. This is a good process. It recycles neighborhoods that have lost their vitality or reason for existance (ie. SOHO as a manufacturing area), and revitalizes them. In the process it creates exactly the benefits I stated originally. Are there some losers? Yes. Are there more winners, especially in terms of the city as a whole? Yes.

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