I know you don't like getting these community things at work, but I needed to make sure I weighed in before the SW Citizens meeting tonight. Gloria and I are helping host the Midtown discussion with Jim Rokakis about the land bank he is proposing, in which the government will attempt to clean up the mess left in our community by private interests.
I'm writing about what I perceive as another mess in the proposal stage--that 60+ unit senior living center around 20th and Denison. Brian says you guys are all for it down there, and I want to remind you that, if your property values are lowered, so are ours up here. Your mess is our mess. Gutting your part of the street guts ours, too.
Let me tell you how I know so much. The CMHA unit next door to us was the same sort of thing in 1968--a market-rate senior complex. Fodor Realty built it and managed it and then turned it over to CMHA as soon as it could--about 20 years later. What we now have is an unmanaged cancer eating away at the fabric of our community--we've had regional drug dealers, hot goods trafficking, and all sorts of other crime and vice and just poor life habits next door to us since the change of management. The same can and probably will happen in this thing on the lower portion of Denison.
We have also had 15 years of experience with the mixed-use development at the corners of Archwood and West 33rd, and it's been an unqualified failure that is now in the process of being bailed out by more government and nonprofit intercession. This property, too, has been a cancer in the middle of a great street, where we had been making a lot of progress until the government and nonprofit tampering began.
Another point: Nobody with any degree of fiscal responsibility spends millions of dollars on a new development to get rid of a couple of eyesores that could be fixed for a few thousand dollars.
Further, Nobody with any degree of fiscal responsibility builds another 60+ residential units in an area that already has a lot--hundreds--of vacant homes and rental properties. Surplus residential capacity must be absorbed before new residential capacity gets built--unless you intend to ruin the existing rental market and drive down selling prices of all older properties.
This is just plain bad policy.
Also, the NRP complex these government and nonprofit people tout--the one over in Ohio City--is not doing well and has an unacceptably high vacancy rate--I hear it is 40%, and 10% is the most owners' target.
Finally, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, John Baran and the people around him fought excessive development down in that quadrant based on the fact that the infrastructure was at capacity and the land was unstable--it used to be the dump, as most of us know. They proved it. Laura McShane (who has to be working at the same time as your meeting tonight) researched it and brought it up again at the Board of Zoning Appeals hearing. BOZA was surprised that our government and nonprofit people would have the effrontery to bring this forward again, unresearched. Actually, your property values down there will go down faster than ours, because you'll have the additional element of sewage backup to contend with, if you overload your existing infrastructure. If it was deficient 30 years ago, I don't expect it cured itself or grew new capacity.
There are a lot of things need a lot of airing before anything else goes forward sponsored by our government and our nonprofits. They have not been acting with our interests primary, but seem to want to take care of themselves first, and therefore try to sneak it by us, the people they are shortchanging. Please put the brakes on this proposal. We can't be there to help tonight, but we will help over the long haul, as you know we do.
I'm getting tired of playing defense, and I'm sure you guys are, too.
This will get posted later to the Save Our Land Blog at http://save-our-land.blogspot.com