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hgupta

Midtown Condos

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Memphis Business Journal reports that a couple of apartment buildings are being converted to condos. I think this is always good news to see rentals become homes.

Unfortunately, this leaves the massive number of service industry employees needed to keep downtown running with even fewer places to go.

The people staffing the multitude businesses catering to the "urban professionals" aren't making enough, or aren't making enough on paper (waitstaff) to qualify for, or afford a mortgage.

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Unfortunately, this leaves the massive number of service industry employees needed to keep downtown running with even fewer places to go.

The people staffing the multitude businesses catering to the "urban professionals" aren't making enough, or aren't making enough on paper (waitstaff) to qualify for, or afford a mortgage.

What are you suggesting -- keep all of Memphis' real estate affordable for low income residents?

I hardly think that's fair considering Memphis is already one of the cheapest places to live in the country, the downtown "urban professional" area is the hub for MATA and easily accessible by public transit, and there are already massive square miles of low-income housing adjacent to downtown/midtown.

Opposing midtown condos is ridiculous. Don't forget that service industry employees' jobs are entirely dependent on urban professionals. Both need the other to survive.

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What are you suggesting -- keep all of Memphis' real estate affordable for low income residents?

I hardly think that's fair considering Memphis is already one of the cheapest places to live in the country, the downtown "urban professional" area is the hub for MATA and easily accessible by public transit, and there are already massive square miles of low-income housing adjacent to downtown/midtown.

Opposing midtown condos is ridiculous. Don't forget that service industry employees' jobs are entirely dependent on urban professionals. Both need the other to survive.

I'm not suggesting keeping a price ceiling on Memphis real estate, but simply pointing out that a lot of people have fallen through the cracks in the mad dash to condo-ify the entire area.

As you said, Downtown is ringed by affordable housing, since Memphis's miserable housing projects seem to fit your definition of affordable. Most people who have been kicked out of reasonably-priced apartments downtown as the buildings changed ownership and purpose don't qualify for, need or want to live in housing projects. They simply desire to have a place close to work where they can live with a measure of comfort. It doesn't go Urban Professional > Ghetto Dweller, there is the largely invisible class of people who support the lifestyles of the multitudes of people buying up said condos, who just want to hold onto their homes.

By buying up buildings and giving the tenants ultimatums a great majority cannot meet, developers are essentially driving the people away who were initially coaxed into priming downtown for a better future. Those that moved down before it was the trendy, in-thing to do and created the momentum towards revitalization are not being thanked for kick-starting the heart of a decaying city, but being told they are no longer welcome and there might be a roach and gang infested hovel for them somewhere if they insist on staying near their place of employment.

As you said, condos have their place, but they are not without consequence when new construction is deferred for conversion on a large scale, as we have seen downtown.

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I'm not suggesting keeping a price ceiling on Memphis real estate, but simply pointing out that a lot of people have fallen through the cracks in the mad dash to condo-ify the entire area.

As you said, Downtown is ringed by affordable housing, since Memphis's miserable housing projects seem to fit your definition of affordable. Most people who have been kicked out of reasonably-priced apartments downtown as the buildings changed ownership and purpose don't qualify for, need or want to live in housing projects. They simply desire to have a place close to work where they can live with a measure of comfort. It doesn't go Urban Professional > Ghetto Dweller, there is the largely invisible class of people who support the lifestyles of the multitudes of people buying up said condos, who just want to hold onto their homes.

By buying up buildings and giving the tenants ultimatums a great majority cannot meet, developers are essentially driving the people away who were initially coaxed into priming downtown for a better future. Those that moved down before it was the trendy, in-thing to do and created the momentum towards revitalization are not being thanked for kick-starting the heart of a decaying city, but being told they are no longer welcome and there might be a roach and gang infested hovel for them somewhere if they insist on staying near their place of employment.

As you said, condos have their place, but they are not without consequence when new construction is deferred for conversion on a large scale, as we have seen downtown.

Developers are businessmen: they're looking at their bottom line first and foremost. Everyone knew that downtown housing prices were skyrocketing, and as always , apartment tenants would suffer the most either through higher rents or condo conversion. Unfortunately, I don't see anyway to prevent it. Its one of those things that everyone faces and everyone should expect. If you find a solution let me know. In the meantime, check out the wonderful offerings apartments and homes nearby. There is no shortage of terrific, safe housing in midtown and it is likely cheaper than what you're paying right now. Sure the midtown values will go up too, and you wil have to move. It is a terrible catch 22. I know--- I was in it for years.

However, home ownership is a good thing for a neighborhood, a good thing for the city, and a good thing for your personal finances. Instead of hoping that a developer might be generous enough to let you out of the catch 22 that you are in, you need to start saving for a down payment or accuarately reporting your incomes so that you can qualify for a mortgage. It is the ONLY way out of this vicious cycle.

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I'm not suggesting keeping a price ceiling on Memphis real estate, but simply pointing out that a lot of people have fallen through the cracks in the mad dash to condo-ify the entire area.

As you said, Downtown is ringed by affordable housing, since Memphis's miserable housing projects seem to fit your definition of affordable. Most people who have been kicked out of reasonably-priced apartments downtown as the buildings changed ownership and purpose don't qualify for, need or want to live in housing projects. They simply desire to have a place close to work where they can live with a measure of comfort. It doesn't go Urban Professional > Ghetto Dweller, there is the largely invisible class of people who support the lifestyles of the multitudes of people buying up said condos, who just want to hold onto their homes.

By buying up buildings and giving the tenants ultimatums a great majority cannot meet, developers are essentially driving the people away who were initially coaxed into priming downtown for a better future. Those that moved down before it was the trendy, in-thing to do and created the momentum towards revitalization are not being thanked for kick-starting the heart of a decaying city, but being told they are no longer welcome and there might be a roach and gang infested hovel for them somewhere if they insist on staying near their place of employment.

As you said, condos have their place, but they are not without consequence when new construction is deferred for conversion on a large scale, as we have seen downtown.

There are plenty of developments that lower middle class people can afford--many of them new houses. I'm a student and live on little money, but I can easily afford to live, dine, and party downtown. Your post seems to be a liberal's knee-jerk reaction to free enterprise.

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There are plenty of developments that lower middle class people can afford--many of them new houses. I'm a student and live on little money, but I can easily afford to live, dine, and party downtown. Your post seems to be a liberal's knee-jerk reaction to free enterprise.

ya im a student too, nothing in downtown is out of the ordinary price wise, with maybe the exception of tourist stuff.

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I'm not suggesting keeping a price ceiling on Memphis real estate, but simply pointing out that a lot of people have fallen through the cracks in the mad dash to condo-ify the entire area.

As you said, Downtown is ringed by affordable housing, since Memphis's miserable housing projects seem to fit your definition of affordable. Most people who have been kicked out of reasonably-priced apartments downtown as the buildings changed ownership and purpose don't qualify for, need or want to live in housing projects. They simply desire to have a place close to work where they can live with a measure of comfort. It doesn't go Urban Professional > Ghetto Dweller, there is the largely invisible class of people who support the lifestyles of the multitudes of people buying up said condos, who just want to hold onto their homes.

By buying up buildings and giving the tenants ultimatums a great majority cannot meet, developers are essentially driving the people away who were initially coaxed into priming downtown for a better future. Those that moved down before it was the trendy, in-thing to do and created the momentum towards revitalization are not being thanked for kick-starting the heart of a decaying city, but being told they are no longer welcome and there might be a roach and gang infested hovel for them somewhere if they insist on staying near their place of employment.

As you said, condos have their place, but they are not without consequence when new construction is deferred for conversion on a large scale, as we have seen downtown.

I'm not sure I see your point. Are you saying that Midtown Condos are inappropriate because they don't "thank" the people that kept downtown inhabitable before it was trendy to do so? I fail to see how that's plausible.

The fact remains that Memphis is one of the most affordable cities in the nation, both in terms of rent and mortgages. If you were saying this about Manhattan, L.A., or Miami, I might agree. But a condo conversion in midtown Memphis hardly qualifies as wholescale displacement of low-income residents.

And no one, myself included, is entitled to live near where they work. That's not something you'll find in the Bill of Rights, and it's not something the government should be advocating. Forcing building owners to rent to a certain demographic also violates free market principles and lowers property values. I would never support anything like this in downtown or midtown Memphis, regardless of who is displaced.

IMO, the greater problem occurs when elderly people have been living in their house for 50-60 years, then the area slides downhill drastically and they're suddenly confronted by a myriad of problems not the least of which is crime. Those are the displaced residents who deserve more immediate consideration. That type of resident covers Frayser, Raleigh, north Memphis, south Memphis, and Hickory Hill. Why aren't they being "thanked"??? They're tolerating more than they should and living daily in fear because they can't afford to move. :angry:

Low-income residents do not deserve more than their share of attention or consideration when worse problems affecting more people exist. Hopefully these midtown condos will keep the midtown real estate market viable before it too slides into oblivion and becomes another Binghamton.

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Of course this doesn't begin to apply to midtown Memphis yet, but one thing that does tend to happen which I do think is regrettable, albeit perhaps unavoidable, with mass-conversions to condos, is that neighborhoods really homogenize. Places with a broader mix of rental units and owner-occupied units tend to have more diverse local populations, which is a definite plus. I'm not saying there's much that can be done about this, or that it should be consciously engineered from above, but it is a genuinely unfortunate side effect of condos engulfing everything. I'm downtown as well, and like it well enough, but the "urban professional" scene certainly does feel very homogenous. It's amusing when homeless people keep stopping me and telling me that I must not be from around here, just because I don't look like everybody else downtown!

For our downtown students, just out of curiosity, are you guys raising families? I don't find downtown difficult to afford (then again, I have a real salary...) but even on my "real" salary, if I was also trying to raise children, my rent would be pretty prohibitive. I did the hand-to-mouth thing as a student for 11 straight years (college + grad school = poverty!!) in a ridiculously expensive city, but that was only possible because I really had only myself to look after....

S

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I'm downtown as well, and like it well enough, but the "urban professional" scene certainly does feel very homogenous. It's amusing when homeless people keep stopping me and telling me that I must not be from around here, just because I don't look like everybody else downtown!

See...you should have chosen midtown! No one sticks out here, and its less homogenous.

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See...you should have chosen midtown! No one sticks out here, and its less homogenous.

you may be right, hgupta.... i do spend a lot of time in midtown, it seems... but, i do still really appreciate the more urban feel of downtown, and the fact that, although it's still relatively small, it does have more of a pedestrian feel than anywhere else in town. so it's kind of a tossup for me, i'm reasonably happy downtown, and midtown is just a short drive away anyway...

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I apologize for spending so much time away from this thread, the flu temporarily degraded my ability to form coherent thoughts or sentences.

I'm not sure I see your point. Are you saying that Midtown Condos are inappropriate because they don't "thank" the people that kept downtown inhabitable before it was trendy to do so? I fail to see how that's plausible.

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I have nothing against high-end condos per-sae, but the notion that simply blanketing an area at the expense of the current social makeup is a solution to the myriad of problems that plague cities like Memphis.

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