Originally Posted by WonderlandPark
It usually is the developer of the project to blame, they want it done cheap cheap cheap, the architects just follow orders and "value engineer" and dumb down the building. Boxes are cheap, stucco is cheap. This has been true throughout the post-war era to today. Good projects still get built, just that they are few and far between.
Indirectly and in part maybe but the bottom line it is there is plenty of blame to go around. Lenders, investors, tenants and government planners are all as guilty.
If Apple thought it could make a better return selling old brick type phones of the 1990's because people wouldn't dream of paying $500 for an iPhone you can bet that is what they would be building. They (or other businesses) typically provide what a market wants at a price they are willing to pay.
It is especially difficult to get huge amounts of capital to go after something so big that hasn't been proven or risk a lot on design work that may not be approved by design review. Using the iPhone example, I would imagine Apple made a few hundred or thousand proto-types before committing to a full launch to make sure people like it, it can be built at a budget, it doesn't violate govt. regulations, etc.
How can a real estate developer "try out" a 60 story building at record rents to see if the market will accept it? Even if they were willing to spend the time and money to develop plans and a rendering...maybe...but not too many really can commit to occupying space in 3-4 years. Time adds lots of other risks including economy, interest rates, etc. Plus, few land owners want to have their property tied up for years during design or approval.
it all adds up to a VERY slow rate of change.