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  #41  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 9:35 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is online now
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Originally Posted by suburbanite View Post
I mean it's not really a new practice in many other places, but it requires good transit coverage and decent speeds. The faster the trains are, the further away from the core developments like this should be viable. With true high-speed rail there shouldn't be any reason that someone couldn't work in the Bay Area and buy a $250,000 condo in Stockton, protecting valuable farmland and ecological areas between the two.
Yes, there is. They would pay thousands and thousands a year to just commute to work while still needing a car to live in Stockton. It would never work.
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  #42  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 9:43 PM
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Yes, there is. They would pay thousands and thousands a year to just commute to work while still needing a car to live in Stockton. It would never work.
Well, we have evidence of it working in the aforementioned Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, and Concord examples which are no less car-dependent than a hypothetical HSR-connected Stockton. It stands to reason that there are thousands of people doing exactly what you describe. What's the difference if you could maintain that same 45-minute commute time from a more distant city with faster train service?
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  #43  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 9:46 PM
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Originally Posted by suburbanite View Post
Well, we have evidence of it working in the aforementioned Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, and Concord examples which are no less car-dependent than a hypothetical HSR-connected Stockton. It stands to reason that there are thousands of people doing exactly what you describe. What's the difference if you could maintain that same 45-minute commute time from a more distant city with faster train service?
Price and reliability. An HSR line won't be priced remotely the same, and any hiccups in commuting will be impossible for many (new mothers and the like) because there are no realistic alternate modes. So when baby falls at day care, or when spouse is sick, Mom can't Uber home.

HSR isn't for large-scale commuting, and likely never will be, anywhere.
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  #44  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
Why guess? The average construction cost in the Bay area is now $417/sq ft. Most new 1 bedrooms run around 650 sq ft so around $270,000 to build. The cost of land, which I don't believe is included in that figure, could easily double it. In San Francisco, using land it already owns, it costs the city about $450,000 per unit to build "affordable family housing" which is subsidized for the occupants.

I'm not expert calculating how much rent should be charged on a unit costing around $500,000 to build (not counting fees and regulatory costs which, you are right, can be quite high) but I'm pretty sure it's more than $1500/month.
Why are you taking the figure of what it costs the government to build stuff? It costs the government about $20 to just buy a hammer. The relevant figure is the private sector, as developers are using private sector construction costs to build. The price of land is directly tied to zoning laws, as you have to amortize your land costs over less units.
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  #45  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Price and reliability. An HSR line won't be priced remotely the same, and any hiccups in commuting will be impossible for many (new mothers and the like) because there are no realistic alternate modes. So when baby falls at day care, or when spouse is sick, Mom can't Uber home.

HSR isn't for large-scale commuting, and likely never will be, anywhere.
HSR prices are comparable with plane tickets, no one uses it for daily commutes work anywhere, only business trips and vacations, just like planes.
For example, shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka is about $180 for a one way ticket. Really short commutes start at around $90 for a one way trip... and this is considered pretty cheap.
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  #46  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 12:37 AM
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I know people who have turned down faculty jobs at Stanford due to the housing situation. (Yes, Stanford builds houses for professors, no they don't have enough).
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  #47  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 1:33 AM
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Saying California is a "housing market nightmare" is like saying Apple is a "valuation nightmare". Homeowners are sitting pretty.

Most people are existing homeowners, obviously, and benefit from strong property values. You wish you bought in Palo Alto or Flint?
The need of existing NIMBY homeowners for massive profits is trumped by the need of younger people for affordable housing. Like a monopolist trying to keep prices high by blocking competition. Pure self-centered anti-social "rent seeking" behavior. Besides, at some point demand will collapse and home prices will fall sharply as fewer buyers come in. Prices have reached bubble levels in the coastal markets. The only thing keeping prices levitating is low interest rates and fairly strong job markets. If rates rise & the economy slows, timber!
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  #48  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 1:43 AM
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I lived in a LA City neighborhood that is gentrifying. The area is about even between renters and homeowners. There were a few proposals the past decades for new housing either rentals or townhomes/condos. But many of them have stalled or ended up having less units than initially presented.

There were different sides of opposition, with overlapping reasons. Seems like the main common complaint is fear of traffic congestion and loss of street parking. But traffic is always a complaint to locals and visitors. So even if a building with 20 new units is opposed because people fear major traffic from those 20 units. Another common complaint is that it is too crowded already. LA metro is one of the most dense metro's in the USA. As you go away from the core, the density remains a slow decline rather than a sharp drop. So more housing means more people. The lower income people/renters will likely accept a development, despite the traffic and crowdedness, if it is affordable housing. yet few new projects are affordable housing or just a small percentage devoted to affordable housing. If not, then lower income groups will oppose the project.

Overall, there is a lot of NIMBYism even in mixed income areas. Eventually many projects do get cut down 10-50% less units. Affordable units never pencil in and most new projects are actually townhomes or small lot units selling for $600K+ - recently $800K+. Anyway doesn't seem like anyone is winning.

The area in LA with the least complaints is Downtown LA where probably half of all new units in LA have been built in the recent years. You never hear of affordable housing or traffic concerns in Downtown.
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  #49  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 8:28 AM
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The Bay Area could really develop denser housing around BART stations in the peninsula and southern East Bay.

Beyond that, I don't know where to put new housing.
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  #50  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 2:26 PM
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Originally Posted by suburbanite View Post
There are over 1,500 units in this photo and it's about a 45-minute train ride to Downtown (according to Google Maps, never done the route myself). There's no existing layer of low-density residential full of NIMBY homeowners. Also, upzoning from medium-density like this to high-density in the future should be far less of a battle than going from SFH to 4-5 storey blocks.
I agree. That's why the suburbs/fringe are going to absorb the additional 70 million people in this country by 2050. The older established cities refuse to allow additional units for a variety of reasons. The result will be developments like these in regions with ample land.

This is one reason why I think Chicagoland will begin to grow rapidly in the future, once they can get a grip on their budget issues in the city and state. It's the same reason why cities like DFW, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Phoenix, Inland Empire, Atlanta, metro DC/Northern Virginia, RDU, Charlotte, Central Valley cities will continue to grow rapidly.
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  #51  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 2:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SFBruin View Post
The Bay Area could really develop denser housing around BART stations in the peninsula and southern East Bay.

Beyond that, I don't know where to put new housing.
SoMa in SF could probably add about 50,000 units and still have room to grow after that. SoMa is really quite large and has lots and lots of underutilized structures that could give way to these units.

Downtown San Jose could be completely re-zoned and build substantial residential stock. All of this could be done with mid-rise structures, we don't even have to get crazy and do high rises.
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  #52  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 2:42 PM
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  #53  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 4:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliNative View Post
The need of existing NIMBY homeowners for massive profits is trumped by the need of younger people for affordable housing. Like a monopolist trying to keep prices high by blocking competition. Pure self-centered anti-social "rent seeking" behavior.
I'm not saying that CA's housing market is efficient or just, I'm simply saying it works very well for CA homeowners. Most people are self-interested and so probably don't see a problem.

I also think there's an argument that covering the coast in high density would be irresponsible, and would lower the quality of life for all Californians. The CA coast is 100x better than, say the FL coast, largely because of land use restrictions. Treasured places like Torrey Pines and Crystal Cove wouldn't exist without NIMBYs and heavy govt. regulation.

Also, the U.S. is a huge country where you can achieve a high quality of life in dozens of major metros. Not clear why you need to sacrifice some of the most beautiful and distinct parts of the country upon an altar of "this must be as cheap as Columbus or there's a problem". People who want cheap, big homes with poor long-term valuation, and laissez-faire regulation, already have 80% of the country.
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  #54  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 4:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I'm not saying that CA's housing market is efficient or just, I'm simply saying it works very well for CA homeowners. Most people are self-interested and so probably don't see a problem.

I also think there's an argument that covering the coast in high density would be irresponsible, and would lower the quality of life for all Californians. The CA coast is 100x better than, say the FL coast, largely because of land use restrictions. Treasured places like Torrey Pines and Crystal Cove wouldn't exist without NIMBYs and heavy govt. regulation.

Also, the U.S. is a huge country where you can achieve a high quality of life in dozens of major metros. Not clear why you need to sacrifice some of the most beautiful and distinct parts of the country upon an altar of "this must be as cheap as Columbus or there's a problem". People who want cheap, big homes with poor long-term valuation, and laissez-faire regulation, already have 80% of the country.
You don't need to even build up the coast, although a few blocks inland in some areas could definitely see increased density. You don't really hear about a housing crisis in Florida. There it's more about low incomes for service workers and entry level professionals. California has the worst of both worlds right now.

Nobody is saying it must be as cheap as Columbus, but if residential was built as proposed instead of being cut in half, maybe some $3000 units would be $2500, or the older unit going for $1800 due to no competition would instead be $1400, etc. Every dollar counts for those going paycheck to paycheck, and California has plenty of those people. Many of them are natives that grew up in the area. It's a shame people can't afford to live where they grew up out here, unless they're in the Central Valley.

Even going further than that, there's no reason why teachers have to commute 2hr+ into SF because they can't afford housing near the city they work. If they move out of state, who is going to teach the kids? My girlfriend used to take the train from the Inland Empire to Orange County and it was full of teachers and service workers that are there to serve the mostly higher dollar Orange County population. Which funny enough, Orange County has built a ton of housings especially in the southern parts. They were actually really liberal with that, but because it's OC they all start in around $800k+ and are little boxes made of ticky tacky. It was only a few years ago that OC finally had a new residential highrise in Santa Ana.

That should be the future of California. You should start seeing more highrises inland and a few sprinkled along the coast in specific areas (Santa Monica, Long Beach, Newport Center/Fashion Island, etc. These should complement the redevelopment of suburban strip centers in areas with density. We talk about protecting the coast, but how is a suburban style shopping center like this one protecting the coast? The state just needs to build up where there are already mid/high-rises.
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  #55  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 5:05 PM
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We talk about protecting the coast, but how is a suburban style shopping center like this one protecting the coast? The state just needs to build up where there are already mid/high-rises.
I know this area pretty well. I bike it every winter. The Irvine Company owned most of Crystal Cove, and wanted to cover it in high density condos. Wealthy NIMBYs pushed back hard.

Almost all the land was permanently protected, but they were allowed to build some low-scale, low density stuff (Resort at Pelican Hill, that PCH shopping center, and $5-$10 million homes in the hills). To me, that's a lot better than Florida-style growth, where you build giant highrise condos everywhere, and it's just as autocentric, so it ends up as dense sprawl.

Granted, the FL coast isn't as scenic as the CA coast. And no one who isn't wealthy has a shot of living anywhere near Crystal Cove.
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  #56  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 5:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I know this area pretty well. I bike it every winter. The Irvine Company owned most of Crystal Cove, and wanted to cover it in high density condos. Wealthy NIMBYs pushed back hard.

Almost all the land was permanently protected, but they were allowed to build some low-scale, low density stuff (Resort at Pelican Hill, that PCH shopping center, and $5-$10 million homes in the hills). To me, that's a lot better than Florida-style growth, where you build giant highrise condos everywhere, and it's just as autocentric, so it ends up as dense sprawl.

Granted, the FL coast isn't as scenic as the CA coast. And no one who isn't wealthy has a shot of living anywhere near Crystal Cove.
Most of the coastal highrise condo units in Florida don't really help with housing costs much, because they're not built as "workforce housing." They're built as vacation properties used during only a portion of the year, de-facto retirement communities, or investment properties. If you allowed that sort of development along the California coast the same thing would likely happen.

Higher density actually built for full-time residents should be built relatively close to job concentrations, preferably with good transit access. Much of the debate in areas like the Bay revolves around whether to allow commercial streets with piddly one-story buildings to be redeveloped to allow for midrises with first-story commercial. And the answer, all too frequently, is no.
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  #57  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 5:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I know this area pretty well. I bike it every winter. The Irvine Company owned most of Crystal Cove, and wanted to cover it in high density condos. Wealthy NIMBYs pushed back hard.

Almost all the land was permanently protected, but they were allowed to build some low-scale, low density stuff (Resort at Pelican Hill, that PCH shopping center, and $5-$10 million homes in the hills). To me, that's a lot better than Florida-style growth, where you build giant highrise condos everywhere, and it's just as autocentric, so it ends up as dense sprawl.

Granted, the FL coast isn't as scenic as the CA coast. And no one who isn't wealthy has a shot of living anywhere near Crystal Cove.
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Most of the coastal highrise condo units in Florida don't really help with housing costs much, because they're not built as "workforce housing." They're built as vacation properties used during only a portion of the year, de-facto retirement communities, or investment properties. If you allowed that sort of development along the California coast the same thing would likely happen.

Higher density actually built for full-time residents should be built relatively close to job concentrations, preferably with good transit access. Much of the debate in areas like the Bay revolves around whether to allow commercial streets with piddly one-story buildings to be redeveloped to allow for midrises with first-story commercial. And the answer, all too frequently, is no.
Well if you want to build highrise condos or apartments near jobs, then the area I linked would be perfect since it's right down the road from the Newport Center area. Just 5 minutes away in Irvine, there's as many jobs as people living in the city, yet Irvine is all lowrise.

Florida also serves as better vacation property since it can still be pretty warm (70+) in winter while the NE or MW is below freezing. The water on both of Florida's coast stay warmer for much longer. CA is not really like that. It's really only warm between mid-July to mid-October. I don't really see CA being much of a vacation rental market like Florida. Probably the biggest vacation rental area in California is not even near the coast (Palm Springs).
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  #58  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 6:22 PM
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We talk about protecting the coast, but how is a suburban style shopping center like this one protecting the coast? The state just needs to build up where there are already mid/high-rises.
I really hate that part of Newport Beach; nice coastline, marred by tacky shopping center. It looks like Irvine by the beach. I remember when this part of the coast was all undeveloped and looked really nice.

I really like the historic district of Crystal Cove, though. I believe years ago, there were plans to destroy these old small beach cottages for tacky huge development. Now, it's possible to stay/visit here: https://www.crystalcovestatepark.org...oric-district/

And coincidentally, I just saw this article, from KPCC AirTalk with Larry Mantle:

Southern California Votes For More Housing In Coastal Areas. What Now?


The Southern California Association of governments voted this week in favor of a plan that pushes for more coastal housing instead of expanding communities inland. POOL/GETTY IMAGES

Link: https://www.scpr.org/programs/airtal...using-in-coas/
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  #59  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 7:36 PM
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Well if you want to build highrise condos or apartments near jobs, then the area I linked would be perfect since it's right down the road from the Newport Center area. Just 5 minutes away in Irvine, there's as many jobs as people living in the city, yet Irvine is all lowrise.

Florida also serves as better vacation property since it can still be pretty warm (70+) in winter while the NE or MW is below freezing. The water on both of Florida's coast stay warmer for much longer. CA is not really like that. It's really only warm between mid-July to mid-October. I don't really see CA being much of a vacation rental market like Florida. Probably the biggest vacation rental area in California is not even near the coast (Palm Springs).
I disagree with that. If California wanted to build a bunch of highrises along the coast like Florida decades ago, it would've. They just decided to protect much of it from that same kind of development. Will that change in the future? Probably. It might not have a choice at some point.

California tourism is at an all time high. It's not the tempature of the water that keeps tourists/vacationeers away. The state's isolation defintely hurts, as I know many people who choose Florida over California because it's closer/cheaper to do.
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  #60  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 10:29 PM
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Personally, i'm really happy that California doesnt generally allow high rises on the beach / beach cities. Im perfectly happy with concentrating them in Long Beach, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey and perhaps one or 2 more cities. I love the small town vibe of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa, etc.
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