Mar 29, 2010

Condos vs. McMansions

The New York Times just published a great news report on a study by the Environmental Protection Agency, Residential Construction Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions, showing urban development outpacing suburban development in the past decade, a major shift and one of the reasons I've been arguing that high-rise condos are a very good thing. This shift happened in the terrible oughts that we've been told since last year we're supposed to hate now. -STEPHEN ZACKS


  1. good find steve.
    wonder why is there no activism to pre-use the empty condos as they are built?

  2. Thanks for the comment. There are a couple of arts groups that do that regularly, like the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's artists residency program and Chashama, which temporarily uses midtown buildings while they're under construction.

    The Bruce High Quality Foundation is using a building under construction on West Broadway for their Brucennial exhibition. I think the Public School's new space in downtown Brooklyn is also a temporarily vacant space on loan. There's a former convent in Greenpoint that the pastor has been lending to artists and renting to film crews while the market for redevelopment is slow. There are even those floors of 7 World Trade Center that are rented out for public events while they're not being leased for office space.

    But you also see things happening like new condo buildings being converted into rentals instead of being sold at lower prices. The residential vacancy rate is still below three percent, the city is still projected to grow in the next decade, and so far the excess in construction has barely made a dent in the affordability of middle class housing. More could definitely be done in that regard.