Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Something I forgot to mention about the Watergate and "Tower Renewal"

Image of the Watergate complex from Wikipedia.

It's a lot harder to revitalize/rehabilitate multiunit residential buildings that are owned by their tenants, as opposed to rental properties owned by developers and portfolio investors.

With the latter, you deal with a couple actors--the owner and the financiers. With a condominium or cooperative building, you have to get hundreds of individuals to agree. And if redevelopment is warranted, they aren't likely to approve it.

The Watergate residential buildings are organized as co-operatives, although the underlying land is owned by another corporation, and the co-ops have a long term lease. Note that they could get loans, presumably, from the National Co-operative.

(I have written about this issue before in terms of commercial districts. Owned buildings, as opposed to apartments, better be designed to be attractive for generations, because the likelihood of condominium owners agreeing to future assessments for updating the exterior design "treatment" of the building is unlikely.)

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