An element of the system of upward pricing of residential real estate/reproduction of urban space
I came across this postcard posted on the bulletin board of a supermarket in Petworth around when I was writing this piece in December, "The nature of high value (strong) residential real estate markets," and DC specifically, but I forgot to use this photo as an illustration of how the process of reproduction of space and neighborhoods works. There are companies that specialize in emptying houses of tenants...
Separately, my neighborhood is involved in a discussion because the old Takoma Theatre was bought by a regional real estate developer. What this did was change the nature of the property, from one with a local/neighborhood-based owner, focused on serving the neighborhood, to one that is part of the system of regional real estate property development.
This is what urban sociologists call the reproduction of space.
For this property it significantly increases the asking price for rent, the financing changes the nature of who is considered as possible tenants, the likelihood of independent uses drops significantly, etc.
Anyway, they have a lease for a clinic and are asking that the requirements for first floor space for retail be significantly relaxed.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. But in the discussion on the neighborhood e-list, I pointed out that once the property was purchased by a company active in the regional real estate market system, things changed.
Still, by having a coherent position (not a certainty) the neighborhood will be able to extract concessions in return for agreeing to a zoning exception.
But getting to that point is very difficult. It's why in my writings on community benefits agreements, I call for the creation of neighborhood-scale consensus priorities through planning processes more generally, and the use of this information when negotiating zoning changes, to yield structural improvements, rather than always dealing with ad hoc processes.