Archive for Revitalization

Turnover Downtown

Posted in Apartments with tags , , , on August 2, 2010 by urbannight

I live in a revitalized area called the Old Market.  For some reason, when retail businesses fail, a bar or restaurant goes in.  My theory is that the shops are to expensive.  The hotels in this area cater mostly to business travel.  Those people are not shopping so much.  The apartments in this area fall into two classes.  Expensive condo’s and low income lofts.  The shops are not the type to get a lot of steady traffic from the wealthier people in the area.  And the majority of people who can afford the prices live out west and are afraid to come downtown to the Old Market. As a result, food and drink is more successful than retail.

I had a coworker ask me if I was afraid of getting mugged.  Most of the muggings I’ve ever heard about were at the major malls or out west.  This area is cool.  Sure, you get a lot of panhandlers.  But as far as crime goes, it isn’t too bad.  The area is very small and we gave horse back cops and bicycle cops.  If you take the size of the area, about 3 blocks wide by 6 blocks long, we actually have a higher police to population ratio than other parts of towns.

I have what I thought of as a small loft.  But when I read about the apartment sizes in other countries for people who are more successful than myself, I realize I have a what some people would consider a nice spacious apartment.  A nice apartment in Hong Kong for someone who makes more than I do is about 200 square feet smaller than what I have.  American’s in general think we need more space than so many other cultures.

My building is an old warehouse converted to lofts.  It had cool internal architecture that is part of the atmosphere of the place.  But there are no side windows as the buildings were all against each other.  One side is exposed, but I don’t think it always was.  The result is the units have windows only on one wall.  The one that faces the street and the one that faces the alley.

People facing the street have been here for a couple years or more.  I’m on my third year and the people on either side have been here longer.  The people with windows over the alley have a high turnover.  Considering the company requires you to sign a year lease each year, the unit across from me has had significantly more people in it than that.

I have a theory on that as well.  If you have a window that only opens onto an alley, right over the dumpsters, would you want to stay there for very long?