On Suburban and urban NIMBYism in St. Louis, Next Up: Lafayette Square

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LafSq mop4
{the Zittlosen Manufacturing Company building on Park may receive a full historic renovation}

Oakville, Town & Country and Creve Coeur have been easy NIMBY targets of late. Oakville residents have been loud in their opposition to a low-income senior housing development, though only after it was approved. It appears to be moving forward. The town of Town & Country have stopped a new upscale senior living facility from being built there, in part saying they already have enough retirement communities. Creve Coeur residents recently opposed a new senior living community and another at Lindbergh and Beaver Drive is being opposed. The city certainly isn't immune to such NIMBYism. A proposal this spring for 63 apartments was met by loud opposition as residents of the city's Dogtown neighborhood went to court and started a petition drive against the project. There are many other examples–a number of gas stations, healthcare facilities, etc., but these are particular because they are all housing.

Now, one of the city's marquee neighborhoods is set to vote up or down a proposal for a complete historic renovation of the long vacant Zittlosen building. If approved, the 1910 Zittlosen Manufacturing Company building fronting Park Avenue at Dolman (1322 Dolman address) would be renovated to the stringent specifications of the Lafayette Square Local Historic District Code. So what's not to like? The project would produce 42 income-restricted apartments. If chatter from the Lafayette Square neighborhood listserve is a true reflection of neighborhood sentiment, the project doesn't stand a chance. Neighborhood support is helpful and public notice is requred for the project to receive the full package of tax credits being sought. In practice, this means the proposal likely needs support from the mayor, local alderperson and neighborhood to bolster chances of success.

LafSq mop3
{new infill across Park and new residential on Dolman have brought new construction to the area}

While a lot of opposition to development is simply labeled "NIMBY" (Not In My Back Yard), clearly individual proposals vary greatly. Landfills and waste sites, airports and highways can present enormous change, and can devastate a neighborhood, or take homes and businesses altogether. Opposition to smaller-scale development is often more simple resistance to change. Residents may fear that their trusted parking spot may not always be open, or that several cars may back up at an intersection where once there were few. Noise, light, traffic–people do not generally want more of these.

In Town & Country, some believe there are simply enough senior assisted living and retirement communities already. Maybe so. In Lafayette Square is there already enough low-income subsidized housing? The neighborhood proper is relatively affluent and home to more than a few half-million dollar homes. Across Truman Parkway are the Peabody Darst Webbe and Lasalle neighborhoods, roughly the size of Lafayette Square and dominated by subsidized housing. How many units should this section of the city have? Would a rejection of this project by Lafayette Square residents be akin to the opposition in Oakville?

LafSq mop2
{the Zittlosen building serves as the southern entry marker to the neighborhood}

LafSq_ZittlosenBy the way, what are income-restricted housing units? The Metropolitan Artist Lofts in Midtown are income restricted ($29,580 for one occupant). As are the beautiful Leather Trades LoftsCupples Station Loft Apartments and some units of the Paul Brown Lofts ($30,000 for one occupant). The seems-to-be-starting Arcade project downtown will feature income-restricted units as well. In short, income-restricted is not the same as Section 8 housing, "the projects" or traditional low-income, subsidized housing. Hopefully the project will get a full and fair hearing. The Zittlosen building has seen proposals come and go, a full historic renovation and residential conversion should be welcomed.

The following email has been sent to Lafayette Square residents, giving a basic project outline and inviting residents to attend a September 4 meeting at which a vote will be taken (surely there is a better, more fair, more inclusive way to gather neigborhood sentiment than a short-notice meeting, which are habitually dominated by those easily fired-up, the NIMBY-esque voices, but that's the subject for another post):

_____________________________________________

Purpose – Provide information on new project and vote regarding neighborhood support for certain aspects.
Time – 7 PM, Wednesday September 4
Place – Squires Annex
Liquids and light snacks provided.
Project – Park Avenue Lofts, located in the old Mop factory. North side of Park between Dolman and Truman.
Project details –
42 Loft Apartments – 1 and 2 bedroom.
Cost of project $10,000,000 ($250,000 per apartment)
Complete historic rehab of building exterior according to LS historic code.
Rebuild parking lot.
Developer / Owner – RR Jennings Developer, LLC Stacie Hastie
Management Company Fairway Management, Inc. (The Lofts at Lafayette Square and The Residences at Forest Park Hotel)
Full time on site manager.
Full time maintenance employee
Mr. Hastie is a partner in the City Hospital and Walgreens locations. He took over many of the Pyramid properties when that company closed. Mr. Hastie is not involved with the Union Club at Jefferson and Lafayette.

Tax Credits – Historic Tax credits and a mix of State and Federal development credits.

***** Key point – This will be voted upon ******

One of the tax credit programs requires that some of the benefits be passed on to the tenants in the form of lower rents and restricts the qualifications for tenants. This program requires community support and the government's application deadline is September 6 so we will vote at the meeting. (Sorry about the compressed schedule.) The tenant qualifications are:

Minimum annual income $25,000 ( Equal to full time at $12.50 per hour. At minimum wage, 68 hours per week.)
Maximum annual income $37,380 ( Equal to full time at $18.67 per hour.)
Background, credit, and employment checks
I am asking the neighborhood to do the following.

Come to the meeting, participate.
Listen to the information
Form an opinion.
Vote
Because of the difficulty of having a multi party discussion via email I would like to save as much as possible for the meeting after all the information is presented. Some features of this project are still being worked out and I am researching how this compares to other more familiar housing programs.

If you can not attend the meeting and wish to share an experience or opinion before the meeting please feel free. You can contact me at [email protected] . Due to time constraints I can not promise responses to all emails. Information I would like to have when you comment.

– If you feel uncomfortable with any aspect of this, what are the specific concerns?
– What would address your concerns?
– Do you support this project, not sure, or no. 

I will present a composite of absentee neighbor's comments at the meeting.

Hope to see you at the meeting. It is so much easier in person.

Keith Houghton
VP – LSRC,
Development

_____________________________________________

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  • tdl

    This is back btw. I got a nice anonymous leaflet today in protest against development of building with 15 market rate units & 27 affordable units & 61 parkings spots & commercial- urging me to contact mhdc and the alderwoman. urgh. I will – to tell them my support.

  • geoffksu

    Update from the morning after the heated battle:

    262 votes counted and the result was a deadlock:

    At the meeting the vote was 78 yes 96 no.
    At this point the absentee vote is 53 yes – 35 no.
    Total 131 vs. 131.
    Voting is closed.

    The Lafayette Square Redevelopment Committee is currently writing a letter on behalf of the neighborhood for the Developer stating that the neighborhood has a neutral support on the project.

    The Credits are awarded in February, so stay tuned…

    • Devin R

      That’s too bad. This should’ve passed by a wide margin. I rented a nice
      place in LS for 2 years a few years ago when my income wouldn’t have
      even allowed me to get into this proposed project. I liked living there,
      was a good neighbor, and spent my money at the local businesses on
      Park. The neighborhood should feel very good about getting residents
      with up to $37K incomes. In STL, that goes a long way and those people
      can be a big boost to the restaurants, cafes, and other businesses in
      the neighborhood. As for some of the Market Rate arguments, are people
      with higher incomes going to want to pay those rates to live across from
      the projects? I doubt it. Residents should like the idea of a “buffer”
      building if they’re so scared of low-income tenants. And as someone who
      drives by that building very frequently, I’m sick of seeing it just
      sitting there.

      • Joe V

        I agree with Devin R that it is a shame that the building remains undeveloped but I think the split decision reflects the communities many unanswered questions. The August 4th meeting raised many concerns around parking congestion, how the requested tax credits are handled, as well as the managements ability to address the community concerns after the project is complete. Unfortunately the presenters did not have thorough answers.

        I hope the development team returns with a more in-depth and comprehensive presentation. I am sure the community would be more than happy to host them again.

        Some specific points of concern:

        Parking: With 42 units (approx 30 (2) bedrooms 12 (1) bedrooms) the project only has 45 on site parking spaces. Tenants may park on the public lots that serve the local businesses or overwhelm Dolman St.

        Are the tax credits state or federal? How are they awarded and under what criteria? What is the duration of the credits and can the building change its tenant mix or be turned over to condominiums after the credits expire? What is the developers plan after the credits expire?

        What is the management experience with projects of this type and how has the company addressed problems in the past?

        What are the building improvements/upgrades/renovations? Is the exterior going to be changed and if yes, how so? The project seems to have major foundation problems on the North West corner, how is it going to be addressed?

        What is the plan for the ½ level basement (the basement sits about 5 feet below the sidewalk elevation)? Can you build apartments in the basement level? Will it be used for commercial space or simple unit storage?

        I hope this helps illuminate some of the Lafayette Square’s concerns. I am sure there are many more issues that are still on the table.

        • guest

          These are easy questions to answer.

          City zoning only requires one offstreet parking space per dwelling unit.

          Tax credits are both state and federal, for both low income housing tax credits and historic. The income restriction on the low income credit is 15 years, but MHDC likes to require an extended use period of 30 years.

          Once tax credits expire (and it’s not really an ‘expiration’, it’s more a completion of the required compliance period), the investor wants out so the property is generally refinanced, possibly with some minor upgrades, and possibly continues as affordable housing for the next 15 years (out to the 30 year period described previously)

          At this cost, and presuming the developer is proposing use of historic credits, the building would be substantially rehabilitated, all new systems, historically accurate. Think of Soulard Market Apartments near I-55 and Soulard Market for comparison.

          If these questions were unanswered by the developer, that’s sort of embarrassing, considering this anonymous poster knows nothing of the specifics of this project, but can still offer these rather generic replies.

        • wimp

          Parking is a non issue in laf sq (people there might think it is, but looking for a parking space for thirty seconds or walking half a block do not an issue make). And yes, I’m back county boy, feel free to gloat(sp?)

    • guest

      The credits are supposed to be awarded as early as December.

  • Scott Ogilvie

    Allusion to the Dogtown apartment building being “turned back” by residents is not accurate. It didn’t move forward because the developer to be didn’t have enough equity in the building.

    • Alex Ihnen

      That’s probably fair. There was the lawsuit filed by a neighborhood resident and a lot of opposition. It doesn’t seem likely that the project would have moved forward regardless of the developer’s equity position – though you just might be in a better position to judge this than I. The language in the article has been changed.

  • Eric

    About the Arcade: Will the entire thing be income-restricted, or only part of it? What about the Chemical?

    • Presbyterian

      The Arcade will be 254 units, two-thirds of those affordable and one-third market rate. Not sure about the Chemical.

      • Really need to switch those fractions around. Either that or the developer should draft a convenant through which they could transition the building to primarily market-rate over the 10-15 years or so after opening.

        • John R

          I think this was largely dictated by financing demands. I think the Arcade’s affordable housing allocation also is reserved for artists.

  • Dan

    I live in the neighborhood, and while the info about it and subsequent meeting seem rushed, I support redevelopment of this building and welcome potential new residents. Diversity (race, income) is a healthy component of any thriving neighborhood, and LS is no exception.

  • Mark

    My wife works full time for a major university. Her annual wage makes her eligible for this housing. These NIMBYs should be ashamed.

  • Joey

    I think it’s funny that the urbanites and STLToday just got down chastising Town & Country and Oakville for this. Hateful suburbanites! Not lily white and rich! Racists! Oh…Lafayette Square now? Oh…*goes back to moveon.org article on their Mac at Starbucks*

    • John R

      We’ll see how it turns out. Like I said below, the T&C opposition was fine as it violated the comprehensive plan. What is the point of engaging in comprehensive plans and engage the public but don’t follow it? But Oakville opposition was definitely tainted by some dark motivations. As LS residents get to know more about the plan, hopefully this will pass. If not, it will be a black mark on the them indeed.

  • symphony musician

    I actually lived downtown west in a loft that was income qualified and market rate. I never had a problem, people where nice, the place was nice and one had to have a job (ie income) to qualify to live there (the place was 60% income qualified). The 80+ people added vibrancy to an area right around theTap Room that otherwise wouldn’t have that.

    More people in Lafayette Square would increase demand for restaurants and retail. It would alleviate an eye sore at this corner (now for the german building on the west side…) I assume that at some point the building could be switched to market rate down the line if the market demanded that and the tax credits allow it… but I could be incorrect…

  • Henri Devauxwlijk

    We need this project to succeed. $25,000 – $37,000 is actually reasonable. I mean of course it depends on your outlook of what a fair wage is. I’m actually making in between this amount and I have two MA degrees from world-class universities. I would, for sure, enjoy living here and will consider it. Not all people who are making this amount of money need to be considered uneducated, dirty, and lower-class. In fact, many artists and musicians make this amount of money.

    Furthermore, this plan would be perfect for students who go to SLU and WASHU! We need more student housing around in the city. These students bring diversity and character from around the world to the city. Lafayette Square is transforming into a very chic place to hang out and I think students would really appreciate living there. Many cannot afford it as of now so this plan could be advertised towards them.

    This building in some ways is an entrance into the Lafayette Square neighbourhood and I hope the developers pay attention to detail and provide a grandiose entrance into the neighbourhood. Lafayette should a place for culture, the arts, international fine cuisine (as we see at Tripel Brasserie), and European cafes. It should a fine reminder of St. Louis’ French heritage.

    • krl

      Agreed! Too much of the multi-family housing going up around Wash U and the hospitals is outrageously high-rent, and I make $37,000 and I’m an architect!

    • Drewmoney

      Full-time students cannot occupy LIHTC units. Metropolitan Lofts and Leather Trades, however, are positioned to capture the artist community, many of whom fall under the income limits.

      • henri devauxwlijk

        It’s unfortunate if students aren’t able to live there. 18-30 year olds are exactly the age group St. Louis neighbourhoods (and especially places like Lafayette Square) need to survive. We need to get more European students and more people that age group from the East and West coasts to live in St. Louis. St. Louis needs a flood of young people, more cafes with places to sit outside, more public space, less cars, more street life, more biking, more public transport, better education, more people going to St. Louis Language Immersion Schools, and the preservation of its exquisite architecture.

  • John R

    I really don’t see a problem with Town & Country nixing that proposal as it did go against the comprehensive plan for that area. Not sure about the proposals in Creve Coeur. But the Oakville opposition to the facility on Lindbergh makes me sad. And it would be an outrage if the Lafayette Square project got killed. The building is already there for heaven’s sake! Let’s put it to good use and get quality more quality housing in STL!

    • LFSTL

      We just received an new update from the Restoration Committee:

      “I wanted to get this out before everyone heads out for weekend but email volume has been heavy. I hope the uptick in chatter does not register at Homeland Security.

      In answer to questions and statements made these are the facts as best as I can determine. Pick your favorite subject below. Pay close attention to ‘Union Club’, LIHTC, and ‘Management and Tenants’. Don’t skip the commercial in the middle.

      Union Club –
      Built as condos by Chris Goodson just before the down turn in condo market.
      Many units converted to apartments.
      ****** IS NOT and never has been section 8, subsidized rent, or any other program. It is market rate and generally full.
      Has average or better than average tenant retention.
      I can not find ‘they’ or the ‘tatics’ used. I can not find any evidence of it being ‘sold to neighborhood as …x.’ I am unaware of any neighborhood meeting on the UC.
      It was reviewed by the development committee (I was there), Cultural Resources (city), and built as any other private enterprise.
      Timeline –
      The developer only got the rights to the Mop building very recently. This is verifiable.
      The first contact was made with neighborhood representatives August 20.
      Met with developer, Ald. Young, myself and 3 other neighbors Aug. 22.
      Confirmed venue Aug. 27. Meeting notice same day.
      Only choices available Sept. 4 or 5. Both Jewish holidays.
      Government deadline is Sept. 6
      I found no evidence of intentional delay or a ‘fast one’.
      Apartments vs. owner-occupied vs. retail –
      The market drives this choice.
      Retail – This building would be very hard to turn to retail. The windows are too small and limited door ways. There is a long list of expensive reasons this is not a good candidate for conversion to retail.
      Opinion statement – Retail will follow the demand (i.e. people). We also have other better retail potential buildings and lots.
      ******* Unabashed ad *********
      The LSRC is heavily involved in supporting the Police substation and we have recently taken on the upkeep of many public spaces. The plaza, the fountain, assorted green spaces and plantings, etc. Donate funds (can be dedicated to projects), donate time, labor, materials. Even join LSRC. You don’t have to like meetings, you don’t even have to like us, just like YOUR neighborhood. We will always strive to put your contributions to the most constructive use.
      ********* Back to your regularly scheduled update **********

      LIHTC – Low Income Housing Tax Credits
      This is the program we are asked to support or not
      LIHTC has many levels and variations. Statements of comparison to other operations that you have seen on the email list are nearly impossible to verify as to whether they are valid.
      The developer gets the $900,000 in tax credits but ‘pays back the principal’ as reduced rental rates. The renter gets the benefit. The developer gets the use of the money but is paying it back over 15 years to the tenant.
      This is NOT section 8, it is not vouchers.
      The gross rent estimates are 1 bedroom 800 sq. feet. $629 – $729, 2 bedroom 1000 square feet $710 – $805.
      Market rate at this size would be $800 and $1000.
      The reduced rent program is 15 years.
      All units are included.
      Income limits are $25000 to $37380 per year (see meeting notice for conversion to hourly rates.)

      Management Company and Tenants –

      Fairway Management, manages The Lofts at Lafayette Square – Mississippi and Hickory.
      The physical features and finish of the apartments will be a smidge below Lofts at LS.
      The management company screens the tenants.
      Fairway markets the apartments through normal channels. Lafayette Square residents can submit names of friends, relatives, employees to be the first to be contacted when leasing starts.
      Leases are one year.
      Income will be qualified at the start of each lease year.
      Evictions will be handled as would any market rate apartment. Control is through tenant screening and background checks same as Lofts at LS.
      Developer –
      The developer, Stacy Hastie has a vested interest in the neighborhood. Bad effects from this project would also impact his investment in the city hospital complex including his abuilding restaurant.
      Chris Goodson is not involved in this.
      Mr. Hastie was not involved in the Union Club.
      Voting –

      Please, please, please help me with your early votes. I need to know what the concerns are, not just yes or no. Mr. Hastie has not had a chance to answer all your questions and I want to compare his responses to your concerns. He deserves his say. This will help more than you know when talking to developers on this property or future.

      Does anyone have fresh letters for my keyboard. Glad I learned touch typing.
      Go enjoy Friday night. Watch out for bicycles.

      Keith Houghton

      PS I tried to double source all info from people with direct knowledge but some of this intel I could not, especially on items of limited interest.”

  • Ted Yemm

    Not a resident of the neighborhood, but I do play base ball there. Two things about the commentary from the neighborhood. Isn’t there currently retail space going unused at the southeast corner of Jefferson and Lafayette in a mixed use building? Secondly, in New York aren’t low income apartments fashionably called rent-controlled and considered much more trendy?

    • LFSTL

      There is tons of room for development in Lafayette Square – The whole Praxair site remains undeveloped.

      The people complaining are the same people complaining when the news broke that they are building a new save a lot across the street on Jefferson – because it wasnt fancy enough for them.

    • guest

      There are no income limits on fashionable rent controlled apartments in NYC. In the case of the Mop Factory rehab, there are both income limits on the tenants (at or below 60% AMI adjusted for family size), and rent limits (affordable to such households at their income level – housing expense including utilities maxed out at 30% of household income.

      The proper name of the program is the “Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program”. More politic names are “affordable housing tax credit program” or “workforce housing”. Those names are generally applicable, but not specific to this tax credit request. LIHTCs are very specific – and very difficult to get. At $250,000 per unit development cost, the project is higher than what the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) wants to spend per unit. Rehab is getting tougher and tougher to do.

      MHDC’s mission is to provide affordable housing, and they hope to fund as many projects as possible. Higher per unit costs reduce their yield of affordable units, so they have been pushing hard statewide to control costs. Rehab, being the most expensive way to produce affordable housing, has a tough time in this day and age of tighter restrictions on funding.

      • Ted Yemm

        Ah. I see the difference. Thanks for pointing that out. I like the workforce housing name the best, I guess.

      • samizdat

        “Mop Factory rehab” Is that the former Luco Mop building on Chippewa? There has been some activity there, and I’ve been curious as to the nature of the project.

  • Mark

    I have lived in the neighborhood for 5 years. I personally was hoping for some additional retail space as well as some mix of market rate apartments. Especially with the potential dental school project that would be directly across Truman from the rehab site. Lafayette Square has very limited space left for development and I’m not sure this is the best use of that space. I have read that the low income tax credit is the only way to make the project profitable for the developer. So I’m not sure how well intentioned this effort is in regard to providing access to affordable housing. Also, having just been informed of the situation 36 hours ago with a deadline of September 6th, I’m slightly upset about the late notice.

    • I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 5-years, as well. Hadn’t heard anything about the Dental School across the highway, but that sounds good. Anyway… before I moved into my current apartment, I did look at Cupples Station. Though I was working 2 jobs, I didn’t make a lot of money but just barely too much to qualify. Instead I live in Lafayette Square and love it here. So my wavering on the issue comes down to where we set the income level at if this goes through. Is it higher or lower. The higher that mark is set, the better off the people will be that will move in there. Like you, I agree that it would be nice to have more shops and whatnot move into the building as well to keep the square moving along. So basically, I haven’t made up my mind on this issue yet. I want to know more information before a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

      • matthb

        You can’t pick your income levels. They are defined by the state. Typically 60 percent of the median income for the St. Louis market. Although they are considered “affordable” rents are generally about 10% to 15% below a comparable market rate property. Alex makes a good point above, some of the most attractive apartment properties in the city are “affordable” properties.

    • Hrmm. Someone wants to do something with a property and there’s only one way to make it work…so you call into question the whole project due to the lack of perfectly ideal circumstance?

      Everybody’s got opinions but you ought to consider the financial reality of making something like this work before so casually dismissing it. Even if it’s not an altruistic humanitarian effort, that building has been sitting there vacant and forlorn for…..a……long……………..while. Anything that can be done to bring it back into service, so long as it’s in compliance with established historic codes, should be given fair and proper consideration.

  • j.d.

    I work at Tripel Brasserie, the new Belgian restaurant in Lafayette Square. We have very wealthy patrons and middle class patrons enjoying our restaurant. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could also have those not that well-off to enjoy our great Belgian beers and cuisine?! We welcome all and we support this endeavour in our beautiful neighbourhood!

    • John R

      Awesome! I look forward to making it down to Saint Louis’ very own “Little Belgium” soon!

  • Presbyterian

    I hear there are lots of negative responses so far, which seems odd given that we’re talking about a large board-up on the edge of the neighborhood, fairly high-income income-restricted housing and an excellent management company.

    Can anyone with access to the email resposes offer any perspective? Is there a generational difference between first generation 1970s/80s rehabbers and newer arrivals to the neighborhood?

    • Robb Beal

      I’m a new arrival to the neighborhood and absent any new information plan on voting for the project.

      Also, the building is better called the Zittlosen Mfg Co. building, the original owners.

      Architect was H. W. Powers who from a quick Google search also was the architect of other commerical buildings in the city.

      • Alex Ihnen

        Thanks, I’ll update with the more accurate/proper name.

      • H.W. Powers designed the Star Bucket Pump Company factory at 1218-24 North 15th Street in Carr Square, a building completed in 1911. Powers’ Globe-Democrat obituary exaggerated his contributions to St. Louis architecture, which mostly consisted of commercial and multi-family buildings. He did work as a draftsman for Wheeler & McClure, an upstate New York-based firm that developed a major St. Louis practice including the long-lost Holland Building.

        • Robb Beal

          Thanks for the additional research, Michael!

    • geoffksu

      List of the negative responses:
      -Residents wanting more retail, office space, businesses, etc.
      -Residents not agreeing with providing a developer a tax credit.
      -Resident wishing to have market rate lofts, condos, etc.
      -Resident who thinks the neighborhood has too much residential, that they don’t go around the neighborhood to look at homes…
      -Other residents just saying ‘no’ with no reason.

      • samizdat

        “Residents not agreeing with providing the developer a tax credit”

        Am I the only one laughing my a** off at the irony of that statement? In a neighborhood which wouldn’t exist without tax credits? Which has numerous buildings which have been tax-abated at one time or another during the last thirty years?

        As for the income rec’s, let me say this:

        I recently found a job (FINALLY!). Now, it’s not a done deal, but it’s looking good for the ol’ home team. Since it’s a temp-to-hire position, the pay starts out at $13.50/hr. Yeah, not much. If I were not married, I would be smack dab in the middle of the income rec’s. I’m an intelligent, fairly well-educated, well-informed individual with no criminal record, I don’t have a ‘boom-car’, and I don’t play my stereo at concert-hall db’s (although I could, heh-heh: Yamaha 100W RMS amp, B&O turntable, BostonAcoustics A150 speakers), and I would make a great neighbor. Is the opposition so blind to economic reality that they cannot comprehend the wage environment present in American society today? This seems to be a good project, so I am having some difficulty comprehending the stridently fierce opposition to it.

        (geoffksu: my response is not meant as a rebuttal to your post, just my $.02; good luck with the architecture studies, BTW)

        • Alex Ihnen

          Perhaps individuals such as yourself at the September 4 meeting could help residents put a face on the development.

          • samizdat

            Sadly, I could not make it, as the aforementioned job actually materialized. As such, I was at work.

            As for the results–a tie–I find it extremely disappointing that in a neighborhood of allegedly well-educated, upper income individuals this came down to the wire. I can’t help but imagine that those who voted for it are equally disappointed–and embarrassed–by the ignorance and narrow-mindedness of those who voted against. As a resident of Dutchtown, I would kill for a development such as that proposed in LS. Unfortunately, the best we can get are absentee landlords and ineffectual, lazy cops. Compounded by a kind of 21st Century form of Team Four depletion-light.

            My hope is that the developer can or will do a better job of informing the LS residents about the true nature of wage structure and economic mobility in our country today.