Hey All You Don Quixote Home Builders....Were you the chickens or the eggs? Did neighborhoods start to get revitalized before you built new construction homes or condos? Or did you go into the neighborhoods and lead the way?
To a large extent, a lot of Home Builders seem like they enjoy a good challenge, playing the odds. What made home builders decide to go into urban areas and take a chance and revitalize a neighborhood? Americans have always been drawn to pick up and move farther out, claim a stake and put up a white picket fence, So it seems less risky to me to be a builder in the suburbs.
I'm talking about the builders who went into the neighborhoods and said OK, let's build. We have a neighborhood in Cleveland called Ohio City (my office is located there). Before I left in the 70s, people were talking about how that area was going to be revitalized. It took a while, but now it is a mix of old and new, fancy and eccentric, every ethnic group represented by a restaurant in only a two mile radius (I of course love this part). But some people had to be the pioneers, and some of those pioneers were builders. I also know that redevelopment corporations played a big part in helping to restore structures like Churches and other historic properties. There was partnership monies available in the wild west of revitalizing decaying neighborhoods. But builders intrigue me. In most neighborhoods, it was NOT a matter of 'if you build it they will come.'
This is making me pensive today. I went on a second listing appointment to work with a newer town home complex with just a few more to sell. It is in a neighborhood I have blogged about before. A non sexy but wonderful neighborhood full of working class people, industries, shops, parks and soon to be brand spanking new schools. But not much new construction! The average house sale in this neighborhood last year was below $100,000. Yet a few years ago, an enterprising builder went into the neighborhood and put up town homes at almost twice that sale price. And it has not been an easy sell. Did the pioneering builders in other neighborhoods that now ARE considered sexy, sacrifice themselves for the good of the people?
Don't get me started on urban sprawl, that is for another post or series of ten posts lol. A city stays vibrant because of it's neighborhoods. I am so thankful there were pioneers in building. We have all sorts of non profits working together to help rebuild neighborhoods. I get the connection between government and non-profits and jobs and schools. What intrigues me are the builders.
Who were the builders who pioneered in your neighborhoods? And if you are a builder, what are your insights on this. I bet I am not the only one intrigued by this.
Peace Out - 3C