Toll plans, TMC problems, empty nesters, Ashby regsYet again I've let the backlog of smaller items get too large, so I'm going to have to break them up into a couple of posts.
- If you missed it, here's my reaction over at my Chronicle Opportunity Urbanism blog to the front page story on the survey desiring more land-use regulation, mainly based on the stream of Ashby high-rise stories over the last two years. Also, Kendall Miller of HRG has an excellent response letter in the Chronicle (4th letter down).
- A cold splash of reality from a recent Wall Street Journal article on urban living without a car:
...demographers and economists have predicted that many aging baby boomers would opt for smaller, easier-to-manage dwellings once their children left home. Those predictions helped spur a surge in loft and condominium developments in many U.S. cities, as well as efforts to develop so-called walkable communities.
So far, the bet hasn't paid off. "The developers that anticipated a big increase in condominium living in center cities are sorely disappointed," says Gary Engelhardt, a professor at Syracuse University who's studied the influence of boomers on the housing market. The housing bust has led many people who might have sold their suburban homes to stay put. But even when the market recovers, Mr. Engelhardt says, "I don't foresee a massive movement back in center cities for older individuals."
Why not? From what I've heard, it's what you'd expect: not only do empty-nesters have deep ties to their current suburban community (church, friends, etc.), but they also want a home big enough to welcome their children and grandchildren for frequent visits.
- While listening to a pros vs. cons lecture on the potential Rice-Baylor merger, I heard about this recent article in Nature on the financial troubles in the Texas Medical Center.
- More on the Med Center: NY Times Sunday in-depth piece on MD Anderson cancer hospital here in Houston.
- If you're interested in HCTRA's long-term plans for new toll road projects, they're detailed here, including a nifty map (pdf is best for detail). Hat tip to Triton at HAIF.
The rest next week.