Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Regulatory blight

Walking to work in the morning I pass by this building:

I've wondered why this building has persisted in its forlorn state for six years with no effort to renovate it. Both of its neighboring structures are in good condition and the street it sits on is a fairly vibrant one. Indeed, here is a photo of a coffee shop located directly across the street:

This morning I finally came across an answer which came as little surprise: government regulation. This article notes that the building will finally be renovated into office space for a non-profit, and explains why no one has stepped up to take advantage of its obvious potential for retail or residential uses:
This is essentially new construction, as almost 50 percent of the building will be gutted and renovated, with building codes forcing the installation of two new staircases and an elevator. These additions essentially made the traditional ground floor retail and residential space above unfeasible, as roughly 800 s.f. of usable ground floor space didn't exactly have local businesses lined up around the block for tenancy.

"You end up carving up the available space in such a way that you have bad housing and you have bad retail, neither works well," explains [project architect Ronald] Schneck.
Two staircases and an elevator for a building three stories tall. Whenever confronted by a situation that doesn't seem to make a great deal of sense, it usually pays to consider the hand of government.


Anonymous said...

vince =hey man is that Tryst?

Colin said...