Feldman Brothers Look To Turn Harold’s Into 5-Story Apartment Building

Two brothers who have been investing in New Haven’s apartment boom are looking to turn the recently vacated-Harold’s bridal shop into a five-story apartment building with first-floor retail.

At City Hall Tuesday evening, Jacob and Josef Feldman presented their plans for 19 Elm St. to the Downtown-Wooster Square Management Team.

It was step one in seeking to build public support for zoning approvals needed to make the project fly. It also represented the latest in a stream of proposed projects bringing more than 1,000 market-rate apartments to the eastern edge of downtown.

The Feldman brothers, co-principals of local real-estate company MOD Equities, said that they intend to keep the original one-story 1945 structure, while building on top of it to create 46 apartments.

“We hope to take advantage of the space that’s existing,” Jacob Feldman told the room.

Within the new complex would be a collection of duplex units, as well as one and two-bedroom apartments. The duplex units, according to the project architect Dwayne Dancey, would take advantage of the high ceilings in the basement of the property. The intention is to create two-leveled apartments, which would serve both “living and working.”

Citing its proximity to the train station and the downtown area, the developers said they hoped the building would attract “walking, biking” residents. While the building would include space for 40 bikes and a fitness center, it would have 21 parking spaces—a plan that would require approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Other developers have sought, and won, approvals in recent years for including fewer than the required number of parking spaces, as the city promotes a “new urbanist” vision of denser development less geared than in the past to car travel. (Read about that issue, with an extensive reader debate, here.)

The building would also house a 1,200 square-foot space for a commercial tenant, returning the Elm Street building to a place of business. Feldman expressed his desire for this vacancy to be filled by a restaurant.

Stephanie Addenbrooke Photo“We’d love to see a morning coffee and pastry shop in there,” he said. “I like food.”

Despite a change in the commercial owner, the developer’s plans show the iconic Harold’s sign on the side of the building. According to the sketches, the apartment building would be named Harold’s towers.

Greg Muccilli, the brothers’ lawyer, told the community that the brothers are “here [in New Haven] to stay.” The brothers have been buying and renovating apartments in New Haven for over five years. They recently bought 129 Church St., an office building across from the Green, for $6.9 million.

Even though the developers are not seeking financial assistance from the city, they will still need to apply for site plan permission from the City Plan Commission as well as the zoning relief. Muccilli said the plan will likely require building variances from the city, particularly in regards to adding height to the existing structure and expanding the property forwards to meet the street line.

Concerns were raised at the meeting about affordable housing, and the use of the basement space for apartments.

When asked about affordable housing, the developers maintained that the apartments would run at market value. Market values have skyrocketed in downtown. Jacob Feldman told the Independent that he could not predict what the exact rents would be; community members expressed their concern about the high price attached to living in downtown New Haven.

Edward Anderson called affordable housing a pressing need.

“There is a growing disparity between the haves and have-nots,” he said. “We’re going to end up without a middle class in New Haven.”

Even with these concerns, he praised the overall idea of developing Harold’s. Creating apartments downtown invites more tax-paying residents to the area, whose taxes would feed into other city services, he said.

MOD Equities, which has an office on East Street, started buying properties in downtown New Haven and in East Rock and Wooster Square around four years ago, according to Feldman. He said the company owns about a dozen buildings with some 90 apartments altogether. One of its properties, 101 Orange, includes the Central Steakhouse.

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posted by: anonymous on May 20, 2015  8:01am

The best way to create affordable housing is to allow developers to build as much new housing as possible.  The luxury apartments of today become the middle class housing of tomorrow. 

We should strive to make all city neighborhoods nice enough, and connected enough in terms of transportation, that they will attract significant new development.

Barring a system such as Finland or Singapore where the government builds housing, and doesn’t just do fancy press conferences with the Governor every time a few dozen affordable units are built somewhere in the inner city, this has been the case for centuries and will continue to be the case for centuries.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 20, 2015  8:28am

Take a deep breath. You can smell the gentrification vampires mackerel. People wake up.Those of you who live downtown will be moving,You will not be able to afford the rents.New Haven is for sale.

Gentrification Town

https://youtu.be/b5vfGvqO5SA?list=PLb1IYyzZbDMmVB1cwko7_fze5ePFCi94V

posted by: wendy1 on May 20, 2015  8:30am

We need affordable housing and that must include apts. for the extremely indigent who are flooding our streets and parks.  These multimillionaires must share with the community and not just rape it for $$.  I doubt the Feldman’s live in town.  I dont want to live in a city or neighborhood that is all white.  The crazy Wooster Sq. rents and prices cause exclusion and segregation.  I doubt you will see people of color in Winchester Lofts or RentheUnion either—-a 2-bdrm for $3545/mos.

I like the idea for this new “Harold’s” but I want integregated buildings even if it means subsidizing homeless men and women.  Either the wealthy or the govt. MUST help house homeless humans.  Sleeping in the cold and dirt is not an option.  This is not Calcutta, Rio, or Moscow—-3 cities that ignore the homeless.

posted by: Thomas Burwell on May 20, 2015  9:04am

Im fed up with the boring architecture of modern day New Haven. It’s just ugly.

posted by: DrFeelgood on May 20, 2015  9:12am

This is great news! Another empty spot being filled which will only add to the vibrancy downtown.  This will not market to millionaires, it is middle class people who will use public transportation and do not rely on a car…something downtown really needs.  People do not want to pay good money to live somewhere with housing subsidized for the homeless or section 8.  Why should the developers invest in downtown just to give their apartments away?

posted by: robn on May 20, 2015  9:18am

Downtown is exactly where developers should be encouraged to seek as much rent as they can get. Regardless, an increase in housing supply (no matter what the cost) will lessen demand and therefore reduce upward pressure on city rent helping renters citywide. Likewise, people living in MH with expendable income will generate demand for services and provide jobs that people without a college education need.

PS lose the Harold’s sign; rethink the aesthetic. It’s not the 1860s anymore and 2nd Empire is out.

posted by: Esbey on May 20, 2015  9:48am

Wendy1, you are right that we should collectively take care of the homeless.  To do so in New Haven, we need tax revenue, which is one reason to support this kind of development.

To those who are worried about gentrification, I point you to San Francisco.  SF has very restrictive rules which prevent much new development in the city.  The result is mass displacement of the poor and minorities.  How does that happen?  As demand for living in the city increases, the rich buy up more and more of the existing housing stock.  With no new construction, the poor are forced out of the city as the rich renovate and move into the very buildings that were previously occupied by the poor and working class.  You can trace the declining percentage of that city that is minority and poor, and the cause of that is restrictive zoning that pushes the rich into the existing housing stock.   

What is happening in New Haven right now is very different.  We see the new demand for living in the heart of the city met by new construction on empty lots, vertical extension of existing buildings (as with Harold’s) and by the conversion of offices to apartments.  The result is that the poor neighborhoods are not much affected, for better and worse.  The gentrification pressure is removed from the poor neighborhoods adjacent to downtown because it is concentrated in new apartments downtown.  (For the same reason, I don’t think the Winchester Lofts will do very well, not at current prices, as there is no reason for wealthier folks to move to that neighborhood when they could live for the same price in the heart of downtown.) 

If you forbid or greatly restrain new construction downtown, then you really will see gentrification via displacement of the poor.

posted by: anonymous on May 20, 2015  9:57am

Esbey:

Exactly. The best way to get gentrification is to slow down the rate of housing construction, by doing things such as requiring parking. 

Every time that we require two parking spaces, that means one less studio apartment that someone in the middle class or working class will be able to have.  Many cities have eliminated downtown parking requirements altogether.

Do we want a city for parked cars, or a city for people?  Currently, we treat parked cars much better than we treat people.

posted by: cunningham on May 20, 2015  10:02am

I’m not particularly opposed to new development, and I think Esbey’s comment above is likely more correct than not, but I do wonder if supply is beginning to outstrip demand.

Who are these monied professionals clamoring to move to New Haven?

posted by: Bradley on May 20, 2015  10:40am

I agree with Anonymous, Robn, and Esbey that this project is a good thing for the city and that overly-strict zoning restrictions contribute to gentrification. But it will do little to address the lack of affordable housing for low income people. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the federal and state governments will address the roots of this problem through income or housing policy.

Wendy, Winchester Lofts has received federal and state assistance and is making a small number of its units affordable for the working poor. I would not be surprised if people of color rent a number of these units. But they will not be affordable to the very poor, and will only make a small dent in the lack of supply.

Fortunately, Dr. Feelgood is incorrect on one point. Well-to-do people will live next to subsidized housing. In New Haven, this is the case in 9th Square. In New York,  NYCHA projects are located across the street from some of the most expensive housing in the world in neighborhoods like TriBeCa and Chelsea.

Cunningham, you may well be right (the architect Duo Dickinson has raised the same concern). But since there is no public money involved, it is not our concern. Moreover, if developers overbuild the market, this will help address the affordability issue..

posted by: Anderson Scooper on May 20, 2015  10:54am

Unfortunately I was not quoted fully in this article. (And I’m not a property manager.)

What I told the NHI reporter was that New Haven needs the downtown developments to prevent increasing taxes from chasing middle-class homeowners out of New Haven.

If youown a home in New Haven, you already suffer from a staggering tax bill. The only way to keep taxes from climbing higher is by building outthe tax base,—which is why I think we should all be in favor of the many upscale apartment communities that are being developed downtown.

posted by: robn on May 20, 2015  11:01am

BRADLEY,

I think the answer is put away the stick and pull out the carrot. The city can offer reduced parking ratio (what many want) in exchange for an increment of affordable housing units. They might also want to throw into the blend restrictive covenants on car ownership of tenants (or a monetary car sharing commitment built into the rent structure).

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on May 20, 2015  11:48am

CHANGE the outdated parking requirements.  CHANGE THEM.  This business of needing variances for every sensible, well-designed, new-urban project is stupid, time-wasting, divisive, a disincentive to potential developers and investors, and completely avoidable.

CHANGE THE ZONING LAWS.

There, have I made myself clear?

posted by: ILivehere on May 20, 2015  12:04pm

NHI Central Steakhouse closed years ago note your story on Yolandes http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/yolandes_bistro_creperie/
And that has even been replace by fornarellis.
Its like you don’t live here at all :-(

$2,500 a month is a lower middle class rate apartment. 2 people making 50k the lowest end of what should be considered middle class would be spending less then 1/3 of there salary.

posted by: Atwater on May 20, 2015  1:15pm

When I lived in New Haven I often wondered why someone would pay more than 1,000/month to live downtown. It’s a ghost town on the weekends and one still has to drive or take the bus to any reasonable grocery store or to shop for clothes, or shoes, or anything that is not served food, beer, wine, novelty items, or over-priced clothing. Why not spend the money on a nice house in Westville, East Rock or one of the towns outside the city? It seems to me that since then (I moved out of state in 2013)New Haven has done little to make downtown more than an adult playground for the wealthy who live there and the wealthy who come to visit. This apartment complex is just another sign that New Haven (along with so many other cities) is becoming a community with clear geographic divisions between the rich and the poor.

posted by: ILivehere on May 20, 2015  2:41pm

@Atwater
that’s how city’s have always been unless and until they were rundown. Do you imagine they built Downtown New Haven or any city and made the city center cheap property? No city centers always were expensive filled with stores and property’s of the elite and people built homesteads several miles away. The alternative is to let the entire city become like Bridgeport where no one with a decent income would want to live.

New Haven is made up of lots of different neighborhoods with different characteristics and price points. Downtown isn’t even that expensive you can buy a 1 bedroom in the Kelly house for 150k or in the towers for 60k.
If you can afford it live somewhere else no one complains about not being able to live on central park south or in old city Philadelphia. Downtown is our high rent district if you want to live there go to school and get a decent job its not owed to you go out and work for it.

posted by: Bradley on May 20, 2015  4:11pm

Robn, your idea makes sense, but I suspect it would have a limited impact. Many developers do not seek relief from the parking requirements (this was true for the Star Supply development and, I believe, Winchester Lofts.). Moreover, parking and affordable housing requirements have very different economic impacts. The parking requirement is primarily a one-time capital cost, although there are some operating costs and foregone revenue. An affordable housing requirement is primary an operating cost (the difference between the “fair market rent” as determined by the state and the actual rent the developer could get). Moreover, the developer would have get project-based Section 8 or RAP certificates, which are quite scarce.

The car-sharing idea also makes sense. But that requires the participation of ZipCar or similar entity, which is not under the control of the city or the developer.

posted by: Atwater on May 20, 2015  4:14pm

@Ilivehere: I have to disagree. My father grew up in New Haven in the 1950s and 1960s and worked in New Haven up to the day he died. He showed me photos from his childhood @Ilivehere: I have to disagree. My father grew up in New Haven in the 1950s and 1960s and worked in New Haven up to the day he died. He showed me photos from his childhood of a once vibrant downtown with stores that people could actually use, shoe repair shops, clothing stores, grocery stores, delis, hardware stores, etc. The center of a city was meant to be the commercial hub of the city, for all of the city’s citizens. This all changed when the city’s industrial core rotted away and Yale bought up many of the properties around the Green.

I don’t think 60k for a one bedroom apartment is reasonable, especially the apartments in the towers, which are small and stuffy. Besides, who buys a one bedroom apartment? Retirees, maybe.

The issue with downtown becoming the “high rent district” is 1: there isn’t demand enough to justify the construction of high rent luxury apartments (look at 360 State) and, 2: it creates socio-economic segregation, which to some people is okay.
Like you said, I should go to school and get a job and work so I can afford an apartment that costs almost as much as a house. Well, I went to school (SCSU) and I had a job (at a law firm), but the cost of living was still too high in New Haven. Downtown was fun on the weekends, at night (sometimes), but when I needed groceries or needed to buy clothes or shoes, etc., I had to take a bus. I didn’t own a car, I thought that living in a city would allow me to live car free. I was wrong. What would have been a 10 minute drive to Stop and Shop in Amity was an hour bus ride. But, I was lucky, I lived on State Street, near Modern Apizza. I was able to walk to work and to the library and to most of the non-yuppie bars (Old Rudy’s, Café Nine and Firehouse), but that’s it. And for that privilege I paid 650.00 for a studio apartment!

The

posted by: ILivehere on May 20, 2015  4:56pm

@Atwater
My mom and grandfather grew up here as well and I agree downtown had more back then but everyday use stores will return when we build a critical mass of residential units downtown. The truth is everything but the hardware store is still here. Shoe repair in the Kelly house, clothing stores on Broadway, the elm city market and Vito’s has to be the best deli in the state. Ive head all the same stores about downtown I’m sure going to mally’s geting roasted nuts on the street, going to the Shubert or the movies but I’ve never heard of anyone buying a cheep 4000 sqft townhouse steps off the green even before Yale and Schiavone bought up all the property.

to your other points 360 state is almost full and they want to build another tower. We have a supermarket downtown now so that helps but yes you need a car or at least a zipcar subscription. To your last point $650 a month is nothing even for a studio honestly my property taxes are 11k a year. If you received a degree from SCSU and make less the $1000 a month 52k a year something is wrong. living downtown is a privilege and its unfortunate that not everyone has the means to be able to make that choice but we live in a capitalistic society not a socialist one. I’d like a 5 million dollar beach house in Guilford but I don’t think a developer should have to give it to me for 100k just because I don’t make enough.

posted by: Adelaide on May 20, 2015  8:28pm

The comments I am reading are hilarious.Market rate rents means not affordable.Rents anywhere near downtown are not anywhere near affordable to the average person let alone families!As a middle class renter, I would love to be able to afford to live in Wooster Sq.-not happening.THese developers have no interest in the average working person, these are high rents for only high income.There is a catch to this though.THere really aren’t enough wealthy people   to pay these ridiculous rents.Why should these developers rent to average middle income?Because if you don’t all of these unaffordable “developments” will at some point be nothing but wind tunnels!Market value - HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 20, 2015  9:24pm

posted by: Adelaide on May 20, 2015 9:28pm

The comments I am reading are hilarious.Market rate rents means not affordable.Rents anywhere near downtown are not anywhere near affordable to the average person let alone families!As a middle class renter, I would love to be able to afford to live in Wooster Sq.-not happening.THese developers have no interest in the average working person, these are high rents for only high income.

HomeRun.You hit it out of the park.

posted by: Bradley on May 20, 2015 11:40am

Fortunately, Dr. Feelgood is incorrect on one point. Well-to-do people will live next to subsidized housing. In New Haven, this is the case in 9th Square. In New York,  NYCHA projects are located across the street from some of the most expensive housing in the world in neighborhoods like TriBeCa and Chelsea.

You are correct.But you left out how the gentrification vampires in New york are trying to building on a NYCHA parking lots

NYCHA Tenants Fight Infill Luxury Housing Plan

http://coopersquare.org/our-work/special-projects/other-special-projects/nycha-infill-rally

Can some one answer this for me.How come this state does not have Rent Stabilization and Rent Control, and Mitchell-Lama Housing Program?


Mitchell-Lama Housing Program

http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/Mitchell-Lama/


Rent Stabilization and Rent Control


http://www.nycrgb.org/html/resources/faq/rentcontrol.html#difference

posted by: robn on May 20, 2015  9:28pm

ADELAIDE,

Developers will charge whatever things are worth and that’s only what people are willing to pay. If someone else is willing to pay more than you to be downtown then it just is what it is and although you might not be able to afford to live downtown, more supply will take up demand and decelerate rent increased in town; that end result which is good for you (unless you’re a landlord).

posted by: Atwater on May 21, 2015  7:54am

@Ilivehere: $650 for a studio is a ridiculously high price anywhere else in the country (except NYC). And to say that a middle income person with a family can afford to shop at the stores and boutiques downtown now is to not really know what middle income really is. To compare the downtown of yesteryear to the present and to say they are similar is to ignore the blatant economic homogeneity of the area now.

I went to SCSU and I was able to find a job that pays a decent salary, I just couldn’t find that job in Connecticut.

You’re right this is a capitalistic society, kind of, it’s actually more of a plutocracy with most of our nation’s wealth and therefore power controlled by a small percentage of people. I don’t think this is what Adam Smith had in mind when he described his ideal of Capitalism. But, that’s another argument for another time. To focus on New Haven though one can see that the city is increasingly being populated by a small segment of people who can afford over-priced apartments in an over-hyped “arts and dining” district. To me this sounds like a very shallow and weak foundation for lasting urban growth. I could be wrong though. And, I don’t think it is too much to ask that the playing field be leveled a bit and that the city and state begin to implement rent controls and other means to ensure that the privileges of this new urbanism can be enjoyed by all of city’s citizens. Instead of the current model, lower income families being pushed, literally, to the margins of the city and ignored. I’ve made this same argument on the NHI boards before, especially during the construction of that monstrosity 360 State. For me, the idea of living in an Epcot version of a city just is not as nice as living in an authentic, vibrant, living city. Sadly, such places are disappearing and New Haven is no different.

posted by: cunningham on May 21, 2015  8:14am

@ILiveHere
“If you received a degree from SCSU and make less the $1000 a [week] 52k a year something is wrong.”

*chokes on coffee*

posted by: wendy1 on May 21, 2015  8:53am

Great comments all round.
Parking spaces should no longer be required by zoning.  Cars will disappear just like the oil.  Bikes and mass transit or just your feet will be the future.
I agree NH is too expensive and I blame YALE, the greedy group that paid just 13 out of 500 million, our yearly city budget!!!  Meanwhile the city refuses to demand more—-a bunch of wimps and cowards.

posted by: RhyminTyman on May 21, 2015  9:05am

This is the type of development New Haven needs. More untold more choices lower rent. The fact 360 filled up so quickly is a testament to the demand. To wendy1 does it really matter if there wasn’t housing there before does it actually matter who makes up the tenants of this new building? Also you run into the problem of too much income dependent housing. You have a building in downtown Brooklyn empty, that charges 500 a month because no one qualifies for the discount. 3/5 more poor people can afford to live downtown now because the susidized housing in building like 360. If gentrification means like parking lots, empty buildings, and giving the poor an opportunity to live in housing I could only dream to afford, sign me up!

posted by: ILivehere on May 21, 2015  9:06am

@Atwater
I guess we just disagree on what affordable is I cant imagine anything costing less then $650 anywhere what would be in it for a landlord. I se your view more of a function of wanting the best of the best but not wanting to pay for it. You could buy a 2 family home on Dwight st for 250k of a few blocks past it for 80k. you could buy in the Kelly house or the towers but that to small and stuffy. You can buy a full 3 floor mix use building downtown for just over 500k. These are not crazy high numbers that’s why people are building so much downtown the reality is people in the industry think rent have a 10% - 20% upside.

@Cunningham
Sorry about the coffee I stick by the statement if you have a degree and are pulling less then 52k a year you need to have a talk with your employer about the realities of your worth or find a different job.

posted by: Atwater on May 21, 2015  10:16am

@Ilivehere: I think you missed my point. Living downtown is not the “best of the best”. Living in New Haven in general is not that great anymore. When I left I was unhappy to leave the city I was born in and lived in for many years, but there wasn’t a place for me, I worked, went to school, etc., but the areas that were safe, clean and friendly, were also the most expensive. Buying property in New Haven is even more expensive, given the insane tax rate, etc.

So, New Haven is great, if you can afford to live in the great areas, for anyone else, either move to a different part of town or leave. That’s your message?

This is the attitude that is destroying the city and Connecticut and will probably destroy the nation. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for those who can pay for it.

posted by: ILivehere on May 21, 2015  11:00am

@Atwater
“So, New Haven is great, if you can afford to live in the great areas, for anyone else, either move to a different part of town or leave. That’s your message?”

Yes that is my message and its exactly what this city needs. How great would it be to see Dwight and the Hill returned to middle class family’s with great shops and restaurants of there own like Westville.

“This is the attitude that is destroying the city and Connecticut and will probably destroy the nation. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for those who can pay for it.”

I disagree real-estate always has its ebbs and flow. At one point beach front housing was considered low class as was city living the trends have now reversed and I’m sure in time a new trend will present itself. As far as the pursuit of happiness there’s a reason the word pursuit is in there.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 21, 2015  11:20am

For those who keep talking about 360,You need to do your homework.People are moving out of 360.@RhyminTyman You said 3/5 more poor people can afford to live downtown now because the susidized housing in building like 360.One building.In fact The Residences at Ninth Square has more poor people in it then 360. and in fact from what I heard the gentrification vampires have there eye on 360 and The Residences at Ninth Square.So a lot of people will be gone.

posted by: RhyminTyman on May 21, 2015  11:45am

3/5 You actually don’t have a point here. 360 is fine, they have a higher tha predicted occupancy rate. What are these vampires going to do with these just completed development projects? Are you sure you know what gentrification means? Or do you just dislike the yuppies and hipsters moving into New Haven?

posted by: robn on May 21, 2015  11:57am

3/5,

360 State is one of the most popular and expensive buildings in town. And its owned by…(drum roll please) a union pension fund.

*the sound of cognitive dissonance*

posted by: Atwater on May 21, 2015  12:07pm

@Ilivehere: Your definition of “middle-class” is a bit skewed. But, if that is your message, then that is sad. Sad for the city and sad for the State.

And, the pursuit of happiness now also comes with a very high cost as college tuition continues to rise to astronomical levels, combine that with high costs of living, etc., and actually obtaining financial security and the “American dream” becomes almost impossible for most people. It is becoming increasingly clear, thanks in part to your little message, that there are a good number of people in this country who think that those on the bottom should remain at the bottom and should move out of the way of those at the top. Like I said before, sad.

@3/5 I have read a lot of your warnings about gentrification and I do agree with your objections. But, there has to be substantial movement and positive change in order for the anti-gentrification movement to gain any ground. So, that means the labor movement needs to be revived, poorer communities need to be strengthened and made safe and education needs to improve in those neighborhoods. Unlike Ilivehere, I think that the residents of the Hill and Dwight deserve to remain in their homes and should be given the opportunity to improve their communities and not pushed out of them, this can happen if the entire city works towards this goal.  It shouldn’t cost almost (or over) 1/3 of your income to live in a nice area.

posted by: ILivehere on May 21, 2015  12:35pm

@Atwater my definition of middle class is a family that make an income high enough to not worry about paying there bills but not so high that money is no object. really its 100k - 400k in todays world.

I agree with you however that the cost of college is insane. The fact that college payments aren’t at least tax deductible blows my mind.

I want nothing more then for people on the bottom to move up the ladder I just think they should do it through hard work and dedication to ones craft instead of through government entitlements that seem to be all the rage these days.

I don’t think anyone should be forced from there home and by the way high end real-estate generates more tax base then section 8 housing. I just think people don’t change gang bangers aren’t going to overnight become roads scholars. if you want Dwight or the Hill to be a safe, clean, walkable lively place to be if you want schools to get better and taxes to be lower then only chance of that happening is by raising the level of education and income of the people moving into an area. It not even that hard go to school become a teacher make your 50k and get summers off move up the chain.

posted by: RhyminTyman on May 21, 2015  1:04pm

Atwater: you are a little confused. How much do you think you should spend on rent? Poor neighbors that largely black are largely forced out by new middle class, mainly Latino, homeowners. Gentrification really hasn’t hurt the poor as much as people as some would claim.

posted by: Atwater on May 21, 2015  2:05pm

@Rhymin: I think a reasonable rent for a 3 bedroom apartment would be 1500/month, that’s about the average price here in Austin and Austin is considered expensive compared to the rest of Texas. I think a 1 bedroom apartment should never be over $1,000/month, no matter the location of that apartment.

Part of the problem is the tradition of valuing a house or any property based on location. It seems that this is a mainly subjective valuation based on consumer trends and not a true valuation of a property’s material value. If we were to eliminate that method of property valuation then the playing field would be a bit more level. So, a new construction one bedroom apartment would cost the same whether it was downtown or in Newhallville. It’s a radical concept, but one I think that should be examined.

Also, I think your logic is a bit backwards. You stated that gentrification doesn’t really hurt the poor and in the same sentence you stated that poor people are being forced out of their neighborhoods by the middle-class.

Ilivehere seems to think everyone that lives in the Dwight neighborhood or in the Hill is a gang banger. Nothing could be further from the truth and I resent the comment and all implications thereof. It would be nice if we could move up the ladder, but as many studies have shown, it is becoming increasingly difficult, almost impossible, to do so. The Eisenhower/Reganesque ideal has died thanks in part to the consolidation of wealth, the death of American industry and the failure of organized labor.

I do think that all of New Haven’s neighborhoods can be improved, but we need to get rid of the “taxpayer mentality”, we are all citizens and as such we all have a vested interest in the success of our communities. High scale high rises and apartment buildings and expensive restaurants and boutiques only truly serve the wealthy. Trickle down economics is BS and anyone who believes it is not, is either ignorant to the facts or arrogant and uncaring.

posted by: robn on May 21, 2015  2:16pm

ATWATER,

Is it possible that housing costs in the NE are astronomical because so are construction labor costs? Is this the “failure of organized labor”?

posted by: ILivehere on May 21, 2015  2:22pm

@Atwater
I never said everyone who lives there is a gangbanger obviously that’s ridiculous and your self noted its an unsafe area you wouldn’t want to live in. I agree trickle down economics is nothing more then a big lie.

The problem with your idea for real-estate valuation is the land itself has value particularly when its limited like in New York or say in a small downtown area made up of only 9 square blocks.

Even if we did cap value at say replacement value the rich would just move to a new home every few years leaving there deteriorated older homes behind as they lost value due to age and the cap.

posted by: RhyminTyman on May 21, 2015  2:23pm

Atwater: You need to figure in cost of living. People in California make more than people in Alabama. Rent should be match accordly. I think 1/3 of your salary is fine if you owe a home and 1/4 is good if you are renting, and still have money to do other things. Please your numbers are only not that far off from places in New Haven, which New Haven 200-300 more expensive.
What I mean it isn’t the gentry forcing the poor out of their homes. We have an explosion of middle class Latinos. They are looking to buy homes, they have been less hesitant than people who have been in the middle class for generations to live in a more urban environment. They aren’t looking to move to downtown to a city but want to find an affordable place. This the real reason poor have been forced to leave. I don’t know if this is a bad thing or highlights what the modern middle class looks like. Wired ran a story called the Myth of Gentrification and breaks this down much better than I can.

posted by: ILivehere on May 21, 2015  2:47pm

@wendy1
Wendy I’m in my late 30’s. You can’t get priced out of an area unless you are a renter and if you rented for 30 years thats on you. Social security is meant to be a safety net for people its not to be relied on as income or retirement. If you are trying to live of SS then again that’s on you. I don’t need to go down to green on church st I live here I just have to open my front door and ask them to move or stop dealing drugs on my doorstep. What would you like me to ask them how after graduating college and never havening gotten hooked on drugs did you find yourself homeless?

posted by: westville man on May 21, 2015  3:06pm

In actuality,  there are a number of nice 1 bedroom apartments right here in Westville that include heat/hot water and off street parking for UNDER $1,000/month. There are 3 bedrooms for $1500.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 21, 2015  6:46pm

@RhyminTyman.You keep saying the Middle Class. There is no more middle Class.Middle class is an economic propaganda word.If one person in your family is not making at least $250,000 per year,then you are not middle class.


Robert Reich on What’s Really Destroying the American Middle Class
This is the first economic upturn in which
90% of Americans are worse off.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/robert-reich-whats-really-destroying-american-middle-class


posted by: Atwater on May 21, 2015 1:07pm

@3/5 I have read a lot of your warnings about gentrification and I do agree with your objections. But, there has to be substantial movement and positive change in order for the anti-gentrification movement to gain any ground. So, that means the labor movement needs to be revived, poorer communities need to be strengthened and made safe and education needs to improve in those neighborhoods. Unlike Ilivehere, I think that the residents of the Hill and Dwight deserve to remain in their homes and should be given the opportunity to improve their communities and not pushed out of them, this can happen if the entire city works towards this goal.  It shouldn’t cost almost (or over) 1/3 of your income to live in a nice area.

I agree with you.There are people here who are starting to wake up. Gentrification does not happen overnight.It is done in steps.It took 30 years to take over Harlem and Parts of Brooklyn.I know people who live downtown, They are just holding on.