Bradford Reid 
Member since Aug 4, 2013


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Re: “Preserving preservation

This is surreal. This "alt" newsweekly advocated FOR demolishing the Genesee brewhouse because, "hey, business, whatev!" but now advocates in favor of preserving a parking lot - a PARKING LOT - because "preservation." I wish I had the words to describe how insane this is, but I've been tragically/comically reduced to "LOL." If you people want to retard the development of your own neighborhood because the sainted George Eastman House told you to do so, then, by all means, proceed....

But, ugh.

As for Ms. Towler's specific arguments:

1. Parking:

A significant portion of your neighborhood is already paved over. This proposal is to build on top of a parking lot - ON TOP OF A PARKING LOT - so there is no pavement problem here. This argument is specious. If you disdain cars and asphalt so well, you should take that issue up with Village Gate, Writers & Books, the Gleason Works, the Memorial Art Gallery, (ahem) the George Eastman House, et al.

By the way, the converted duplexes you mention are completely irrelevant. "Paved backyards." Uh huh. Did I mention this proposal is to build a building on top an existing parking lot? Right. You don't have to love the proposal, but you shouldn't make completely specious arguments against it. "Converted duplexes with paved backyards outside of the preservation district" is so completely irrelevant as to be farcical and, quite frankly, stupid.

2. The character of the neighborhood:

You asked if the neighborhood will continue to be: "a mix of tenants and homeowners, young singles and families and empty nesters? Or will it become predominantly a neighborhood of tenants?"

Everything about this is wrong. "Young singles and families and empty nesters" will still be the tenants of this proposed apartment complex. So, they are irrelevant to the question of "who will live here?" The character of the people who live there won't change, so you are left with nothing more than "tenants vs. owners." The notion that tenants are bad for a neighborhood is Smugtown gospel, but it is, as most smug things, dead wrong. Bad tenants are usually the direct result of bad owners. Problem properties are almost inevitably owned by absentee landlords. The root cause of almost any "tenant" problem is usually the sainted owners who don't care. Target them if you want to keep your neighborhood clean. And, I have a feeling Morgan will do a fine job screening its tenants for its $1500/month apartments. If they don't, at least they are easy to locate!

Nevertheless, I ask in response: So what if the percentage of tenants increases slightly? What of it? What ills will befall you? I also wonder just how the percentage of renters-to-homeowners will actually change if you add 100 apartments to the mix. You can't just say that adding some apartments will change the character of the neighborhood and imply that the percentage of renters will skyrocket without offering actual data. Can you offer any specific arguments on this point based on actual data?

3. Density:

You imply that density is bad. Do you have any actual argument to back this up? Or data? Because I'd love to offer a counter-argument that, in fact, density is good. Unfortunately, you didn't actually make an argument against density so I have nothing to respond to. You merely opted to be a "concern troll" and ask us all "WHAT IF THE NEIGHBORHOOD BECOMES TOO DENSE? WHAT THEN???" No rational person can respond to this. Density is not inherently bad. Increased density is arguably good. But if you want to make an argument against density, then make it with facts and logic, not your subtle concern over the alleged density problem.

Speaking of density, wtf? The 12-story building at the corner of University and Goodman has, so far, failed to ruin the neighborhood. If that building doesn't count (because....????), then perhaps I should point out the building on the corner of University and Atlantic. You know - the one that defines your entire neighborhood! That one. That "huge" four-story building just doesn't fit with your neighborhood! And all of the occupants are TENANTS!!!! Or the entire Village Gate complex - those buildings do not fit with the neighborhood AT ALL! Or the City Newspaper building - it is huge and out of scale, eh? And what of the huge parking lots surrounding these buildings? What of all the cars that drive in and out to access these buildings on daily basis? And what of the massive Gleason industrial complex that dominates this exact location? What's going on there? Cars? Asphalt? "Huge" building? No?

4. The slippery slope:

That's not how the administrative process works and you know it. Each development is considered by the Board on its merits. If Morgan gets to build apartments here, the next logical step is not tearing down the Eastman House for a condo tower with Mapplethorpe photos instead of windows. That's not happening. So, let's debate each particular proposal on its merits, not on its reductio ad absurdum (what if one the future tenants of the new Morgan apartments is crazy like the Christian Bale character in American Psycho? WHAT THEN? WHAT IF HE HAS STRONG OPINIONS ABOUT PHIL COLLINS? NONE OF THIS EVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF....).

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bradford Reid on 08/04/2013 at 11:58 PM

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