Gentrification... circa 2001

Wrote this back in 2001, to the newdowntown list:

Re: [newdowntown] Re: The Renting o' the Lofts

The rules:

* Don't hesitate to push out the middle income people. If you don't do it
now, they may rally the poor people to support a push for rent control. Social
division is useful.

* Buy them off. Before they start to call for rent control, cut deals with
them to keep their rents increasing at a constant, predictable rate.

* If necessary, turn rentals into condos so that you can turn renters into
property owners with an interest in raising property values. If necessary,
offer rent-to-own equity deals.

* Keep troublemakers like this writer the hell away from the neighborhood.
(If property values are already rising...)

* New Urbanism can be abandoned as easily as it was adopted, especially if
your investment model is based on short term returns.

-- Don't get me wrong - I *like* the things happening downtown (except for
the demise of Al's Bar) - but let's be real here. Follow the money. Maybe
what's needed more than anything else is a dispersion of capital to force
a lower rate of return and reconsideration of a coming "gold rush" mentality.