Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [carfree_cities] Status Anxiety

Expand Messages
  • T. J. Binkley
    ... Interesting. ... I don t know offhand the price of developable rural land, but yes, ten times is probably in the ballpark. A three-and-a-half acre (1.42
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 1, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Continuing, Joel said:

      >The insurance companies are freaking out about global warming.
      >Swiss Re (one of the largest reinsurers) recently expressed its
      >alarm (I think there's an article in Carfree Times). These folks
      >will be looking for a way to invest their received premiums in
      >projects that don't contribute to, or better yet, help reduce,
      >global warming. It may not make it any/much less expensive to
      >borrow, but it should make it easier.

      Interesting.

      >... the land being considered for higher density projects, is
      > >much more expensive than land proposed for suburban development. Are you
      > >suggesting building a carfree project in the 'burbs? ....or praying for
      > >cheap land in a city?
      >
      >I guess we need to talk numbers. Is the urban land ten times as
      >expensive as rural (but developable) land in Ventura?

      I don't know offhand the price of developable rural land, but yes, ten
      times is probably in the ballpark. A three-and-a-half acre (1.42 hectare)
      site downtown sold last year for $10.5 million ($3 million per acre). This
      is a site which still requires clearance of several (unsalvageable)
      structures, substantial infrastructure upgrades, possible groundwater
      intrusion and underground contamination issues. 206 units are planned for
      the site. The price of a small 2-bedroom condo here is about $500,000.

      > >Honestly, where could you possibly imagine making carfree housing available
      > >at a lower price than sprawl?
      >
      >Well, practically anywhere. ... Any construction
      >estimators out there who want to take this on?

      Sure, I'll do it. Pick a site, anywhere. Hey, Erik Rauch, what did that
      site in North Cambridge sell for? Anything built there yet?

      Rick mentioned that dense urban housing is selling well in Downtown LA, as
      is the case in many cities across the US. These condos, lofts and
      apartments are commanding HIGH prices. This type of development conserves
      resources, and is highly desirable for many reasons which are familiar to
      all of us here, but it ain't cheap to build, or purchase.

      Best,

      TJB
    • Doug Salzmann
      I m losing track of the main idea here, at list a little, but... Why is it even relevant to compare (and contrast ;^) costs of construction for urban,
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 1, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        I'm losing track of the main idea here, at list a little, but...

        Why is it even relevant to compare (and contrast ;^) costs of
        construction for urban, multi-use, carfree projects with those for
        carburban sprawl? After all, nobody's building ranchers on Broadway,
        and we know that carfree development isn't going to work in the land
        of endless snout houses. Shouldn't we, rather, compare our preferred
        style of development (vertical mixed-use sans auto accommodations)
        with projects and uses that are actually likely in the urban core?

        All that low-density sprawl is dinosaur-dead, anyway -- that is, it's
        already dead, but it's a long way from its tiny little brain to its
        gigantic, clumsy limbs, so the twitching lasts a long time.


        -Doug



        P.S. For those who want to do some estimating, here's a list of
        useful references. Excuse the non-standard listing format -- there
        should be plenty of info here to track down anything you find
        interesting.


        Basic Estimating for Construction (Second Edition) - by James A. S.
        Fatzinger

        Means Estimating Handbook (Second Edition) - by John Chiang (Editor),
        John Ferguson (Editor), Joe Macaluso (Editor), Mel Mossman (Editor),
        William D. Mahoney, RS Means Engineering

        Estimating in Building Construction - by Frank R. Dagostino, Leslie
        Feigenbaum

        Markup & Profit: A Contractor's Guide - by Michael C. Stone

        RS Means Residential Cost Data 2004: Square Foot Costs, Systems Cost,
        Unit Costs - by Howard M. Chandler (Editor) - Includes location
        factors to adjust material and labor costs to more than 930 U.S. zip
        codes and selected locations in Canada

        RS Means Residential Cost Data 2003: Square Foot Costs, Systems Cost,
        Unit Costs - by Howard M. Chandler (Editor) - Includes location
        factors to adjust material and labor costs to more than 930 U.S. zip
        codes and selected locations in Canada

        2004 National Building Cost Manual (28th Ed) - by Dave Ogershok
        (Editor), Craftsman Book Company

        2003 National Building Cost Manual (27th Ed) - by Dave Ogershok
        (Editor), Craftsman Book Company

        2003 National Construction Estimator - by Dave Ogershok, Craftsman
        Book Company (51st Edition - Book & CD-ROM)

        2003 National Repair and Remodeling Estimator - by Albert S. Paxton,
        Craftsman Book Company (Book & CD-ROM)

        2003 National Electrical Estimator - by Edward J. Tyler, Craftsman
        Book Company (Book & CD ROM)

        2003 National Painting Cost Estimator - by Dennis D. Gleason,
        Craftsman Book Company (Book & CD ROM)

        2003 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator - by James A. Thomson (Book &
        CD ROM)

        2003 National Renovation & Insurance, Repair Estimator - by Jonathan
        Russell, Craftsman Book Company (Book & CD ROM)

        2004 CD Estimator - by Craftsman Book Company
        Note: This is not a book. It is a software program that includes six
        estimating costbooks for the year 2004, 40 estimating & bidding forms,
        85,000 construction costs for new construction, and a 70-minute
        interactive video that teaches you how to use this CD-ROM to estimate
        construction costs.

        * National Construction Estimator - Residential, industrial, and
        commercial new construction
        * National Repair & Remodeling Estimator - Remove and replace
        costs for residences
        * National Electrical Estimator - Electrical work in residential,
        industrial and commercial buildings
        * National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator - Plumbing, heating,
        ventilating & air conditioning
        * National Painting Cost Estimator - Painting, wallcovering and
        surface preparation costs
        * National Renovation & Insurance Repair Estimator - Costs for
        adjusting casualty losses


        Square Foot Costs 2004 (25th Edition) - by R. S. Means, Barbara
        Balboni (Editor)

        Square Foot Costs 2003 (24th Edition) - by R. S. Means, Barbara
        Balboni (Editor)

        Building Construction Cost Data, 2003 (61st Edition) - by R. S. Means

        Mechanical Cost Data 2003 (26th Edition) - by R. S. Means, Melville J.
        Mossman (Editor)

        Electrical Cost Data 2003 (26th Edition) - by R. S. Means, by John H.
        Chiang (Editor)

        Plumbing Cost Data 2003 (26th Edition) - by R. S. Means, by Melville
        J. Missman (Editor)

        Exterior Home Improvement Costs: The Practical Pricing Guide for
        Homeowners & Contractors (Updated Seventh Edition) - by R. S. Means
        Company

        Interior Home Improvement Costs: The Practical Pricing Guide for
        Homeowners & Contractors (Updated Seventh Edition) - by R. S. Means
        Company

        Historic Preservation: Project Planning & Estimating - by R. S. Means
        Company

        Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book, 26th Edition - by Frank
        R. Walker Co.

        F.R. Walker's Remodeling Reference Book: A Guide for Accurate
        Remodeling Cost Estimates for Construction Professionals and
        Homeowners - by Frank R. Walker Co.

        Carpentry Estimating - by W. P. Jackson

        Contractors Pricing Guide: Residential Square Foot Costs 1999 - by
        Robert W. Mewis

        Contractor's Pricing Guide Residential Detailed Costs - by Robert W.
        Mewis

        Dodge Unit Cost Guide 2001 (Book & CD) - CD-ROM includes downloadable
        cost calculator plus Timberline Precision Estimating Basic trial
        version.

        Estimating Tables for Home Building - by Paul I. Thomas

        Estimating Excavation - by Deryl Burch

        RS Means Site Work and Landscape Cost Data 2003 - by Barbara Balboni
        (Editor)



        --

        "Is it not a strange blindness on our part
        to teach publicly the techniques of warfare
        and to reward with medals those who prove to
        be the most adroit killers?"

        -Donatien-Alphonse-Francois de Sade, 1740-1814



        ---
        Doug Salzmann
        Kalliergo
        Post Office Box 307
        Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA

        <doug@...>
      • J.H. Crawford
        ... Let s be sure not to confuse cost and price. At 206 units, the COST of the land is about $50,000 per unit. A small 2 BR condo ought to cost $200,000 or
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 1, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          Continuing, TJ said:

          >I don't know offhand the price of developable rural land, but yes, ten
          >times is probably in the ballpark. A three-and-a-half acre (1.42 hectare)
          >site downtown sold last year for $10.5 million ($3 million per acre). This
          >is a site which still requires clearance of several (unsalvageable)
          >structures, substantial infrastructure upgrades, possible groundwater
          >intrusion and underground contamination issues. 206 units are planned for
          >the site. The price of a small 2-bedroom condo here is about $500,000.

          Let's be sure not to confuse cost and price. At 206 units,
          the COST of the land is about $50,000 per unit. A small 2 BR
          condo ought to cost $200,000 or less to build, so the cost
          would be only $250,000 per unit (plus clearance and infrastructure
          upgrade, which shouldn't affect the issue all that much). So,
          somebody is going to be putting nearly $250,000 per unit in his
          pocket. The only reason this is possible is the tremendous demand
          for urban housing in the area. (I wonder what the profit on
          sprawburbia is?) Even at $500,000 a unit, this is still fairly
          inexpensive by CA standards, no?

          >Rick mentioned that dense urban housing is selling well in Downtown LA, as
          >is the case in many cities across the US. These condos, lofts and
          >apartments are commanding HIGH prices. This type of development conserves
          >resources, and is highly desirable for many reasons which are familiar to
          >all of us here, but it ain't cheap to build, or purchase.

          Well, as I say, it shouldn't cost more to build than auto-centric
          construction. What it actually sells for may not have much to do
          with the cost. (I heard not long ago that you could buy a rancher
          in Brownsville TX for something like $5000 (not new, of course),
          because nobody wants to live there.) Cost can also be higher than
          price in some markets, which means, of course, that there is no
          new construction.

          Housing prices in California are so far off the map of "reasonable"
          that it might be better to focus our attention on other parts of
          the country.

          Regards,


          -- ### --

          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
        • Matt Hohmeister
          In Tallahassee, population around 250,000, a 2000 sf, 3BR, single-family, 1960s sprawlburb house would sell for around $150,000, and would be pretty solidly
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 2, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            In Tallahassee, population around 250,000, a 2000 sf, 3BR, single-family, 1960s
            sprawlburb house would sell for around $150,000, and would be pretty solidly built: brick
            exterior, drywall interior.

            At $200,000 for a 1000 sf, 2 BR condo, are we assuming a very high quality of building
            here? I'd hope that we're talking about a 2-4 story buildings with fire sprinklers, masonry
            exteriors (I don't care if it's brick, cinder block, or stucco--diverse sidings would actually
            be nice), concrete separating all units (walls, floors, and ceilings), butcherblock wood
            doors in steel frames, and mortise locks (as opposed to putting a new $15 Kwikset
            deadbolt on the door every time it changes hands). I'd hope that any buildings in a carfree
            area would be built to last 200 years or more. We should also make buildings easy to
            remodel inside, so if someone wants to replace a shabby-looking 50-year-old bathroom
            counter, it can be done with a miniimum of collateral damage. This would provide
            disincentive to razing buildings after 25 years.

            If we build carfree areas large enough to accomodate the demans, pricing should drop. I
            feel that the reason "urban" property is so expensive is that, in many areas, it's illegal to
            expand urban areas--the law requires sprawl. Thus, even if relatively few people WANT to
            live downtown, they're still battling over a limited supply, since development code has put
            the stop on any new development like it.

            > Let's be sure not to confuse cost and price. At 206 units,
            > the COST of the land is about $50,000 per unit. A small 2 BR
            > condo ought to cost $200,000 or less to build, so the cost
            > would be only $250,000 per unit (plus clearance and infrastructure
            > upgrade, which shouldn't affect the issue all that much). So,
            > somebody is going to be putting nearly $250,000 per unit in his
            > pocket. The only reason this is possible is the tremendous demand
            > for urban housing in the area. (I wonder what the profit on
            > sprawburbia is?) Even at $500,000 a unit, this is still fairly
            > inexpensive by CA standards, no?
          • T. J. Binkley
            ... That would be nice. Fire sprinklers are required in all new construction here, and standards for energy conservation are high, but alas, there s a huge
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 2, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              >At $200,000 for a 1000 sf, 2 BR condo, are we assuming a very high quality
              >of building
              >here? I'd hope that we're talking about a 2-4 story buildings with fire
              >sprinklers, masonry
              >exteriors (I don't care if it's brick, cinder block, or stucco--diverse
              >sidings would actually
              >be nice), concrete separating all units (walls, floors, and ceilings),
              >butcherblock wood
              >doors in steel frames, and mortise locks (as opposed to putting a new $15
              >Kwikset
              >deadbolt on the door every time it changes hands).

              That would be nice. Fire sprinklers are required in all new construction
              here, and standards for energy conservation are high, but alas, there's a
              huge local disincentive to much masonry construction: earthquake
              codes. These make even simple concrete block construction quite a bit more
              expensive than wood. Nonetheless, when I acquire my own little patch of
              dirt, I fully intend to build as you've described.

              >I'd hope that any buildings in a carfree
              >area would be built to last 200 years or more.

              Yes. Here's a proven way to provide affordable, dense, urban
              housing: build structures that are still habitable, serviceable, highly
              desirable for several generations of users, long after the high costs of
              new construction have been paid (Jane Jacobs covered this well).

              In The Baltimore Rowhouse, an interesting review of nineteenth century land
              lease laws describes how developers were more willing to spend money on
              solid construction and elaborate ornamentation of some rowhouses there, in
              order to maximize the ongoing land rents they could expect.

              >If we build carfree areas large enough to accomodate the demans, pricing
              >should drop. I
              >feel that the reason "urban" property is so expensive is that, in many
              >areas, it's illegal to
              >expand urban areas--the law requires sprawl. Thus, even if relatively few
              >people WANT to
              >live downtown, they're still battling over a limited supply, since
              >development code has put
              >the stop on any new development like it.

              Yep. It couldn't possibly be worse anywhere than here, where so-called
              progressives conflate environmentalism with "no-growth".

              Cheers,

              TJB
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.