San Francisco

Around San Francisco’s New South of Market Transit Center

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In the 1980s, the city of San Francisco experienced a strong reaction against continued development of its dense financial center skyscraper district north of Market Street. that the term Manhattanization was popularized by the alternative biweekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, which channeled the interest of many residents to preserve both their neighborhood and the iconic, historic buildings in downtown San Francisco before they were replaced by new, taller structures.  read more »

The Regression of America’s Big Progressive Cities

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If there’s anything productive to come from his recent Twitter storm, President Trump’s recent crude attacks on Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings have succeeded in bring necessary attention to the increasingly tragic state of our cities. Baltimore’s continued woes, after numerous attempts to position itself as a “comeback city,” illustrates all too poignantly the deep-seated decay in many of our great urban areas.  read more »

Beyond Beer, Bread and Bicycles: The Industrial Return To the City

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In San Francisco, the former site of the Hunters Point shipyard is now being developed with over 10,000 units of housing, 2.6 million square feet of office and R&D space, and about a half million square feet of retail. The project will also include about 75,000 square feet of maker space, or less than 1% of the total building area, most of which will probably go to artisanal firms making food, fashion and furnishing, things like beer, bread and bicycles, sold to the upscale consumers of the region.  read more »

The Mines

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There’s a literary trope in which an ambitious young man goes to work in the mines for a few years to earn an income with which to go back home. In the US it’s bundled into narratives of the Wild West (where incomes were very high until well into the 20th century), but it also exists elsewhere. For example, in The House of the Spirits, the deuterotagonist (who owns an unprofitable hacienda) works in the mines for a few years to earn enough money to ask to marry a society woman.  read more »

San Francisco Is Eating New York

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A lot has been written about how the internet undermined and destroyed media. What we are seeing today may be the more important story, however, which is the tech industry is explicitly buying out the media, particular culture making elite media institutions.  read more »

Lessons from the Oakland/San Francisco Dismissal

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Federal District Court Judge William Alsup dismissed the "global warming" lawsuits of the cities of Oakland and San Francisco against large oil and gas companies, In so doing, the Judge provided important lessons in history, logic and public policy.  read more »

The Big Move

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I spent the afternoon yesterday helping my neighbors pack, clean, and complete a series of fix-it projects around their apartment. They’re moving from San Francisco to a semi-rural town of 28,000 in western Massachusetts.

My neighbor bought her one bedroom apartment a decade ago for what seemed like the outrageously high price of $400,000. Today the place is worth $900,000.  read more »

The Urban Frontier Cabin

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The current conundrum for many people is simple. You might want to live in one of the expensive bubbles of economic and cultural vibrancy in order to access good paying jobs and upward mobility. But the cost of property and rent are insane. You could live in a radically less expensive part of the country where homes and rent are mercifully low, but not everyone longs for a tract home on the edge of Houston. I’ve argued for years that there are all sorts of cost effective towns and cities in the Midwest that are far better than many people assume.  read more »

Poverty is Worse than Sprawl: California's Housing Affordability Crisis

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Rent control supporters in California recently announced that they have enough signatures to qualify a state proposition to remove limitations on municipalities to control rents. Their purpose is to improve housing affordability in the nation’s most unaffordable state. However, should the proposition pass, the net effect is likely to be less new rental housing, as investors are likely to flee the market, as they routinely have before.  read more »

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA HOUSING 3Q17: Affordability Limits Continue to be Tested; Average Prices Hit Record Levels

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• Annualized new home starts in 3Q17 are up 2.5% compared to 3Q16, while closings are up 1.7%. Quarterly new home starts were up 31% while closings are down 4% compared to 3Q16.

• The average base price for new Single Family detached homes is up 17% YoY to a Metrostudy record, $1.03M; the average price for Attached homes is $905K, an increase of 5%.  read more »