Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Northeast, Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by dukuboy1 »

one group motivated by "sticking it to the man" but can justify and sleep at night because they have good intentions of helping out the "little guy" get a bigger voice & fair shake.

One group is purely business, looking at things from a financial gains standpoint, but can justify their goals by knowing they to are trying to help out the "little guy" and give them better facilities than what they have now and more opportunities for housing.

Both groups use the little guy for their won means to end and thus are exploiting the same group on some level but neither is worried about the potential long term impact of their actions on the very group they are looking to help. We all know what development can do to spur economic prosperity in terms of new jobs and growing the job market, as well as provide more housing and develop an rea that is current sitting vacant and without some kind of development will deteriorate over time an looking to improve current living conditions for some buildings.

But there is give and take on every side and there is no one correct answer, you cannot be all in one way or the other and expect to have the best result. You have to have the balance, the middle ground to really make it work. I think the developers were willing to compromise and do this to be a good partner and build the trust. However KC Tenants appears to be an all or nothing motivated group that has slapped away the hand shake of a group looking to work with them and hear them out and work on a compromise. Trust has to work both ways.

But it's just opinion on what I.ve read and been exposed to. I by no means am a Developer, politicians, of social change activist. I'm just someone looking at things as rationally as possible trying to find a good solution that can help solve for as much as possible knowing that whatever the solution it will lack on both ends of the argument but at its crux, it is a solution.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by normalthings »

There isn't really an active pro-development crowd and that feeds into who runs for office.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by phuqueue »

I think it’s more telling when a group claiming to be an anti-racist organization for housing security of poor individuals makes broad and sweeping generalizations about white people, merely for presenting an opinion challenging theirs. Also says something for those defending the groups actions.
The only thing that is "telling" about any of this is how eagerly you miss the point when it fails to serve your reverse racism victim complex.
Phuqueue, say it aint so! There you go again prefacing your whole comment on the color mine and other's skin because you disagree with what we said. Your post is a pretty long and drawn-out way of saying, "eh, I don't agree with you so let me bring up his race because I have nothing else to base my argument on". This whole debate was never about race until YOU invoked it. I simply pointed out how the heads of KC Tenants seemingly started this "union" as a way to get revenge on private property owners, landlords, and developers over their past actions while trying to sweeten the deal by pushing for reasonable things like good landlords and so on. It had and has nothing to do with race and never will.

I'm dismissing you on this. As long as you continue to invoke race as an explanation for myself and others for "not understanding" this issue, then I don't have to listen to you. Move along while some of us actually make the community a better place.
This is all pretty rich coming from the same person who, one post earlier, wondered "what's the point" of talking to someone who "doesn't want to hear anything that challenges what they believe." Can't believe the guy who thought, "hmm, I wonder if these black people have ever been in trouble with the law, let me go look it up and post about it on my message board" also somehow thinks this "has nothing to do with race" and won't brook any assertion to the contrary. "Dismiss" away, I would hate for you to have to think about a different person's perspective of the world.
Phuqueue, you say that I am peddling something that is " laughably simplistic", that "there is [not] any single "objective, factual" truth about a complex socioeconomic phenomenon like gentrification." And that it shows that how "poorly I understand both the specific issue and also the broader susceptibility of squishy social sciences to ideological manipulation." That's some pretty, pretty good projection on your part (and KC Tenant's).

Honestly, the race stuff you and KC Tenants are saying doesn't really bother me. The history is pretty shitty and as a white guy I'm not going to claim any kind of high ground because that would be stupid. But the bullshitting from you and them about "complex socioeconomic phenomenon" and the economic illiteracy should absolutely be fair game for criticism. It's really just garden-variety NIMBYism that you can find said by people on Twitter and Facebook in nearly every city in the country.
I'm not a NIMBY, but I am skeptical of the "yes in their backyard" attitude. The social sciences provide helpful frameworks for making sense of the world, but they lend themselves more readily to granting a veneer of "objectivity" to what is ultimately an ideological position than they do to providing "objective, factual points" (Anthony's words) about real-world conditions, and economics is arguably the worst offender of the social sciences in this respect. Gentrification is a complex socioeconomic phenomenon, and if you think you can just collapse it into chapter 1 of Intro to Microeconomics, then yes, your grasp of the issue might be a bit facile. But we already had this conversation a few months ago and I'm not really interested in repeating it now. This is straying far from the specific point I entered the thread to make, which was, again, that looking up a bunch of black activists on Casenet is some real dodgy shit.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by CrossroadsUrbanApts »

OK, phuqueue, the situation for some folks in Midtown is objectively not good. Rising rents are not good for those whose incomes are not rising, who may be retired and on fixed income, who aren't employed. I'll take you at your word that you aren't a NIMBY. Perhaps we simply differ on the reasons why rents are rising. I see a fairly dramatic increase in the demand to live in Midtown - crime is down, retail/restaurant options are much improved, public transportation options are better (and obviously, streetcar), the location is convenient, and there has been a generational shift in millennials moving to urban areas from the suburbs. Because there have been very few new houses or apartments built in Midtown, prices to rent or buy are going up a lot. I'm guessing we are mostly on the same page here.

If you were either a city leader (say, councilmember), or a developer with capital to spend, what would you recommend for Midtown? I see new development (including new apartments) in the area as beneficial because it helps meet some of that increased demand and somewhat - not totally - mitigates the associated increase in prices. So the city and its residents are better off than it would be otherwise. Would you encourage new development, or would you block it because you think new development makes the problem of rising rents and home prices worse?

I've met with Tara [KC Tenants] and I know she is smart and motivated. Her group is likely doing good work helping tenants with representation against the slumlords that unfortunately operate in every city. But I think they are mistaken in openly organizing against new development in the name of preventing gentrification.

If you were in my shoes (or, if you, prefer, Eric Bunch's shoes) what would you do?
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by DaveKCMO »

CrossroadsUrbanApts wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:04 pm Because there have been very few new houses or apartments built in Midtown, prices to rent or buy are going up a lot.
Ding ding ding!
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by alejandro46 »

CrossroadsUrbanApts wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:04 pm If you were in my shoes (or, if you, prefer, Eric Bunch's shoes) what would you do?
As a developer, unfortunately you are faced with either stiff resistance from external sources (KC Tenants), internal sources (long city permitting and devlopment, onerous zoning and regulatory burdens, high affordable housing requirements) in order to build in KCMO. Not what the best solution, but I would probably go to NKC or Kansas and work on projects there.

If I was Bunch, I would try to ease those hurdles for new development while also right-sizing affordable housing requirements.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by phuqueue »

I think, as a general matter, that building is good (I wouldn't get much out of this forum if my reaction to every thread was "they probably shouldn't build that"), even though I reject Anthony's naive assertion that this is an "objective, factual point," or the implication that it inevitably holds in all contexts. In the conversation a few months ago, I already made my points about some of the limits of relying on laissez faire private development, which I stand by but don't need to rehash now, but it is also true that you don't resolve a shortage of something without making more of it.

I don't have a position on the Mac project specifically, which I was not closely following. I hadn't planned to say anything about it or to participate in any of the threads about it until the Casenet thing. If I dug into it, I might very well come to the conclusion that it seemed like a good project that should have gotten done, though I wouldn't be arrogant enough to go on twitter and condescend to the locals in this neighborhood where I don't live and where the project ultimately doesn't really affect my life at all one way or another that my position was "objectively" the correct one.

I am by default skeptical of NIMBYs, but my sympathy or antipathy toward them is modulated based on the broader circumstances. If we're talking about an affluent neighborhood resisting new projects that (they claim) would disrupt the "character" of the neighborhood, I don't find that especially moving. I'm similarly suspicious of neighborhoods that protect themselves with a "historic place" designation. Wealthy places that resist transportation improvements or mass transit service will almost invariably make my shitlist. On the other hand, when historically disempowered people, such as the largely low-income, largely-non-white people who live in ungentrified or just-now-gentrifying neighborhoods express concern about new developments, I'm more sympathetic, whether I personally agree with their concerns or not. The white majority in this country has a long history of taking from others -- kidnapping black people from Africa and extracting slave labor, even taking the country itself from the indigenous people who were already here. Within living memory, disempowered communities watched as white planners indifferently bulldozed their neighborhoods to build things that white people wanted, like freeways. I think there is a well-earned lack of trust now when a new generation of white people show up with plans for their neighborhood, and I don't think that crying "economics!" is -- or should be -- a satisfying answer to their concerns. It sounds like Anthony has now heard this firsthand, but not surprisingly, he took all the wrong lessons from his twitter experience.

I don't have any easy answers about what should be done. I don't think there is much that you or city council can do differently about the bigger issue of gentrification, which I think is driven mainly by wealth disparities (especially the racial wealth gap) and income inequality, the use of housing as an investment vehicle, and of course, racism, issues that are either intractable or at least would require drastic action at the federal level (good luck with that). It is easy to argue that if we just keep building more and more units, prices will fall, but even if we accept that argument at face value, it is difficult to guarantee that we will keep building more and more units. Proponents of development will point to expensive coastal cities and argue that prices are out of control because NIMBYs stymie new construction. But NIMBYism isn't just some inherent condition of the San Francisco peninsula, like microclimates or the occasional earthquake. It is a result of gentrification that has filled the city with wealthy people who are trying to protect their wealth. People in general are resistant to change, so poor NIMBYs and rich NIMBYs have that in common. But as the neighborhood begins to attract richer people, the balance of power will gradually shift in their favor, and the kinds of developments that you used to be able to force over the objections of the poor will get harder and harder to pull off. I believe that low-income NIMBYs are trying to short circuit this process before it can really get underway. And I don't know whether they are right or wrong in any "objective" sense, but I sympathize with their concerns. It's a difficult situation without an obvious, realistic solution.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by chaglang »

Let's be honest about a couple of things: one, Midtown may have been historically scruffy in some places, but it's been gentrified for decades. There are blocks that were worse off than others, but when you look at census tract or zip code data, the gentrification horse is out of the barn and miles away.

Two, there is a boomer group in Midtown who bought in in the 1980's and 1990's who are anti-development either because they want to turn it into a historic preservation vacuum; or because they want to 'save the old neighborhood', while ignoring the fact that the neighborhood changed because of the money they brought to it. Both of those positions, enforced through obstructionist neighborhood associations, has created an enforced scarcity that has made Midtown prices skyrocket. Any conversation about affordability needs to start with those people acknowledging that they've created a mess and blaming developers for the situation does nothing to solve the problem. The Good Old Days, whether they think is was before cars existed, or when they could rent a house for $50 a month and throw empties in the vacant lot next door, are not coming back.

Bunch should just run Twitter polls and let the shouters sort it out. Democracy!
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

To answer Phuqueue, yes, after having a few days to cool down I realize that my abrasive response to this entire issue was incorrect, and I realize that it did nothing to support the stance I took. It warranted the response I received from KCTenants, however, I simply drew issue with the point they made that simply because I’m white, I’m somehow made to have a lesser opinion on the issue, as if I’m somehow not invested in the city fixing abandoned properties to provide MORE housing to the overall stock. After evaluation, yes, tweeting at the group and saying they’re killing everything is obviously a childish move, and is no way correct. Also, presenting arguments from a cold evaluation that takes out all emotion is an equally as terrible way to get across my message.

I apologize to anyone on this thread to whom I may have come at with a brash, or demeaning attitude. It’s not the point of this forum, and this is supposed to be our little bastion of enjoyment from the rest of the internet debauchery, so I’m sorry to everyone else for bringing that environment here. Going forward hopefully we can have a more constructive conversation, and not focus on the attacks and rebuttals.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Chris Stritzel »

I regret nothing and will not apologize for what I did.

The part that gets me is the celebrating KC Tenants did over the Mac Properties project being killed. The gist I got from them and their cohort is: "Yay! Less housing! Higher rents for all! More bitching from and support for us! F-Yea and F those who disagree with us!" And unfortunately, you have politicians that fall right into KC Tenants's trap and then have no backbone to eventually stand up and say maybe they're taking things a bit too far.

It's good to share some common ideals, but wanting to go full-on insane with demands is where I draw the line. I agree that affordable housing is a good thing, and needed in select areas, but you're not going to get any affordable housing if you shoot down projects everywhere whether they require incentives (KC Tenants, KCPS, TIF Watch, certain Councilmembers) or not (your standard NIMBYs). I also agree that shitty landlords need to be held accountable since bad ones ruin it for the good ones (and gets you something like KC Tenants where they're up your ass about every little thing). Bad landlords also lead to potentially beautiful buildings looking like a dump. So yes, let's hold the bad ones accountable. We also need to hold landowners, like KC Life, responsible for demolishing restorable housing (Knickerbocker Place) for a grassy lot. Anything more than those two things is insane.

- Some want to ban evictions. Absolutely not. If you don't pay by choice, it's time to go.
- Some want housing taken over as a publicly owned service. Absolutely not. Have we not learned from the failed public housing experiments over the past several decades that government owned housing is never kept up to the clean and safe standards that people have come to expect? Where's the anger in that? How is that good for tenants of public housing?
- Want incentive reform? Sure, just don't mandate ridiculous requirements in exchange for those incentives and then don't stick by those mandates when it comes time for a vote. But I guess being a politician means you can flip-flop on a dime when it's politically convenient for you.
- Want to shoot down a proposal because you don't like the developer? Just don't. If that developer is willing to invest in the City, or really any City, it's a great thing and should be welcomed and not shunned.

So say what you will about KC Tenants. They might have some good intentions, but their messaging and overall vision needs a lot of work to have mass support because what you have now is not mass support. The truth is that they're a very small group of people who like to be in other's business and make a fuss about stuff to seem like a large group. It's only the loud ones you hear from.
Last edited by Chris Stritzel on Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

Agree with ^^^; I don’t agree with the celebratory attitude of KC Tenants for this one, nor do I appreciate their response, however, I do realize I had stooped to their level, and fed into the emotional response they gave. Merely was apologizing for my equally as dismissive and condescending reaction to some on this forum. KC Tenants is still wrong on this one, though.
Last edited by Anthony_Hugo98 on Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Chris Stritzel »

CrossroadsUrbanApts wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:04 pm Because there have been very few new houses or apartments built in Midtown, prices to rent or buy are going up a lot.
It also doesn't help when an organization like KC Life destroys restorable apartment buildings for an urban field.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

Chris Stritzel wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:42 pm
CrossroadsUrbanApts wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:04 pm Because there have been very few new houses or apartments built in Midtown, prices to rent or buy are going up a lot.
It also doesn't help when an organization like KC Life destroys restorable apartment buildings for an urban field.
That should have been something to have drawn WAY MORE condemnation from elected officials than it did.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Riverite »

Since the money has seemed to go into a housing fund based on what they are saying, we can simply measure the number of affordable units before and after, as well as the impact on price due to less inventory and it will tell us which one is right and wrong. I’m not here to see developers get richer, I’m here to see the city grow better.

Either way I will still be sympathetic to their struggle, but if their way doesn’t work then I’m not going to support it.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

Riverite wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:38 pm Since the money has seemed to go into a housing fund based on what they are saying, we can simply measure the number of affordable units before and after, as well as the impact on price due to less inventory and it will tell us which one is right and wrong. I’m not here to see developers get richer, I’m here to see the city grow better.

Either way I will still be sympathetic to their struggle, but if their way doesn’t work then I’m not going to support it.
Per the MHDC, the avg cost is over $200,000 to build affordable units, whereas the MAC project would’ve fleshed out 77 (60 refurbishments, 17 new) at an avg of $135,000 per unit. The HTF can utilize the $10,000,000 for more than just building units though, like vouchers. However, the vouchers don’t solve the supply issue. I’d be interested to see wether or not MAC would’ve kept the price at or around $130-$140,000 per affordable unit.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Riverite »

Anthony_Hugo98 wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:11 pm
Riverite wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:38 pm Since the money has seemed to go into a housing fund based on what they are saying, we can simply measure the number of affordable units before and after, as well as the impact on price due to less inventory and it will tell us which one is right and wrong. I’m not here to see developers get richer, I’m here to see the city grow better.

Either way I will still be sympathetic to their struggle, but if their way doesn’t work then I’m not going to support it.
Per the MHDC, the avg cost is over $200,000 to build affordable units, whereas the MAC project would’ve fleshed out 77 (60 refurbishments, 17 new) at an avg of $135,000 per unit. The HTF can utilize the $10,000,000 for more than just building units though, like vouchers. However, the vouchers don’t solve the supply issue. I’d be interested to see wether or not MAC would’ve kept the price at or around $130-$140,000 per affordable unit.
There is also the factor of the additional rise in rents due to the reduction in future supply
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

Riverite wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:25 pm
Anthony_Hugo98 wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:11 pm
Riverite wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:38 pm Since the money has seemed to go into a housing fund based on what they are saying, we can simply measure the number of affordable units before and after, as well as the impact on price due to less inventory and it will tell us which one is right and wrong. I’m not here to see developers get richer, I’m here to see the city grow better.

Either way I will still be sympathetic to their struggle, but if their way doesn’t work then I’m not going to support it.
Per the MHDC, the avg cost is over $200,000 to build affordable units, whereas the MAC project would’ve fleshed out 77 (60 refurbishments, 17 new) at an avg of $135,000 per unit. The HTF can utilize the $10,000,000 for more than just building units though, like vouchers. However, the vouchers don’t solve the supply issue. I’d be interested to see wether or not MAC would’ve kept the price at or around $130-$140,000 per affordable unit.
There is also the factor of the additional rise in rents due to the reduction in future supply
Difficult to even factor that one in, but a factor I hadn’t even thought of
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by kenrbnj »

The leadership in Kansas City is incredibly naive. Just reading the piece about "Imagine KC".

..Exactly who and how will "mixed and affordable residential" be constructed? A developer will be motivated strictly by market-rate product. If the city will build the high-density "mixed and affordable" component, there is a precedent: The high rise housing projects al-la the LBJ era.

Most of those were crime-ridden as they had been mismanaged universally throughout the United States. Consequently, most high-density public housing was demolished in favor for market-rate with a modest affordable component.

A "housing project" on the doorstep of a stadium is a recipe for failure. Memories run long -- and if there is a question of personal safety; people will just watch ESPN.

If the city leadership wants to keep housing prices in-check; they should undo this TIF restriction. Offer incentives to developers which provide incentive for some below-market-rate product together with market rate housing. Build stock

Let the progressives complain -- because when they do; the direction is usually correct.
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by TheLastGentleman »

If JC Nichols were planning his racist developments today, a lot of you would absolutely be cheering him on
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Re: Is KC Tenants destroying the development future of downtown KCMO?

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

TheLastGentleman wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 10:01 am If JC Nichols were planning his racist developments today, a lot of you would absolutely be cheering him on
There is a difference between writing in your development plans explicitly that black people aren’t allowed to purchase your homes, and developing parking lots and poorly maintained, blighted apartments, yes? Or did I miss something?
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