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Thread: Sycamore (SICKamore?) Village selling fast

  1. #1
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    Sycamore (SICKamore?) Village selling fast

    This is another example of heavily taxpayer-subsidized housing development that is clearly unsustainable.

    And it is occuring in the context of the fast-approaching city tax sale on Oct 20-22, when a record breaking 4,580 distressed or abandoned Bflo properties are on the auction block.

    Why would the city heavily subsidize folks in a shrinking impoverished city to move where nobody lived when Bflo was more than 2X larger? And on toxic land no less!

    Further illustrating its folly, 10 of 11 buyers so far are from Bflo, not buyers from afar adding to Bflo's ever-shrinking numbers. That means that 10 more Bflo houses are likely to go vacant, insuring that taxpayes will possibly face the demolition of 10 more houses.

    Taxpayers build, then taxpayers demolish . . . sound policy??

    From BfloRising:

    http://buffalorising.com/story/first...ore_villag#sca

    First Phase of Sycamore Village Nearly Sold-Out
    Today (9/29), 12:01am By West Coast Perspective


    The first fifteen homes in the Sycamore Village development are nearing completion and eleven are sold. The subdivision at the corner of Sycamore Street and Jefferson Avenue will ultimately include four subsidized and 20 market-rate units. First move-ins are scheduled for the third week of October.

    “Nine of eleven market-rate and half of the subsidized homes are sold,” says project realtor Keith Barnes of Barnes Real Estate Group Inc. The project appears to be tapping pent-up demand. “We have done very little marketing,” he says. The market-rate homes are priced from $165,000 to $188,000 while the four subsidized homes are priced in the $155,000 to $165,000 range.

    Barnes is not surprised by the strong sales to date. He has been selling new infill homes for several years and says a few custom, market-rate homes built on nearby blocks have sold for even more. Ten of the buyers are existing city residents and one is from Hamburg according to Barnes.

    Nine styles of homes featuring three or four bedrooms and 1,400 to 1,700 sq.ft. of living space are being built. Most of the residences have rear-loading garages, many accessed from Sydni Alley, a new alleyway cutting through the site. The homes have arts and crafts style exteriors with covered front porches and cultured stone accents.

    A park-like lawn area with a decorative pedestrian walkway in the interior of the block will offer a secure commons flanked on both sides by the front porches of adjacent homes for young children to play and neighbors to gather.

    Sycamore Village is being constructed on a former brownfield site. New York State contributed over $500,000 to the remediation of the property. Homes being built by Lamparelli Construction and were designed by Dean Sutton Architects.

    Get Connected: Keith Barnes, Barnes Real Estate Group, 716.894.5324

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    stand up for what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by kernwatch
    This is another example of heavily taxpayer-subsidized housing development that is clearly unsustainable.

    And it is occuring in the context of the fast-approaching city tax sale on Oct 20-22, when a record breaking 4,580 distressed or abandoned Bflo properties are on the auction block.

    Why would the city heavily subsidize folks in a shrinking impoverished city to move where nobody lived when Bflo was more than 2X larger? And on toxic land no less!

    Further illustrating its folly, 10 of 11 buyers so far are from Bflo, not buyers from afar adding to Bflo's ever-shrinking numbers. That means that 10 more Bflo houses are likely to go vacant, insuring that taxpayes will possibly face the demolition of 10 more houses.

    Taxpayers build, then taxpayers demolish . . . sound policy??

    From BfloRising:
    DICK...WHY DONT YOU come back to Buffalo..and buy one...we need someone to keep these rats honest!!

  3. #3
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    “Nine of eleven market-rate and half of the subsidized homes are sold,” says project realtor Keith Barnes of Barnes Real Estate Group Inc. The project appears to be tapping pent-up demand. “We have done very little marketing,” he says. The market-rate homes are priced from $165,000 to $188,000 while the four subsidized homes are priced in the $155,000 to $165,000 range.
    I truely can't understand subsidizing any home SPECIALLY when there are places to rent...

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    How heavily subsidized are these places? Do you have numbers? It sounds like only 4 units are subsidized.
    It also appears as though the market rate ones kept 10 buyers from succumbing to suburban sprawl so far.
    Would it be nice if they could have found an existing house to their liking? Yes. But, are there other 165k houses existing near that area?
    Like I've said in another thread, I'm certainly no expert in housing, but if you give the people what they ask for, they stay. If you don't, they're gone to wherever they can find what they are looking for.

    I don't understand the subsidized part either res, but we're talking about 2 out of 4, not the whole development. It was probably a condition the city tacked on to make 4 of them available to low income buyers.

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    why subsidise when you can buy house cheap at the tax auctions. we have 10,000 empty houses that could become homes cheap. or the 4,000 they will be selling soon. We got in the banking trouble we are in now because of loan give aways let them buy cheap houses and fix them if they cant afford brand new ones
    One good thing about growing old is your secrets are safe with your friends they can't remember them either

  6. #6
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie
    How heavily subsidized are these places? Do you have numbers? It sounds like only 4 units are subsidized.
    It also appears as though the market rate ones kept 10 buyers from succumbing to suburban scrawl so far.
    Would it be nice if they could have found an existing house to their liking? Yes. But, are there other 165k houses existing near that area?
    Like I've said in another thread, I'm certainly no expert in housing, but if you give the people what they ask for, they stay. If you don't, they're gone to wherever they can find what they are looking for.

    I don't understand the subsidized part either res, but we're talking about 2 out of 4, not the whole development. It was probably a condition the city tacked on to make 4 of them available to low income buyers.
    BUt how does a low income buyer keep a house when they are low income? SOmething goes wrong they don't have the money to repair or do upkeep? Pointless don't you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident
    BUt how does a low income buyer keep a house when they are low income? SOmething goes wrong they don't have the money to repair or do upkeep? Pointless don't you think?
    Yes, I do think so (pointless that is)!! But again, the majority of them are not subsidized. No clue why they would have included 4 subsidized ones unless the city made it a condition of the project, which wasn't too bright on their part.

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    the project is massively subsidized

    It is difficult to find the multiple sources of taxpayer subsidies to the project in multiple posts on BfloRising over the past year or so.

    In addition to the massive cleanup of the contaminated industrial site, ethere was a taxpayer-funded demolition of two long-abandoned newbuilds constyructed without proper clearances by 'connected' developer Dennis PPenman.

    Here is a summary of subsidy costs, exceeding $100,000 per house, from David Torke, an eastsdie activist highly critical of the project:

    http://fixbuffalo.blogspot.com/2007/08/sick-yet.html

    update - 8/28/07 11am
    Conversations this morning indicate that the 25 homes scheduled for this site weigh in at $265,000 with a subsidy of $75K and homeowner incentive of $25K. The actual cost, when you internalize the 1.3 million remediation that took place late 2006, brings the cost of each 1800 sq ft piece of suburbia with an attached 2 and half car garage much closer to East Amherst than what would work for the City's East side.
    ROI? None. Taxpayers will be subsidizing this forever.

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    Then why the 2 distinctions- subsidized and full market rate?
    Wasn't that land to be remediated with or without plans to build on it?

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    "official" & 'un-official' subsidies

    The site would not have been massively cleaned up if not intended to become "residential" any more than many dozens of other abandoned former industrial sites in the city.

    As in the Main LaSalle Project, massive infra-structure costs on the former railroad land were not considered 'subsidies' altho taxpayers pumped in about $80K per house, as I recall. Then tax assessments were much lower than actual sale prices as well.

    The same double-speak occurs here. Massive infrastructure costs are not counted as subsidies, only taxpayer 'discounts' to the designated numbers of low-income buyers.

    Meanwhile 100's of existing neighborhoods are in steep decline, with little or no help from the city. It will be interesting to learn where the 10 city-residing Sycamore buyers now live . . and how much those neighborhoods are subsidized.

    An earlier study revealed that downtown eastside newbuilds primarily emptied Hamlin Park, long the most stable black middle class neighborhood (where Byron Brown lives). Hamlin Park is now struggling, with falling values & influx of speculators.

    In a shrinking city, new subsidized neighborhoods too often simply perpetuate (taxpayer-funded) 'musical housing' . . . fill a new house & neighborhood, empty an existing house & neighborhood.

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    Thanks for the distinction.
    So, it still remains that 11 people bought houses on their own (not counting the remediation/infrastructure "subsidies"). That still doesn't answer the question of how many existing houses in that price range are available from existing stock. The answer to that might help answer my other question about whether or not those people might have moved to the suburbs to find equivalent housing had Sycamore Village not been there. And would that have been a better alternative to building houses at Sycamore Village?

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    I just did a search on the MLS site. There are 8 houses for sale currently in all of Buffalo for the price range of $160-190k.

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    you know , these homes could sell for $250,000-300,000 & it still would not cover the cost of building 4 new builds on the site after demolishing several contaminated buildings from that site , then having to remediate the contaminated soil , then having to demolish the 3-4 new builds to start up Sycamore Village & their news builds.............something seriously went wrong here , & Wanamaker's not around to answer , nor would anyone else answer NOW !!!!!
    Nothing gold can stay...............

    www.onlinebuffalo.com

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    how true!
    I'm asking a lot of questions, but I hope no one confuses my curiosity with condoning anything. I'm just trying to get an understanding of what is going on.
    The price is actually somewhat irrelevant, except that it seems people are trying to "buy up" which usually leads to flight to the burbs, at least in that price range.

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    Wait so there going to sell 4 of these houses in the middle of a "nice" neighborhood. So what you saying is there going to allow 4 poor famillies move in there, hahahaha.
    Isn't that how it started 25 years ago on the east side?

    What's so wrong with trying to keep the poor out of a wealthy neiborhood???

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