Friday, August 3, 2007

Condo buyers mouth off- the EDC should listen asks:
Since sales started last Fall, roughly a hundred buyers have dialed in to buy a place at the former New York Telephone Company building at 101 Willoughby Street that's better known in real estate circles these days as the Belltel Lofts.... Any readers out there who're in contract here? What sealed the deal for you?

The responses, as with most boards, were all over the map. Here are two opposing views:

There is a nice atmosphere of Art Deco and the history of the building is a positive. But that's where the positives ended for me....

The area is horrendous and if you think it will change by the time you move in, keep dreaming. This area has been a rundown dump for years and only now being cleaned up with CITY money. The private developers would not be here if the city wasn't giving tax breaks and so on.
You could say that part of the incentives that the City could give would be destroying old homes to spruce up the neighborhood. Or maybe not- here's what another reader said:

Even if developers tore down everything around you and built new (which they seem to be doing), you're not going to get a great neighborhood rich in character or architectural interest--you're going to get a mini Houston or, worse, MetroTech part II.

Sorry, but Belltel will end up being wedged between a bland and deserted office park (the awful MetroTech) and a bland and generic strip mall (what Fulton Mall is fast becoming).

So if the EDC wants to attract buyers like these, they are better off keeping the Duffield Street homes, and turning it into another "generic strip mall." This is today's example of how the EDC's planned use of eminent domain is either unnecessary or ill-advised.