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Developers Don't Need Us to Subsidize Them

Atlanta is the least dense major city in the world. We are probably the city that is the most suburban in character in the world. We don't need rail.

This morning the developer of Avalon - the replacement project for Prospect Park in Alpharetta - made a presentation to my Rotary club.

This is a live-work-play, walkable development of the type all of the liberals are raving about. What was interesting was that the decision to proceed on the project was made based on market principles after examining the demographic of the surrounding 7-mile radius. Transit had nothing to do with it. Altering our current housing choices had nothing to do with it. In fact, the ultimate success of the development depends on the surrounding suburban communities patronizing it. It required no subsidy or allocation of tax dollars. 

Developers on this scale are not stupid. They analyze trends and the market carefully to assure the long-term success of their developments. You can bet the push to support transit has more to do with the in-town developers trying to add value to their developments to assure that they don’t lose out to suburban developers like the Avalon group. They are willing to spend $8 million to push the vote because the rail projects offer an enormous return on that investment. 

Avalon continues the evolution of Atlanta as a large region of interconnected clusters, not a hub-and-spoke city. 

In the Atlanta region, less than one-quarter of the population live in urban places within the region, and more than three-quarters live in places that are suburban.  If we look at the growth over the last 10 to 12 years, it has distributed similarly.  More than three-quarters of the growth has accumulated in the suburbs. 

Individuals will make whatever decisions they want to make for themselves. 

Atlanta is the least dense major city in the world (a fact presented at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation (GPPF) presentation Wednesday morning). We are probably the city that is the most suburban in character in the world. That is who we are, and what we are. 

We do not need to impose an ultra-expensive technology (rail) that performs best in high density places, and worst in low density places (also part of the GPPF presentation Wednesday morning). We do not need to spend billions of dollars to try to convert Atlanta into a high density place. We need realistic, cost-effective transportation solutions that address the needs of this region and are designed to meet the needs of the low density population that we are.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mike Lowry May 31, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Brian Wheeler: I'm not sure whether it's your Saul Alinsky "Rules For Radicals" training, or perhaps a paid position with Maven or ARC, but your continual childish personal insults to everyone on this thread are wearing thin. If you disagree strongly enough to post 10 different times on the same thread, perhaps you should write your own blog and put your thoughts in front of everyone...assuming you can write anything but insults. You could: 1. Write a brilliant defense of the current project list, underscoring MARTA's use of false terminology to include maintenance items in conflict with HB277, or 2. Write an insightful dissertation on the use of invented definitions instead of reality to drive ARC's economic model to the results they wanted, or 3. Defend the illegal use of nonprofit charitable status to raise funds for a political issue campaign, or 4. Explore the brilliant use of the delphi technique to squash any opposing commentary. I'm sure we would all be interested.
Brian Wheeler May 31, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Wow Mike, so you single me out for commenting multiple times on this thread, and yet you don't have a problem with those supporting your argument, such as Dianne or JAH. Why is that? And please tell me exactly where I insulted anyone? Any examples would be welcome. I noticed how you can't dispute the facts that I've laid out on my postings. So, because I disagree with your point then I guess my arguments aren't welcomed here? Do you consider it an insult or personal attack to offer facts that dispute your remarks?
Brian Wheeler May 31, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I'm sorry the user I meant to mention was 'No Name' who has commented just as much as me. And BTW; I was under the impression that this was a community site? Is that not the case? Or is this just your personal sounding board?
Brian Wheeler May 31, 2012 at 07:49 PM
BTW: It's kind of hilarious that you make a common political attack line of "Saul Alinsky' when complaining that I'm somehow politicizing the topic or using cheap lines of attack...
I Love Sandy Springs May 31, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Mike: I do not disagree with all of your comments, but distracted by the reference to Saul Alinsky.....hmmmm....read Breitbart much? Has anyone cared to ask what Zell Miller thinks? He is from North GA, he is pretty sensible, he knows the nuances of the state legislature and the strengths of both sides of the aisle. Even close to home, I wonder what Pug Mabry thinks? He was in office for over 30 years and managed to grow with the demand. His tenure predates me, but I bet he was decent. Just a thought...... It has been a week since this topic was first discussed on the community site called Patch, so I am going to give up on this thread now.

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