January 29, 2011

"He doesn't take care of his properties"

and that's a good thing, or so I keep hearing from too many people whose judgement I didn't think was otherwise broken.

If you talk with residents of Varna or just people who drive through regularly, the decaying appearance of a lot of Varna buildings is troubling. Yes, the houses are close to the road, but that's maybe even all the more reason to at least make them look nice. Part of the challenge is simply that these are old buildings, and their proximity to the road limits the likely return on investment. Another huge part of the challenge, though, is that many of these are owned by landlords who only seem to think in dollars and cents, and not so much about the impact on their neighbors.

Some of the weirdest conversations I've had over the last year were with people who took Steve Lucente's lack of interest in maintaining his many properties along 366 to be a sign of his wisdom and care for the neighborhood. He's going to replace them with something better, they say, so why bother? The foundations are shot, they say, so why bother?

Apparently they don't see the contrast between claims that "you should love what I'm going to build [and maintain]" and the current state of his properties.

Apparently they don't hear the implicit threat in "let me build what I want to build or this will stay here as it is".

Apparently they haven't priced out the costs of foundation and drainage repair, which are certainly doable, even on an old house in a less than exclusive neighborhood.

I understand the dream of creative destruction, but applying it on a neighborhood scale suggests a deep disconnect with the neighbors.

Posted by simon at January 29, 2011 6:31 AM in , ,
Note on photos