1. NYT reports on dense suburban projects being scaled back across Long Island not because of financing constraints or the recession, but because local governments are refusing to accept the density. At the end it cites AvalonBay as saying that after the its rebuke on the Island, it will reconsider “whether we would stay on Long Island and be an investor.” AvalonBay is a developer that specifically targets “high barrier-to-entry markets,” so the fact that it’s considering pulling out of the market entirely is a bad sign for Long Island’s long-term growth prospects.
2. Cap’n Transit on the private bus battle brewing in New York City that we should all be paying more attention to. Coincidentally, earlier today I did a search for new about dollar vans, and the only coverage I found was about car crashes – anyone know of any new developments that have flew under the radar of the mainstream media? Separated by language and legality, private buses might be one of New York City’s most undercovered industries.
3. An incredible list of demands from DC Walmart foes. I have no particular love for Walmart – it’s clear that their business model relies heavily on government intervention in favor of roads and sprawl – but any self-styled “community” group that’s demanding free buses every 10 minutes to the Metro, transit benefits for workers, and “free or low-priced parking spaces” is not to be taken seriously. I also like how they want Walmart not to screen workers’ backgrounds at all but also want “no less than two off-duty D.C. police officers on its premises at all times.” The demand for direct cash bribes at the end is also pretty classy.
4. SFpark, the San Francisco market-based on-street parking pricing scheme, has launched. Apparently the price can get up to $18/hour during special events – I hope they let it rise that high all the time if the market can bear it!
5. Manhattan developers are pushing upzoning in Chinatown, which some are linking to the creation of the BID. Given that Asian migrants seem to be skipping the traditional Manhattan Chinatown entirely and going directly to Queens, Brooklyn, and North Jersey, I wouldn’t be surprised if Manhattan’s Chinatown becomes significantly less Asian in the years to come.