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Developers, The Antiheroes

“In Seattle, Austin, New York, Denver, Minneapolis, Washington and the Bay Area, developers are the antiheroes of an urban drama over the high cost of housing and what must change to bring it down,” reports the New York Times. New York’s Jonathan Rose, 3rd generation developer of mixed income and subsidized housing, considers himself a “builder” (historically the developer wrangled the politicians and secured the land; the builder actually created something.) Jonathan’s family built what is considered impossible today, market rate housing for middle income New Yorkers. Development created homeownership on a vast scale, which today is often referred to as “homogeneous sprawl with strip malls”. NYT added, development is becoming a zero-sum game – something has to be torn down to build new, and then much of the profit goes to the investors. On top of this are the Amenity Wars to determine who can add more luxury. NYT offered no conclusion, but ask any kid, in the age of the antihero, baddies and goodies become less distinguishable from one another.

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