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Old 09-18-2019, 04:33 AM
Marcus Flavius is offline
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Cheaply built, mass produced apartment complexes/condos- how many are in your city?


I'm talking about apartment complexes/condos that look roughly like these:

https://media.atre.yardi.com/1/10376...pg?w=300&h=225

https://media.graytvinc.com/images/6...partments1.jpg

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/j1qX...4968454.0.jpeg


These things seem to be sprouting up like weeds in the small, Midwestern college town that I live close to.

Last edited by Marcus Flavius; 09-18-2019 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:36 AM
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It is called a pedestal design. They make use of fire-proofed wood. When they are up an running with fire-suppression systems, they are fine. While they are being built, they are prone to disastrous fires.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:58 AM
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Out in the boonies where I live, the only apartments I see being build are "luxury" apartments, which, to me, means higher rents for ordinary living spaces. Or maybe I'm just a touch cynical...
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:00 AM
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I'm seeing some with that design here in North Ali-bama, but they're being built in fairly well-to-do areas, not 'cheaply built' IMHO.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:16 AM
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The Charlotte area is currently teeming with residential construction of the general type described by the OP.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:02 PM
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I'm not aware of any like that being built in Folsom, but there does seem to be quite a few of them in Sacramento, especially in Midtown and around the Sac State campus.

I'm probably being pedantic here, but are these truly "mass produced"? To me that implies something built on an assembly line. These apartments may all share a similar architectural style, but that doesn't qualify as mass production in my book. Or are these built from prefabricated pieces that can be quickly assembled, like a piece of IKEA furniture? That probably would count as mass production.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Flavius View Post
I'm talking about apartment complexes/condos that look roughly like these:

https://media.atre.yardi.com/1/10376...pg?w=300&h=225

https://media.graytvinc.com/images/6...partments1.jpg

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/j1qX...4968454.0.jpeg


These things seem to be sprouting up like weeds in the small, Midwestern college town that I live close to.
Those are all exterior renderings, with no indication as to how they are built.
They could be solid platinum for all you know.
Why do you think they are "cheaply built?"
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I'm not aware of any like that being built in Folsom, but there does seem to be quite a few of them in Sacramento, especially in Midtown and around the Sac State campus.

I'm probably being pedantic here, but are these truly "mass produced"? To me that implies something built on an assembly line. These apartments may all share a similar architectural style, but that doesn't qualify as mass production in my book. Or are these built from prefabricated pieces that can be quickly assembled, like a piece of IKEA furniture? That probably would count as mass production.
I think the OP is talking out of his ass and doesn't know the first thing about construction and/or design. Yes insists on creating multiple threads on the topic to discuss his opinions.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:33 PM
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Why do you think they are "cheaply built?"
Just what I was coming in to ask. That does seem to be a modern design choice that is very popular. But I'm not sure it implies shoddy workmanship, just copycat aesthetics. One of those could be crap and the next one solid as a rock - I don't think you can tell just be looking at the exterior.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Flavius View Post
I'm talking about apartment complexes/condos that look roughly like these:

https://media.atre.yardi.com/1/10376...pg?w=300&h=225

https://media.graytvinc.com/images/6...partments1.jpg

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/j1qX...4968454.0.jpeg


These things seem to be sprouting up like weeds in the small, Midwestern college town that I live close to.
Are you in Iowa City? The whole city seems to be in the process of being taken over by buildings like this. The buildings may be cheap, but the rents sure aren't.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:32 PM
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How do you know they are "cheaply built?" Compared to what?
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:35 PM
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It is called a pedestal design. They make use of fire-proofed wood. When they are up an running with fire-suppression systems, they are fine. While they are being built, they are prone to disastrous fires.
Yes, kind of like this.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:40 PM
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Those are all exterior renderings, with no indication as to how they are built.
They could be solid platinum for all you know.
Why do you think they are "cheaply built?"
Lol, no. I've seen the construction process- shoddy stick and chipboard construction, covered up with fancy looking cladding. I've been inside one of these before- the walls are paper thin.


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Are you in Iowa City? The whole city seems to be in the process of being taken over by buildings like this. The buildings may be cheap, but the rents sure aren't.
Not Iowa city, I'm in Kansas.

I'm not surprised that these have high rents- they're purpose is basically to be rent extraction devices.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:45 PM
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How do you know they are "cheaply built?"
Because I have functioning eyes

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Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
Compared to what?
Traditional, pre-war apartments

https://photos.zillowstatic.com/cc_f...000000000.webp

https://photos.zillowstatic.com/cc_f...000000000.webp

https://photos.zillowstatic.com/cc_f...000000000.webp
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:45 PM
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They're about the only style of building that doesn't look tacky when it is less than five years old. The only question is will they look tacky when they are more than five years old because I'm not sure if the style has been around that much longer than that.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:58 PM
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They're all made of ticky tacky, and they all come out the same.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:09 PM
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I live in an historic town, and we were all quite surprised when the town gave approval for a low-rise version of one of these buildings on the main drag - usually developers are required to make their new buildings look similar to what's already in town. It's pretty jarring to see. There's also a very expensive house that was recently built near where we live in a similar design. My husband says it looks like a liquor store (and it does, as the local ABC authority is building all their new buildings in that same style).
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Flavius View Post
I'm talking about apartment complexes/condos that look roughly like these:

https://media.atre.yardi.com/1/10376...pg?w=300&h=225

https://media.graytvinc.com/images/6...partments1.jpg

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/j1qX...4968454.0.jpeg


These things seem to be sprouting up like weeds in the small, Midwestern college town that I live close to.


The second one literally looks like the "Estuary" luxury condos up the road from me in Weehawken.
https://www.cityrealty.com/nyc/marke...63-month/26381
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:50 PM
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Yes, this is the common new style.

As for cheaply built... yeah they seem to be. Typically they have a concrete base and then the upper floors are done with wood framing. The panels put on that are some kind of insulation stuff, not sure exactly. Overall I wouldn't want to live in one.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:21 PM
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But you can't look at a particular architectural style and say "That's cheaply built". I know the OP's doing that, but he's extrapolating from buildings that he "knows" are cheap.

We know three couples that have moved into some new apartment buildings in the style of the first set of photos. Their buildings are rock-solid, with top-notch materials, and virtually soundproof. In all three couples, both spouses have good jobs and no kids, so I'm sure they're paying more than we would want to.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:36 PM
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In the metropolis of Cleveland, they have something called "tax abatements". Basically, if you build new construction, the owners don't have to pay property tax on it for 15 years. The idea is to attract young, wealthy people to the city, who will eventually start paying their way when they're still here a decade and a half from now.

The actual result, of course, is blights of new construction that look just like that, designed to last for 15 years before falling apart. At which point, all of those yuppies will just move out, to some other tax-abated new construction, and the property values will fall so much that even if the new owner does pay tax, it'll be on a fraction of the original value.

By contrast, Lakewood, the suburb where I live, doesn't have tax abatement. There's plenty of new construction here, too, but it's built to last.

And yes, I know what the construction values are like. I've watched them going up, I've seen the architectural features, and I've seen how much the buildings are aging in the few years since they've been put up.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Flavius View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
How do you know they are "cheaply built?"
Because I have functioning eyes
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
Compared to what?
Traditional, pre-war apartments

https://photos.zillowstatic.com/cc_f...000000000.webp

https://photos.zillowstatic.com/cc_f...000000000.webp

https://photos.zillowstatic.com/cc_f...000000000.webp
Some of those old brick buildings are very nice, but that sort of construction is only rarely done nowadays. There are few people with the right sort of skills today, and labor is expensive, Plus tastes change.

But some buildings are built the old way. Take a look at 211 Elizabeth, for example. Here is the architect's website. Note, however, that this is a condo building and not at all cheap.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:16 PM
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In the metropolis of Cleveland, they have something called "tax abatements". Basically, if you build new construction, the owners don't have to pay property tax on it for 15 years. The idea is to attract young, wealthy people to the city, who will eventually start paying their way when they're still here a decade and a half from now.

The actual result, of course, is blights of new construction that look just like that, designed to last for 15 years before falling apart. At which point, all of those yuppies will just move out, to some other tax-abated new construction, and the property values will fall so much that even if the new owner does pay tax, it'll be on a fraction of the original value.

By contrast, Lakewood, the suburb where I live, doesn't have tax abatement. There's plenty of new construction here, too, but it's built to last.

And yes, I know what the construction values are like. I've watched them going up, I've seen the architectural features, and I've seen how much the buildings are aging in the few years since they've been put up.
America's property tax laws are utterly backwards. You actually get punished for putting up a good building. Tax the land value the building is on instead, that way it doesn't matter if you put up a grand, majestic building or a one room crap shack, you get taxed the exact same.

I'm aware of Cleveland's 15 year tax abatement- the outcome you described is quitepredictable.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:20 PM
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Some of those old brick buildings are very nice, but that sort of construction is only rarely done nowadays. There are few people with the right sort of skills today, and labor is expensive, Plus tastes change.

But some buildings are built the old way. Take a look at 211 Elizabeth, for example. Here is the architect's website. Note, however, that this is a condo building and not at all cheap.
It's unfortunate that the old ways of building will likely not make a resurgence for a very long time, certainly not in my lifetime. And yeah, you're right, only a handful of guys in America have the skill to build like this.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:26 AM
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It's unfortunate that the old ways of building will likely not make a resurgence for a very long time, certainly not in my lifetime. And yeah, you're right, only a handful of guys in America have the skill to build like this.


Charging $300 a brick certainly ensures there won’t be many new building done like this
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:11 AM
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Charging $300 a brick certainly ensures there won’t be many new building done like this
I know building the old fashioned way isn't cheap (quality and excellence rarely are), but are these "modern" buildings, with their exotic fabricated modular materials, cheap to build either? I don't think so.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:31 AM
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The second one literally looks like the "Estuary" luxury condos up the road from me in Weehawken.
https://www.cityrealty.com/nyc/marke...63-month/26381
I can't quite say why, but these buildings look flashy, yet dull at the same time.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:02 AM
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There are some of these in the inner city, but mostly the apartment blocks I see out in the suburbs are townhouses, which are the blocky cookie-cutter three-or-four two-storey apartments on properties that used to be only big enough for one home, now jam packed full but with no yard. Ugly and boring, I hate them all, even if they are modern and comfortable inside.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:34 AM
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I can't quite say why, but these buildings look flashy, yet dull at the same time.
I'd say that covers it. They all look like they come from the same Toll Brothers architectural catalogue.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:57 AM
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I don't know about "cheap". They look a bit like the construction we have here, and that's all made of cinder blocks and precast concrete elements on a reinforced concrete frame. About as flammable as the Dead Sea and strong enough to withstand a Scud.
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