Cheaply built, mass produced apartment complexes/condos- how many are in your city?

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

I can’t quite say why, but these buildings look flashy, yet dull at the same time.

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.

I’d say that covers it. They all look like they come from the same Toll Brothers architectural catalogue.

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.