The Ponte saga is a classic South African story. Once a Jacuzzi-filled playground for the segregated white elite in the apartheid era, then falling into chaos in the 1990s as the wealthy fled to the suburbs, then the object of failed luxury-condo schemes, the tower is now undergoing a renaissance as an icon of Johannesburg’s urban revitalization. [...]
The hollow core began to fill with garbage and rubble – several stories high. — theglobeandmail.com
Loath to lose more housing, Los Angeles lawmakers are now taking steps to help legalize 'bootlegged' apartments that have long existed without municipal blessing...The goal, City Councilman Felipe Fuentes said, is to 'maintain affordability and try to get folks into stable, dignified housing.' Both tenant and landlord groups praised the budding plan as a 'win-win'...But the idea has already raised concerns among some residents who see it as a reward for flouting the law. — Los Angeles Times
More:In Los Angeles, homelessness is becoming more visibleMonterey Park City Council adopts tougher penalties for landlords of illegal boarding homesWill Los Angeles be seeing more housing development along its LA River?Another case of "poor door" for proposed Vancouver high-riseHonolulu Law...
Right now, Amsterdam’s Center Island (Centrumeiland in Dutch) doesn’t look like much [...] The island, in use for the first time this summer as a campsite-cum-art installation, is in fact an entirely artificial creation, lying at the heart of what could currently be Europe’s boldest engineering and housing program. [...]
The archipelago will eventually be home to up to 45,000 people in 18,000 homes, 30 percent of which will be earmarked for affordable rent. — citylab.com
Turner Impact Multifamily Fund will target opportunities to acquire housing for workers making up to 80 percent of the area’s median income. The goal is to provide housing for those who earn too much to qualify for subsidized housing, but too little to afford a home or luxury apartment near their workplace [...]
“Workforce housing is an overlooked segment of the real estate market with a significant mismatch in supply and demand that we believe offers a compelling investment opportunity” — labusinessjournal.com
Despite seeing completion last October, following orders from leader Kim Jong Un, only half of the units of a major apartment complex built near Pyongyang’s Taedong River are currently occupied. [...]
“The elevator runs only during breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours, so for long spans of time it will be impossible to get to the 40th floor,” the source said. “There isn’t even a place for people to put their bicycles, which are the most fundamental tools for people’s livelihoods.” — dailynk.com
More homeless people in Los Angeles are leaving Skid Row for other more visible areas of the city, such as parks and near freeways. [...]
Some of the increased visibility is the result of lawsuits. Until the city can supply more affordable housing, the homeless can legally camp on sidewalks from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. [...]
Marketplace reports that advocates say they’ve seen a rise in middle-aged homeless people, some victims of recession-era job loss. — nextcity.org
One of the biggest homes in U.S. history is rising on a Los Angeles hilltop, and the developer hopes to sell it for a record $500 million.
Nile Niami, a film producer and speculative residential developer, is pouring concrete in L.A.’s Bel Air neighborhood for a compound with a 74,000-square-foot (6,900-square-meter) main residence and three smaller homes, according to city records. [...] including a 5,000-square-foot master bedroom, a 30-car garage and a “Monaco-style casino,” Niami said. — bloomberg.com
Between 925 and 1,960 units citywide have been removed from the housing market by hosts renting out entire units on Airbnb for more than 58 days, the [San Francisco Budget & Legislative Analyst's] report estimates. [...]
The report draws a comparison between the number of evictions in neighborhoods with the most hosts, though notes there is no way to draw a direct connection. In the Mission, for example, there were 315 hosts last year and 323 evictions. — m.sfexaminer.com
Still, when Mayor Bill de Blasio today unveiled his plan for New York’s troubled housing authority, NYCHA, dismantling these aging towers was not a piece of it. The plan calls for charging more for parking, redeploying staff to other agencies to save costs and leasing land within the housing complexes to private developers to save money. [...]
So why does New York City still have so many high-rise housing projects? — theatlantic.com
Open data, and the interactive mapping and data visualization that can come of it, has become a de facto engagement and storytelling tool among contemporary journalists, social justice activists, and civic-minded technologists. But despite its allure, open data’s potential for fostering civic engagement and creating transparency and dialogue is plagued by issues of usability, access, and quality control. — urbanomnibus.net
A new building in Vancouver's West End neighbourhood is getting some attention because of its segregated entrances for condo residents and those living in social housing units.
The West End Neighbours community group says the market-priced condo units and social housing units for the 19-storey high-rise for 1171 Jervis Street will also be branded differently at the entrances and have separate amenities.
The development permit was approved Monday by city staff. — cbc.ca
There are ways to bring elegance to 5 over 1 structures, but it requires a high degree of skill and commitment. Only a very talented designer can take such a limited palette of materials and make the resulting building interesting, if not elegant. But developers must be willing to hire those skilled designers. Many are simply not interested. [...] Hence, the wildly uneven — and often uninspiring — architecture in Seattle today. — crosscut.com
Similar tenor in other booming parts of the nation:Blair Kamin not impressed by Chicago's latest housing developmentsJeff Sheppard calls downtown Denver's new housing developments "meaningless, uninspiring"
If Los Angeles aims to add more housing, it should look at the neighborhoods lining its long-maligned river to do it. [...]
The city could make a big dent in Mayor Eric Garcetti's goal of adding 100,000 housing units by 2021 if it streamlines permitting and creates incentive zones in places along the river [...].
The report comes in the wake of a billion-dollar plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revamp 11 miles of the L.A. River north of downtown [...]. — latimes.com
Residential design doesn't have to stop at neat rows of identical apartment buildings or houses, although sometimes it's what is inside a home that can leave the biggest impression. But what's most important is the availability of high-quality housing that suits the various needs for people from...
This is a tale of two new West Loop high-rises and what they say about Chicago's apartment building boom, which has restored construction cranes to the skyline but has yet to give us architecture with a capital "A."
The buildings — the underwhelming Arkadia Tower in Greektown and the better-than-average JeffJack Apartments west of Union Station — are the latest products of the construction surge [...]. — chicagotribune.com
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