Magdalena Waz has lived all over, but she's happy to be living and writing in Bushwick. Visit her at www.magdalenawaz.com.
Well, in regard to your first paragraph, we are saying the same thing. Median rent prices are a good indicator of what people are willing to pay and what landlords (who do not want vacant apartments) are likely to charge. There is more competition if 232 units flood the market, but because the developers took out a 90 million dollar loan, they are going to have to figure out what they need to make off of each unit in order to pay back their creditors. I don't know the terms of the loan or how much profit they are expecting, so I can't make a guess as to what they will charge. I do know they will be looking to Colony 1209 to see how they fared with their introductory prices.Again, you are correct that regardless of whether or not these units get built, some people who don't care about amenities will move to Bushwick anyway and drive up prices anyway. But having worked in rentals (mistakenly), I know there are plenty of people who are waiting for Bushwick to give them Manhattan amenities for (from their perspective) slightly less, and for whatever reason they are not willing to budge until they have that. These buildings do make Bushwick more attractive to people with more money.San Franciso's additional problems include very limited space and a very affluent new class of employees. Landlords know how much money jobs in tech pay, and they are willing to drive up rents in order to get a piece of that becase space is limited and these people need to live somewhere. That kind of price fixing for a specific kind of tenant is what puts people without those jobs in dire striats.Bushwick has a similar issue in that landlords realized over the course of many years that some people are willing to (and have the ability) stay even when the price of their unit goes up. A shiny, new building is not an indication to them that they'll have more competition. To them, it looks like another indicator of the rising value of their own property. I'm not arguing that I am not a gentrifier, and I don't like the notion of placing limits on who can or cannot live anywhere, and I can't truly afford my rent (not sustainably at least). But we are not prioritizing building apartments of all kinds and no landowner will build apartments and rent them below market because people think of real estate as an investment which should make money, and if their next door neighbor makes $6,000 dollars more off of their 6 units, why shouldn't they?
Ideally, yes, as long as the units offered met the demands of the community in terms of space and price. In the case of Bushwick, high-density developments only succeed in driving up the median rent and making it easier for any small landlord to raise prices based on the market which has now been inflated by a quick injection of new units with a bunch of bells and whistles few current neighborhood residents want or need (rooftop chess, anyone?).