31 Jul Are real estate developers good or bad? | News
Pictured: The empty development site for the failed Chicago Spire project. Image courtesy of Wikimedia user Forgemind ArchiMedia.
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.
But their arch-villain status today — merely invoking “developers” can shut down civic debate — deserves scrutiny
— The New York Times
The New York Times profiles the real estate developer, an arch-villain of contemporary society who, by some accounts, makes too much money, bulldozes humble neighborhoods to make room for the rich, and wills inequality and displacement as a matter of business.
But is there another side to the story? Are real estate developers bad or can they be good, too?
Carol Galante, a former nonprofit housing developer, defends the development, in general. She tells The New York Times, “In places where frankly there isn’t a lot of development happening, how is that working for you right now? In terms of getting increased housing affordability, it’s obviously not.”
Galante also takes aim at the notion that developers make too much profit, adding, “There is just a total lack of understanding of the economics of building new housing today, of the math behind it, and what developers actually make or don’t make. This is not your father’s subdivision process of the 1950s.”