Urbanexus Update — Issue #17

Please scroll down for my weekly selection of information and opinion about real estate and community development.

The economy and financial markets

Hype about the “gig economy” aside, Americans are becoming more attached to their jobs and communities, not less.

Vertical axis is the percentage of total US employment


The 2008 financial crisis was perhaps the most pervasive and devastating economic disruption since the Great Depression of the 1930. Starting with the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market, its domino effect rippled outward, leaving almost no economy untouched.

Real estate markets

New homes are going up in the Phoenix area at the fastest pace in 10 years. Prices are climbing faster than they have in five years.


For the third year in a row, SmartAsset analyzed data for 200 cities to find the most undervalued cities in America. Pittsburgh took the top spot.

Shutterstock 124544671
Shutterstock 124544671

Why aren’t millennials buying houses? www.curbed.com
A new report says student loans, high rent, and location preferences are among impediments to Millennial homeownership

Community development and urban design


One year after the passage of Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) rezones in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID) neighborhood, the community is contemplating its challenging present and striving to preserve hope for its future.


If these communities are going to, at the same time, decry the invasion of newcomers and oppose most development, then they face but one option: they must promote development elsewhere.

This is precisely the living condition supertalls are designed to engineer: one that maximizes the privacy of the super-wealthy.


Apartment buildings in Sutton Place on the east side of midtown Manhattan were designed by Rosario Candela in the 1920. They are featured in a small exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York.

447 East 57th Street was built by Kaye Construction in 1928

Spacious — which converts upscale restaurants in New York and San Francisco into weekday work spaces, before the dinner hour — is part of a broader debate over how to use spaces in cities as labor costs make restaurants an even more challenging proposition.


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Roughcut.00 00 33 13.still001 1

Self-driving bikescrosscut.com

This episode of ReInventors, looks at how Professor Tyler Folsom and his students at University of Washington Bothell are spearheading a grassroots effort to test and develop lighter, more affordable, personal rapid transit: self-driving bikes — actually trikes.


The Seattle Department of Transportation proposed a pilot project that it hoped would help cut down on the soul-crushing gridlock that grips the city center every rush hour: Private buses. Then the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to quash that plan.

Matt Slepin interviews real estate leaders

Jane graf
Jane graf

Jane Graf on alleviating poverty through affordable housing leadingvoicespodcast.com

Jane is the President and CEO of Mercy Housing based in Denver and operating nationally, one of the country’s largest nonprofit affordable housing organizations.

Ken woolley
Ken woolley

Ken Woolley on self-storage becoming an Integral part of the real estate Industryleadingvoicespodcast.com

Ken grew up in Northern California’s Bay Area, eventually receiving his M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford in Business. He was aware of the self-storage industry in California, but when he moved to Boston he saw a gap in the market that piqued his interest in the industry.

Wealthy real estate people


The Real Deal New York prepared a short video on the top five in real estate, based on Forbes rankings.



California meets greenhouse gas reduction goal years earlyapnews.com

California greenhouse gas emissions fell below 1990 levels, meeting an early target ahead of schedule and putting the state well on its way toward reaching long-term goals to fight climate change.

Around the world



Nigeria’s mega-city, bursting with opportunity but strained with disorder, offers a cautionary preview of the future.

Researchers contest widely-accepted United Nations’ predictions on urban population growth.

Striving to understand what shapes change across metropolitan regions and creates opportunities — and challenges — for equitable and sustainable development.