I just got back from New York City where I completed a pilgrimage to Hell’s Kitchen. The wife and I have been enjoying Daredevil on Netflix, whose antagonist is a real estate developer using crime to finance various “revitalization projects” throughout the neighborhood. So we wanted to see what the actual Hell’s Kitchen looks like and how real life has inspired Daredevil.
Like so many other cities, including Dallas, we found old buildings destroyed in favor of larger, high-end construction in Hell’s Kitchen. Unlike many other cities, however, I actually like the way that these buildings look.
On the ground floor, these buildings make sense at the human scale. But in order to satisfy the checklist for multi-million dollar financing, this building accommodates the hundreds of units needed above eye-level. Most importantly for current zoning and financing requirements, the building also features multilevel parking.
I couldn’t help but that 10th Avenue could serve as a model for development on Ross Avenue. Like 10th Ave, Ross Ave is a very important thoroughfare that many people use for many different purposes. Unlike 10th Ave, however, new development on Ross caters to people passing through the neighborhood.
I know that development is going to happen, and I personally don’t have the means or energy to stop change from happening. On the other hand, I hope that people do want well designed places and that this helps to contribute to that conversation.
If development is going to happen, why not make sure it looks better? If the financing is out there and the money needs to be used, why not make development attractive?