Saturday, July 25, 2009
Forges Magazine has recently voted Kansas City the Number 1 Abandoned City in the USA. The writer mentions that our vacancy is up to 15% in our city's buildings. He does not, however, mention the main reason why.
Here is why - In the last 5 years or so everyone has blown the Power and Light District WAY out of proportion. Real estate agents and building contractors were running around frantically buying up all of the property that surrounds the P&L in the hopes that they will get a piece of the action. They built WAY too many condos for starters.
Well I've got news for you. Kansas City is NOT a wealthy singles town. The only people who would consider living in one of those overpriced condos by the Power and Light would be single people, gay people, and retired couples. Kansas City just doesn't have enough people in that demographic to fill up all of those overpriced condos. What I mean is, Kansas City is an old fashioned Midwest-style "we like to eat a lot and go to the movies and watch crappy network television" kind of town - for the most part. Kansas City was built around families and fat people who like to live in houses and apartments in the suburbs and make babies - NOT live in expensive CONDOS downtown.
The Power and Light District is a joke in itself - have you ever actually BEEN down there? Let's just say it's not where the "cool" people hang out. The people who go down there look like they all just got off a bus from Grain Valley or something. There is no doubt that most of the folks who frequent the P&L district are from the sticks. Why do you think that the biggest thing going down there right now is friggin' "Country Music Night" ? What a joke. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah - folks visiting from the sticks are not going to buy a $450,000 condo - and the people who would buy a $450,000 condo aren't going to want to live next to a tourist attraction for hillbillies.
Kansas City being voted the number 1 abandoned city comes as no surprise to this Kansas City news writer.
Anyway, here is the article written by Forbes...
America's Abandoned Cities
Kansas City Tops List of Abandoned Cities in the Country
By ZACK O'MALLEY GREENBURG
July 25, 2009
The big news in Kansas City is the Chiefs' off-season acquisition of quarterback Matt Cassel. Filling in for injured superstar Tom Brady in New England last season, Cassel became a starter for the first time since his senior year of high school.
File Photo. The downtown Kansas City, Mo. skyline is reflected in the Missouri River at dusk Oct 15, 2008.
The downtown Kansas City, Mo. skyline is reflected in the Missouri River at dusk Oct 15, 2008 in this file photo. In the past year, rental vacancy rates rose in Kansas City from 11.9 percent to 15 percent and homeowner vacancy rates nearly doubled, up from 2.1 percent to 3.8 percent.
When trading for a backup quarterback is cause for citywide celebration, it's a sign of a metropolis starving for good news--and perhaps an indicator that other troubles are afoot.
Indeed, the Kansas City metro area tops our list of America's Abandoned Cities. In Kansas City, rental vacancy rates rose from 11.9% to 15% over the past year; homeowner vacancy rates nearly doubled, up from 2.1% to 3.8%. Comparatively, the average homeowner vacancy rate in the country's 75 largest metro areas improved slightly from 3% to 2.7%, while the rental vacancy rate edged up to 10.2% from 10% a year ago.
Kansas City isn't the only metro where rental and homeowner vacancy rates are rising in tandem. Second on our list is the San Francisco-Oakland metro, where high prices are pushing Bay Area residents out of the region. Third is Tucson, Ariz., where the aftermath of the housing boom has left a glut of inventory. The pair's predicament illustrates both sides of the vacancy coin.
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