Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Condo Watch: All Luxury, All the Time

I love condo ads. Especially "luxury" condo ads. A real estate developer smells blood (er, money) in the water, hires a marketing firm to put together a demographic survey showing huge latent demand for $300k+ downtown homes, convinces a bank (along with a few select investors) to pony up $50 million, sweet-talks the drooling city into granting 15 year tax abatements, hires lawyers to fight the neighborhood protests, and three to five years later the first bulldozers show up at the construction site. Of course, during this whole process the developer has to convince buyers (er, Rich People) that this latest and greatest condo complex offers the kind of conspicuous (consumptive) consumption, luxurious amenities, and Prime Location that it would be insane not to sign on the dotted pre-construction line.

I love the language of these condo ads. The website for East Bank Mills, across from downtown Minneapolis, tells us the dramatic story of its vision:

The emphasis is on the community. The setting is the river. The place is where the City Began.

We started with the existing community, Marcy Holmes, and used its Master Plan as our guide. Then we traveled the world to add to the design in an attempt to make it the most livable urban community possible.

And the vision of East Bank Mills was born.
A neighborhood along the water that will be a new landmark in the city of Minneapolis.

East Bank Mills will be a walkable, eclectic, urban neighborhood. It will cover almost eight acres with housing for people of all ages and interests. Historic renovations and modern new condominiums. Public spaces. Private retreats. Narrow pedestrian streets with local vendors you know by name.
A public plaza and bridge that draws you to the river and the regional park in your front yard.

History runs through it. The Pillsbury "A" Mill is a National Historic Landmark. The South Mill's water tower, the Pil

I'll admit it: it's a damn good pitch. I do indeed find myself drooling in response to the appeal. Just think of it: local vendors! downtown location! "Eclectic" neighborhood! (What does eclectic even mean in this context? Chinese and Japanese restaurants?) What's not to like? Surely this building will suit my loftstyle lifestyle perfectly!

But wait.... there's a new building coming.... more luxury.... more trendy.... more... urban!

Coming this Monday: Is Dog a City's Best Friend?


Anonymous George Jefferson said...

Now this time with feeling...

Well we're movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.

Fish don't fry in the kitchen;
Beans don't burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin'
Just to get up that hill.
Now we're up in the big leagues
Gettin' our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it's you and me baby
There ain't nothin wrong with that.

Well we're movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.

11:16 AM  

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