Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Heading in Opposite Directions

Two articles from today's Post suggest the complexity of housing issues. Meanwhile Safeway is having difficulty hiring Starbucks workers, advertising $11 an hour for them. At something over $20K a year, that that doesn't pay for housing in Fairfax:

Fairfax to Buy Affordable Apartment Complex in Reston: "Fairfax County agreed yesterday to purchase a complex of 180 apartments in Reston. With their relatively low rents, the units might otherwise have been converted to luxury condominiums, county officials said.

The county will pay the Mark Winkler Co. $49.5 million for the Crescent Apartments near Lake Anne, the largest outlay from an affordable housing fund approved by the Board of Supervisors last year. Monthly rents at the complex run an average of $1,023 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,170 for two bedrooms. The current tenants, who represent Reston's mix of ethnic communities, earn incomes of $40,000 to $50,000 for a family of four."

Reality Thins Out An Urban Vision: "In Fairfax County's official vision for Tysons Corner, thousands of people live clustered around the Metro stops planned there -- riding the train or walking to work, leaving their cars at home and injecting new life into the austere glass and concrete hub.

But in the reality of developers' blueprints, a different Tysons is emerging -- one with a population smaller than what county leaders have in mind." [article explains that the zoning requires x million square feet of residential space, which the developer has decided to make into 2K condos instead of 1K. Rationale is that the bigger condos attract people willing to pop for upgrades (granite counter tops, etc.) that are more profitable.]

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