Eyesore of the Month

barcelona-condos-002.jpg

Does anybody have the number to the Karma Police?

I need them to, at the very least, question whoever is responsible for this immediately, if not sooner.

This is Barcelona Condominiums, a new 71-unit affordable housing project currently under construction at 2217 NW 7 St in Miami that promotes and offers the opportunity for homeownership instead of the usual for rent affordable housing. The acute lack of local affordable housing coupled with the Miami Herald’s well-documented abuses of those chosen to provide a solution to the problem, make affordable housing projects like these a welcome addition to the city.

I commend any developer willing to tackle the issue of affordable housing. However, is there a reason why affordable housing has to look so…well, affordable?

When will local leaders, planners, developers and the general populace realize that affordable housing and good design can co-exist? Low cost housing doesn’t have to mean low quality housing. Good design, especially in the affordable housing sector, should meet the users’ needs, enhance the neighborhood and should be built to last.

Although this building stands to offer a short-term solution to 71 families in need of affordable shelter, it fails to address the long-term needs of those very families and more importantly, the community as a whole. A quick look at the structure will tell you that it’s obsolete even before it has been completed. I can only wonder what it will look like 10 years from now.

An unmasqueraded parking garage fronting a building that fronts a major thoroughfare? Come on!

barcelona-condos-009.jpg

I’m no architect (although I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night), but why not create a pedestrian friendly arcade or colonnade to provide the residents with some necessary refuge from the hot sun on those dreadful Miami summer days? Can we do something about the Pepto-Bismol pink that easily identifies the building from SR-836? Why the balconies in white?

Does anybody out there have any ideas as to what we can do to save the people who will eventually occupy this building?

By the way, take a look at the “sales pitch” below:

barcelona-condos-004.jpg

En español:

barcelona-condos-006.jpg

Now take a look at the following photo-op disguised as a “ground breaking ceremony”:

barcelonagrounbreakinggroup_large.jpg

Does anything catch your attention?

Adrian Salgado is a Realtor Associate with RED I Realty in Miami, FL and can be reached at 305-491-7179 or SalgadoA@gmail.com.

12 Comments

Filed under Affordable Housing, Eyesore of the Month

12 responses to “Eyesore of the Month

  1. Kyle

    From $192k and now from $79k?!?!

    Like $192k was ever affordable… Let’s see, the market tanks, let’s change the project into a low income housing project….

  2. squirel master

    Yea a bunch of crooks trying to look like the good guys now…

  3. The rendering on the sign to the right looks just like the finished product! Right! LOL

  4. Major 13

    Great picture guys let do lunch!
    Who’s paying??

    Just a thought

    Barcelona can play host to the visiting teams that come in to play YOUR Miami Marlins.

  5. Robert

    This is just like Burger King, the one in the picture is not even close to the one you eat.

  6. Raul Estrada

    Funny enough, I recently visted my aunt who lives just a half block north on NW 22 Ct. I commented to my wife as we pulled up, “what’s up with the Pepto Bismol color and white balconies.

    I could also see the strong resemblence to the Miami 21 initiative for pedestian friendly streets: http://www.miami21.org/index.php?src=

  7. Adrian Salgado

    To think…that site used to be home to Miami Cafeteria. I stopped to get cafe con leche there a few times.

    As much of a dump as that place was, it would have been much better to keep it and redevelop the lot five/six years from now. That’s such a visible corner!

    The city should just take the sunk costs, demolish that aberration and start over again.

    By the way, pretty good observations, analogies and ideas.

  8. Rob

    And who is the only gentleman not wearing a coat in the picture? Would he have any to do with this condo boom in the City of Miami…..

  9. Adrian Salgado

    You know…I really can’t hate on the “only gentleman not wearing a coat in the picture” as much as others do.

    I know that our current local economic situation is not a very good one. However, dude did something (not necessarily the best thing, but…), while all others before him just pretty much collected and did absolutely nothing for this city.

    Granted, city coffers are a lot thicker these days and bigger prizes are at stake, hence the grossly overdeveloped city.

  10. Ramon

    I would like to find out what Mr Salgado and many others have been doing to help their community.

    I think misleading and information is to put 2 pictures together with a difference of more than 2 years apart and not clarify that portion.

    Additionally, look at the explanation in the most recent add, of how to obtain an affordable mortgage with Government subsidies, to a level affordable to those who want to buy but do not make enough money otherwise.

    Do you realize that it takes local governments months and even years, to determine which funds are to be given and in what proportion to buyers, which will determine the final mortgage or monthly payment that those who qualify will be paying?

    Please, look in Wikipedia the definition of Affordable Housing.

    I assure that Affordable Housing was not the cause of the current situation and the extremelly high rate of foreclosures (the highest in the nation is Florida). This should be the point of the story, and perhaps to suggest a solution as well.

    There are many capable and decent realtors in the United States, as well as Mortgage Brokers, Title Companies and Lenders. Unfortunatly, the minority of those mentioned have destroyed our market for quite some time while making a tremendous amount of money, on the obscure sidelines, now at taxpayers expense.

    Affordable Housing is not as lucrative as selling homes in the Gables or Cocoplum and providing financing for the same.It’s a means to an end of rentals, and into the benefits of Home Ownership.

    Mortgage Brokers are pretty much out of the Affordable Housing Arena. Gains are modest and supervised by the different local and Federal Agencies. Besides, there are different layers of financing and you end up doing 4 different loans, sometimes 5, which are all different.

    Prices are low which equals lower commisions for Real Estate agents, besides the amount of times it takes to conclude a transaction.

    I ask, how many affordable properties with more than or 2 subsidies have Mr Salgado sold?

    If we all lived in a perfect world, all the properties would be cookie cutters and of similar colors. Just take a look at the quidelines for the City of Coral Gables, and then again, look at the property values there, and the income per capita.

    I commend those who believe in the Pepto Bismol color and affordable parking for homeowners. Do you know it costs aproximatly $30,000 a parking space and many developers are eliminating this valuable need of many?

    I have humbly tried to be educational to those that do not know the business and what it involves, I think this provides a benefit to many, and especially to those critics who seat on the sidelines pointing fingers, and doing nothing about our communities.

    In Miami, Affordable Housing is a huge responsibility, with limited funds and much smaller profit margin for those of us that put the time in helping a community and aiding your fellow citizens to realize the american dream of homeownership, lenders, realtors and bankers alike are commended when they follow this worthwhile route, and truelly put and effort forward to help those that need it the most.

    I welcome your comments at:

    expertlender@aol.com

    Ramon

  11. Adrian Salgado

    Ramon,

    Can’t we all just get along?

    I apologize profusely if I offended you with my words. It is never my intention to offend, but rather inform from an unemotional point of view.

    I’m not sure what triggered the animosity (since you go off on several tangents that really have nothing to do with the objective of my post), but I’ll ask that you please keep things in perspective and stay on point the next time you decide to write a short story in the comments section of a blog (Comments Etiquette 101).

    I am going to defend myself (or just this blog post) since you make it seem like I’m some type of elitist with your comment.

    Ramon, I was simply expressing my opinion regarding this project’s poor design and poor use of space when I wrote this post.

    I think you do us all (especially “those that need it the most”) a disservice when you defend an aberration such as this. How you can defend a project that compromised the effort to address the needs of 71 families is beyond me.

    When you read my post again, please note that I state:

    ” The acute lack of local affordable housing coupled with the Miami Herald’s well-documented abuses of those chosen to provide a solution to the problem, MAKE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECTS LIKE THESE A WELCOME ADDITION TO OUR CITY. I commend any developer willing to tackle the issue of affordable housing.”

    What I don’t commend or defend, Ramon, is mediocrity. That, Ramon, is what I do for my community.

    Furthermore (since you seem to be in the know), I encourage you to clarify the two “misleading” pictures above and elaborate on how $192,000 for a condominium unit on NW 7 ST and NW 22 AVE was ever considered affordable. Maybe it’s just a mathematical error on my part. Again, my intentions are not to offend, but inform.

    Please pick up an issue of Urban Land, log on to the National Housing Institute (www.nhi.org), educate yourself on why design in affordable housing is so important, and then call me (305-491-7179) so we can have a cup of coffee somewhere. My treat.

    I appreciate and pat you on the back for caring about affordable housing and those that need it most. You seem to be as passionate about the subject as I am about mediocrity.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

  12. Come on, it doesn’t look that bad. Look at the rest of the Miami area. Fits in.

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